Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Constitution Day!



Today, September 17, 2012 is Constitution Day! What does that mean?

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who, are born in the U.S.
or by naturalization, have become citizens.” http://www.constitutionday.com/. After much debate, the Constitutional Convention signed the actual document on this day in 1787. “Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators.” http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html.

The framers of The Constitution drafted the document to allow for its amendment. U. S Constitution, Article V, Section 1. Many are familiar with the first ten Amendments, which are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights, but now there are twenty seven Amendments to the Constitution. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

Also, the Constitution does not give citizens rights and liberties, but rather guarantees them. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_q_and_a.html.

The Constitution of the United States is imperative to all citizens because it is the supreme law of the land.  U. S Constitution, Article VI, cl. 2. The full transcript of The Constitution of the United States can be found here: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

Happy Constitution Day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Contested or Uncontested Divorce?



I recently received the following email from a concerned grandfather who, like many, paid for a complicated divorce when it may not have been necessary:

“The case began when my daughter and grand kids arrived at my home leaving her husband in another state. They had no assets and the reason left no option but divorce. He was a stay at home dad and pleaded ‘no money’ to help with legal or other expenses but agreed the divorce was necessary. He soon moved to Atlanta with the help of his parents. My daughter quickly started a new job.

I contacted Christine but was referred to a high profile attorney and paid the firm $5,000 to begin the process then stepped aside and let all bills be mailed to my daughter who had moved to her new residence.  I gave them no specifications or budget. Soon I was hearing about interviews and negotiations. I learned he had to sign an agreement or go to court. So in my mind, they were preparing a divorce to his specifications. My daughter delivered the bills to me for an additional $6000 and no agreement was signed or written.

I called to pay the bill set a budget for completion. I told them my daughter needed a minimum divorce nothing else.

The agreement was prepared but the husband found some items that exceeded the minimum and red lined the agreement. The revised agreement cost an additional $900. He signed and it was almost over except for the expense of delivering this to the judge.”

When parties agree to the division of all assets and debts, as well child custody and visitation, an uncontested divorce may be the answer. This grandfather funded a contested divorce when an uncontested divorce may have been the answer. The Law Office of Christine M Bechtold offers flat fee rates for uncontested divorce for parties as an alternative to the high expenses this grandfather faced. Additionally, if your divorce is contested, I will not bill against your retainer unless you are fully aware of the fees. Contact the office today at 770.466.2700 or Christine@Bechtold-Law.com to schedule your free initial consultation.