Atlanta divorce attorney Randy Kessler was featured in a video from Tennessee’s Miles Mason Family Law Group. In the video, titled “Best Divorce Mediation Preparation Tips,” various attorneys provide their tips for preparing for and going through a divorce mediation.
Randy Kessler was a guest on the “The Future of Resolution” podcast. The episode is the third of the podcast’s second season and is titled “Randy Kessler on Family Law and Domestic Mediation.” In it, Randy discusses “complex divorce cases, custody issues, and the benefits of domestic mediation” with host the host, judge Jason Harper.
You can hear the podcast below.
There is no question that lawyers are not all cut from the same cloth. Some attorneys specialize in family law, while others focus on personal injury cases. The law is complicated and includes multiple different facets. Someone who works primarily on defending accused criminals shouldn’t represent a client trying to file a medical malpractice case. What does this have to do with divorce? Plenty.
At Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, we want your family law matter to be resolved favorably. We strive to provide honest and upfront answers to some of the most common divorce-related questions we encounter in our practice. One of those questions revolves around involving family lawyers with estate lawyers. Here’s what you need to know:
Do My Lawyers Need to Talk to Each Other When I’m Divorcing?
The quick answer is yes, your estate planning attorney and your family law attorney should be in contact with one another for multiple reasons. First, to fairly estimate what you deserve in a divorce settlement, your attorney needs to understand your complete financial standing. To do this, they need access to all your finances and your partner’s. While you may keep meticulous records about your assets and debts, your estate planning attorney will have the information your family law attorney needs about your family’s assets, insurance plans, retirement accounts, and property holdings. This financial information is crucial for helping to estimate potential alimony or child support payments.
Remember, attorneys are nothing if not resourceful. Preventing a family law attorney from talking to an estate planning attorney does not mean you are effectively hiding assets. If you are concerned about your financial situation and how it may be impacted by a divorce, share those concerns with your family law attorney.
Second, a divorce settlement can have an impact on your estate. Your estate planning attorney needs to be kept in the loop by you and your family law attorney. This way, your estate planning attorney can respond to changes in your assets, insurance beneficiaries, and retirement and property holdings. With this vital information at hand, your estate planning attorney can help you transition and create a new plan that meets your future goals.
A divorce may also impact your taxable estate. If your estate planning attorney is in contact with your family law attorney, it can help them prepare a plan for when you no longer have the benefit of certain tax exemptions.
Again, family law is different from estate planning law. You want attorneys experienced in each field to help you manage your situation. With the input of both attorneys, you can better understand and adjust to the changes that a divorce can bring to your financial standing.
Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney and Family Law Attorney?
It is wise to have a separate attorney addressing your estate and your divorce. Often, an estate planning attorney knows or represents both partners in a marriage. An estate planner can be your best friend in the world, but they may potentially have a bias towards either you or your spouse. Let your family law attorney interact with your estate planning lawyer. During the divorce, you may want to consider talking with a new financial advisor or accountant about your situation. This independent advisor will have no “skin in the game,” so to speak, and can offer you objective financial advice because they don’t know your partner.
After the divorce is finalized, you can consider your estate planning options and decide how you want to address your future needs. You may wish to utilize the experience of your current estate planning attorney, or you may choose to find a new consultant depending on your goals and relationship with your ex-spouse. This is another reason why it may be wise to consider including a third-party accountant or financial advisor on your team. They can help you manage your finances in the interim while you pursue an estate planning path that makes you feel comfortable.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Have more questions about divorce or how estate planning can impact your separation? Reach out to the experienced Atlanta divorce attorneys of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC today. We’ll take a proactive approach to help you resolve your case. We want to see you and your family achieve a favorable outcome, even when difficult circumstances are at play.
Call our office at (404) 688-8810 to set up a confidential consultation. We offer upfront and honest legal advice about your situation and will aggressively represent you.
Alimony is one of the most contentious parts of any divorce. Some former spouses need it. Others think they’re entitled to more than they’re getting. Some people don’t mind paying, and some think it’s a revenge-based money grab from their ex. And even after the details have been worked out, something may happen, and you could find that you can’t make the court-ordered payments. What can you do? What can happen if you are unable to pay your alimony?
Court-Ordered Alimony Payments
If you and your ex filed an uncontested simple divorce, you may be making alimony payments you both agreed to. In other cases, the judge may have consulted Georgia spousal support laws and incorporated these rules into the final divorce judgment. Alimony or spousal support is based on the judge’s determination of the recipient party’s needs and the paying party’s ability to pay.
Alimony payments are part of the court’s order on division of property, and must be paid, just like any other part of the court order. Failure to make payments on time and in full can result in serious consequences if the recipient spouse wants to make a case of it.
Possible Consequences of Nonpayment of Alimony
Sometimes, paying alimony can seem unfair, but nonpayment is a bad idea. It can have serious legal consequences.
- Contempt of court. If your ex decides to report your nonpayment to the judge, the judge will have you brought back into court to explain why you haven’t paid. There are no good excuses for nonpayment. Failing to pay again will result in a contempt charge. After that, the judge can do a number of other things.
- Suspension of licenses. Suspension of your driver’s license is one, but any state license can be suspended, including hunting licenses, barber’s licenses, or anything you need the state’s permission for. These licenses will be held until you pay all your alimony arrears.
- Fines and interest. The court will assess fines, court costs, and any interest that has accrued on your past-due alimony. These costs add up quickly.
- Jail time. Although jail time for nonpayment of alimony is uncommon, it does happen if you miss enough payments, and the judge thinks you are being willfully non-compliant, or if you annoy the judge in court.
When You Really Can’t Pay
Sometimes, things happen, and you are unable to pay the full amount. It could be a work slowdown, which happened during the COVID emergency, medical emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances that prevent you from paying. To avoid the unpleasant consequences of nonpayment, here are some things you should consider.
- Never just stop paying. If you and your ex are not on speaking terms, have your attorney call their attorney and advise them of the situation. If you must make partial payments, you should consider doing that through your attorney of record as well.
- Contact your former spouse. If you are on speaking terms, consider making an informal arrangement for the duration of the emergency. If you’re not on speaking terms but you think they will be understanding, you can try having your attorney contact them.
- Mediation. This is less formal than court but more formal than talking among yourselves. If everyone is agreeable, you and your former spouse can meet with a neutral mediator and attempt to work out a temporary payment plan until you can make full payments again. The mediator will write up the agreement, and your attorney can file it with the court as part of your divorce judgment.
- Modification. If your situation has changed and will not be improving, you can ask for a modification of the original judgment. To obtain a modification, you must be able to show a “change in [your] income and financial status.” Since this will be a court proceeding, your ex will be able to challenge this and ask for proof of your change in status.
In Georgia, you can also ask for a change or termination of alimony if the recipient spouse has entered into a “meretricious” or cohabiting relationship with another person. You will have to prove this relationship and that your former spouse and their new partner are living together in a marital relationship. In this situation, you should consult an attorney and proceed with caution.
We Can Help
Everyone goes through rough financial patches, especially in and around divorce. If you are not able to make your alimony payments, we understand. At Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, our Atlanta alimony attorneys want to get you past this trouble spot with the minimum of difficulty and stress. If you have court-ordered support payments and can’t make them on time, contact us at (404) 688-8810. We will give you a compassionate ear and realistic advice on the best way to proceed. Call today.
Atlanta celebrity divorce attorney Randy Kessler appeared on Court TV to discuss the high-profile divorce between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Part of the challenge of going through a divorce in the public eye is how social media posts can affect the case, as discussed in the segment, which can be viewed below.