The Family Lawyer
An Official Publication of the Family Law Section
In This Issue
Next Section Breakfast
Case Law Updates
Mary Margaret Oliver Speaks at the April 11, 2013 Breakfast Meeting
2012-2013 Family Law Section Annual Sponsors
2013 Family Law Institute Sponsors
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May 2013
Family Law Section 2012-2013 Board of Directors

Newsletter Editor: Rachel Miller

Chair: David N. Marple
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Eileen Thomas
Secretary: Gary P. Graham
Treasurer: Anita H. Lynn
Immediate Past Chair: Daniel A. Bloom

Members at Large:
Hannibal Heredia
Rachel Miller
Melinda (Mindy) C. Pillow
Louis J. Tesser

Next Section Breakfast                             
Thursday, May 9, 2013
7:30 am at the Buckhead Club

"View From the Bench"

Speaker: The Honorable Philip C. Smith
Superior Court of Forsyth County

Section Members: $18 in advance, $25 at the door
Non-Section Members: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

register online or return the registration form
Case Law Updates
by Stephanie L. Wilson, Stern & Edlin, P.C. and
Corey A. Aitken, Stern & Edlin, P.C.
Driver v. Driver

April 15, 2013


Husband filed for divorce against Wife, on December 10, 2008, after twenty years of marriage. The parties' marital estate consisted primarily of commercial property holdings and corporate entities, in which Husband had an interest. After a final trial, the court awarded Wife $500,000.00 as her share of the equitable division of property, to be paid in two equal installments, and $200,000 in lump-sum alimony, to be paid in monthly installments of $3,500.00 for 5 years.

Husband appealed the court's property division on multiple grounds. First, Husband asserted that the award was inequitable, alleging that the lower court failed to determine the liabilities associated with the marital assets and did not make any findings as to the value of the marital estate as a whole. The Supreme Court of Georgia reviewed Husband's claim under the "any evidence rule" and determined that the evidence supported the lower court's ruling. In fact, Husband had "obscured his financial status by constantly maneuvering properties and assets and manipulating financial information"; he claimed, with questionable support, that his net worth had decreased from $11.3 million to $2.6 million between April 1, 2008 (9 months prior to his filing for divorce) and September 30, 2009; and, he had cross-collateralized properties by tying them together, and, thus, making an award of property in kind insufficient. Therefore, there was evidence to support the lower court's award to the Wife.

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Mary Margaret Oliver Speaks at the April 11, 2013 Breakfast Meeting
by Emily Su-Hwa Yu, Hunter, Weinstein & Somerstein, LLC
At last month's Atlanta Bar Family Law Section monthly breakfast held on April 11, 2013, Mary Margaret Oliver presented a preliminary report on 2013 General Assembly Legislation affecting those who practice family law.  While there is a long list of preliminary house bills and senate bills, Ms. Oliver discussed a few in particular.

House Bill 21, which has been authorized and passed, will add a new code section to Title 19, Chapter 8 to authorize post adoption contact with a child's birth family and relatives.  House Bill 21 was introduced by Ms. Oliver and has the support of many child advocacy groups and agencies.  The revision will provide for agreements for ongoing contact between birth relatives and adoptive families with any child over the age of 14 years as a party to the Agreement.  While only 10% of Georgia adoption agencies favored contact with birth families and relatives previously, new polls shows that 90% of adoption agencies now favor such contact, following the trend in 22 other states who have already authorized such contact.  The revision will allow birth families and relatives to exchange pictures, letters, emails, etc.

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 2012-2013 Family Law Section Annual Sponsors 




2013 Family Law Institute Sponsors
The Family Law Section would like to recognize the 2013 Family Law Institute Sponsors. 

Please Contact Eileen Thomas at (770) 818-0301 or if you would like to join this year's list of sponsors.

view Family Law Institute sponsors as of April 1, 2013