Deciding Custody Requires a “Forward-Looking Analysis”

(A review of Lowry v Winenger, a 2/23/17 Georgia Court of Appeals Decision)

In Lowry v. Winenger, No. A16A2133, 2017 WL 715956 (Ga. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2017), Mother and Father divorced in 2013. They were granted shared physical custody of their son, although mother was the designated primary physical custodian. Neither parent was ordered to pay child support.

Just two months after their divorce was finalized, mother remarried, converted to the Mormon faith, and began taking the child to ...

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“Direct” v “Indirect” Contempt and Due Process Implications

Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided In Interest of K. J., No. A16A1501, 2017 WL 822471, at 1 (Ga. Ct. App. Mar. 2, 2017) At issue was whether the Lumpkin County Juvenile Court had the authority, sua sponte, to find a parent in criminal contempt.

The evidence before the Court of Appeals was that on January 26, 2016, a judicial hearing was held in a dependency matter, at which time the parties stipulated to the entry of a ...

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I don’t get it.

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

I’m often told that I don’t get it because I don’t have children. I have canine children, but that aside – it’s true. I don’t get it. After almost 21 years of family law practice, I still don’t get…

  • How a parent feels it benefits his or her children to tell them the truth about their other parent’s infidelity or drug use…
  • How a parent thinks it appropriate to “discipline” a ...
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Seven Tips For Minimizing Your Children’s Trauma in Divorce

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

  1. Keep your conflict to yourself
    You’re angry, scared, and your sadness hangs off you like wet sandbags. You feel your husband’s infidelity was an abandonment of you and your children. You want them to know what he’s done. They should know the truth, you tell yourself. But your need for a catharsis will not help you or your children. All they will hear is that their father is a bad person – and they ...
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What You Need to Know About Filing for Divorce in Georgia

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

There are three kinds of “jurisdiction” that are at issue in divorce. Jurisdiction over the type of legal action is referred to as “subject matter jurisdiction.” In Georgia, the Superior Courts have jurisdiction over the dissolution of marriages. “Personal jurisdiction” refers to the Court’s authority to exercise authority over the parties to the case and to bind them by their judgments, and “venue” refers to the county and state in which the divorce ...

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Property Division in Divorce: An Evolving Jursiprudential Rainbow

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

In Georgia, property division in divorce is subject to certain rules – traditional principles out of which the Georgia Supreme Court has carved multiple exceptions.

Property division, first and foremost, must be “equitable.” Equity seeks to do that which is fair, and what is fair is not necessarily equal – not in Georgia. In community property states, the presumption may be that a 50/50 split is fair. In Georgia, the Court is charged ...

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