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Lack of communication and trust are two major reasons celebrities file for divorce. These two issues spell out a marriage doomed for failure.It seems many A-list celebrities and reality TV personalities cannot keep the knot tied and suddenly call it quits, leaving the public to wonder whether or not there's a happily ever after for any Hollywood stars. Who could forget Britney Spears and Jason Alexander's famous 55-hour marriage in Las Vegas or the shocking split between Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, Atlanta's own Porsha Williams and Kordell Stewart and more recently, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin?

Celebrity Divorce Facts and Figures

The repercussions of celebrity divorces are incredible. Settlements for a celebrity divorce can cost millions of dollars in addition to the division of assets including:

  • Cars
  • Jewelry and;
  • Vacation homes.

Some of the most expensive celebrity divorce settlements include:

  • Lionel and Diane Richie with an estimated settlement of $20 million
  • Michael and Diandra Douglas with an estimated settlement of $45 million
  • Paul McCartney and Heather Mills with an estimated settlement of $49 million
  • Michael and Juanita Jordan with an estimated settlement of $168 million

Many people view celebrity divorces as completely different from an average divorce. The biggest difference is that during this difficult time, the media works hard to air out celebrities' dirty laundry for the world to see.

Celebrities Are Just Like Us

Lack of communication and trust are two major reasons celebrities file for divorce. These two issues spell out a marriage doomed for failure. From a celebrity's perspective, media can easily be held accountable for divorce. If a spouse is gullible and believes everything he or she reads in the tabloids and on social media, they may be influenced to contemplate divorce. For 10 reasons why marriages end in divorce, click here to read an earlier blog.

If gossip, public media, and social media are affecting a current or looming divorce, be sure to openly communicate this information to your divorce attorney immediately. Your divorce attorney may use this information to support your legal case and this could possible affect the outcome of your divorce.

Contact the Divorce & Family Law Attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

If you need help understanding the Georgia divorce process, your legal options, and the possible outcomes of your divorce, the Atlanta divorce attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor are ready to help you. We will use the right mix of compassion and candor to help you set realistic expectations and achieve your personal and family goals.

With four convenient offices located in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta, we have been proudly serving the Atlanta metropolitan area since 1988.

To schedule a consultation today, call us at 678-824-1158 or click here to complete a contact form.


According to the New York Times, more Americans 50 and older are divorced than widowed.According to the New York Times, more Americans 50 and older are divorced than widowed. A half a century ago, 2.8% of Americans age 50 and older were divorced. By 2000, 11.8% were. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 15.4% were divorced, another 2.1% separated, and 13.5% widowed.

Based on those statistics, the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990. That's a significant increase since half the married U.S. population is older than 50.

Why are Couples 50 & Older Divorcing?

Family history professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College in Washington State attributes the trend to the fact that many boomers are on their second and third marriages, making them more prone to divorce.

Coontz also suggests that people who live an active and healthy lifestyle are more likely to divorce their spouse. Coontz commented in the New York Times article, "If you are healthy at age 65, you can expect another healthy 20 years. With the kids gone, it seems more burdensome to stay in a bad relationship, or one that has gone stale."

What are the Implications of Divorcing Older in Life?

Divorce among older Americans can have serious implications including:
• Placing a larger burden on children and family members;
• Financials including investments, social security, survivor and tax benefits and;
• Emotional impact at an older age and inability to move forward in life.
How to Handle a 'Gray Divorce'
Finalizing your divorce can turn ugly in an extended battle over financials and child custody and child support (especially if children under the age of 18 are involved). It is best to contact an experienced divorce AND family law attorney. Your attorney will have your best interests in mind and you will know what to expect for your divorce case as well as your legal options and rights.

Contact Atlanta Divorce Attorneys Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

The experienced divorce attorneys of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will work closely with you to understand your needs, review your rights and options, consider creative alternatives, and prepare a sound legal strategy for your divorce and family law case.

To schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today, call (678) 905-8492 or completing our simple contact form.

Source: Divorce After 50 Grows More Common - NYTimes.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/fashion/weddings/divorce-after-50-grows-more-common.html


If you live in Atlanta, our team of divorce and family law attorneys cordially invites you to our seminar: Introduction to Divorce - What to Expect on February 11, 2014 at our Alpharetta officeIf you live in Atlanta, our team of divorce and family law attorneys cordially invites you to our seminar at our Alpharetta office on Wednesday, February 19th, 7:30 AM AND Tuesday, February 25th at 7:30 AM: Introduction to Divorce - What to Expect.

During this one-hour interactive breakfast seminar, you will gain a basic understanding of Georgia divorce options, expectations and responsibilities - for today and in the future. You will also learn about how to prepare for the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce.

