Legal Question in Family Law in Georgia

I made a mistake on one of the forms when I filed divorce papers at the courthouse. I received a letter giving me a court date stating it is an uncontested divorce. The mistake is that it is NOT uncontested and I cannot get any answers from anyone at the courthouse; they all say to hire an attorney.

If I had the money to hire one, I certainly would have. The husband left, is supposedly in another country (our only communication is through email) and he wants a divorce. I am more than happy to do so but want some money from him in addition to him taking liability for a tax lien he has. He was the sole provider financially for all the years we were living together in addition to almost two years after he left the country. I have already talked with the state Dept. of Revenue regarding the lien; they agree the lien does not and never has been associated with me. They have been very helpful letting me know what I need to do in order to get this lien removed; in our divorce decree, he has to take full responsibility and agree to be liable for the unpaid taxes. I had no idea the lien was there until I went to the courthouse regarding the property taxes on the house.

I live in Georgia; is there an amendment I can file to get this changed since it is not uncontested. I have a court date of November 13, 2012. I have called Legal Aid in the past and they say because I was not physically abused, they cannot help me. I obviously do not have much time and appreciate any advice someone here may have to offer.

Asked on 11/02/12, 2:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office

The reason people are telling you at the courthouse that you need a lawyer is because they have seen things that show them you do.

If you had a toothache would you get pliers and pull teeth or visit a dentist? If your appendix burst would you grab a knife and remove it yourself? The question here is if you had the most serious and important legal problem of your life would you try to fix it yourself when those that know (people at the courthouse) are even telling you to hire counsel?

You actually have a very complex case. A spouse in a foreign country means you have to serve papers under the laws of that country. Did you comply with the Hague Convention as to service, or other applicable laws?

Have you even determined if you have personal jurisdiction to seek a money judgment?

Houses and taxes also present complex issues.

And since most of the forms out there are horrible, we have no way to know how many other mistakes and omissions are there.

I realize that lawyers, just like doctors, dentists, car mechanics, etc. charge. We go home and have to feed our families and pay our bills. You have a choice, and it's simple. You hire someone to help you or you wing it and pray for the best.

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Answered on 11/02/12, 5:18 pm

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