What You Need To Know 

Our Associate Attorney, Randy Sabatini, will be our lead speaker and will cover a number of relevant divorce topics including:

  • Making the best decision for you and your family - questions to ask yourself and others
  • Understanding your options - what to do and plan, regardless of your decision
  • Common myths and misconceptions - the process, finances, child custody, and support
  • Court alternatives - including mediation and collaborative law
  • Coping with the stress and emotions - how to react, recover, and rebuild
  • Other resources and support available to you - counseling, support groups, etc.

After the seminar, our attorneys will be available to answer your general or personal questions. This is a small group environment, so attendance is limited to 10. 

Here are the event details:

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 AND Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 AM
Location: Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor - Alpharetta Office (near NorthPoint Mall) 

11175 Cicero Drive, Building 200, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Speaker: Randy Sabatini, Sr. Attorney
Cost: Complimentary 

Register for Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor’s Intro to Divorce Seminar Today

For more information or to reserve your space, please contact Stacy Johnson by phone at (770) 308-5376 or email stacy@stearns-law.com.

Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will confirm that no conflicts exist with current clients or among seminar attendees. Your information will be kept confidential. 


In Oberlin’s book, she outlines her top legal mistakes made in divorce, and in this entry, we’d like to share with you five common legal mistakes. In Loriann Hoff Oberlin’s “Surviving Separation and Divorce,” Oberlin shares her story of taking back her life after divorce and the journey she had to go through from rebuilding her self-esteem, developing an active social life, to dealing with lawyers and the court system.

Unless you have experience dealing with the legal system, you may find the process to be very complicated and costly. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, we serve as your advocates, walking you through every step of the Georgia divorce process and helping you understand your options and potential outcomes of your divorce case. 

In Oberlin’s book, she outlines her top legal mistakes made in divorce, and in this entry, we’d like to share with you five common legal mistakes. 

Crucial Mistakes That Can Be Made During Divorce

1. Allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Don’t let your emotions take control of your divorce. Be proactive rather than reactive during your divorce. You will risk sabotaging your case if you are too anxious, jump to conclusions, or don’t think things through during divorce proceedings.

2. Forgetting details, documents, and facts. This goes back to a past entry from our Associate Attorney, Jenni Brown. In a divorce case, preparing a timeline is crucial for both you and your attorney. A timeline provides evidence and reliable documentation of every detail and fact. This will help your case rather than hinder it. 

3. Withholding information from your attorney. Some people don’t trust their attorney, even though they’re there to represent you and have your best interests in mind. When you meet with an attorney, see if they can fully answer your questions and you feel comfortable working with them. After all, they’re going to be with you every step of your legal journey. If you want your attorney to do a great job, you need to be transparent and tell them everything. 

4. Being your attorney’s worst enemy and hindering your case. If you start pestering your attorney and contacting them multiple times a day, you will hinder your case and alienate the one person who is there to help you. Be proactive by asking your attorney how you can best help them. 

5. Having unrealistic expectations. Many people believe that if they’re the victim of their divorce that they deserve everything and their ex deserves nothing at all. That’s just not the case. When children, assets, finances, and property are in dispute, demands must be made in a reasonable manner. Remember, Georgia is an equitable division state, and marital property is divided equitably or fairly to both parties, not just one of the parties.

Contact Our Experienced Atlanta Divorce Attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

You don’t need to go through the divorce process alone. Our team of experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will help you discuss your case, understand the Georgia divorce process, your options and rights, and help you through this process. 

With four offices in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta, we proudly service our clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. 

Call us at 678-905-8492 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation with our team today.


If you are planning to file for a Georgia divorce, keep in mind these five tips to help set you on the right path in 2014 and move forward with your new lifeThe New Year is about making a fresh start and turning your life around. Traditionally, New Year’s resolutions meant getting in shape, quitting smoking, or looking for a new career. For others, the New Year can be a much more dramatic and life-changing decision, such as divorce. 

Believe it or not, the month of January results in the most amount of divorces and it is likely to increase in the years ahead. Couples divorcing in the new year put on a brave face through the holidays for the sake of family. The new year provides an opportunity for a clean slate and positive move away from a negative relationship.

What You Need To Do To Plan For Your Georgia Divorce

If you are planning to file for a Georgia divorce, keep in mind these five tips to help set you on the right path in 2014 and move forward with your new life. 

1. Prepare a timeline. You will have to tell your story to your family law attorney. Preparing a timeline will ensure you have all the facts written down, lower the pressure and stress when you explain your issues to your attorney, and you and your attorney are prepared ahead of time for court.

2. Gather all necessary financial information. Gather all the necessary financial and legal documents including bank statements, tax forms, and any prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. 

3. Open your own accounts. Now that you’re on your own, you will need to establish your own accounts. This does not mean by solely opening a bank account, but also email accounts, bills, and social accounts that you and your ex shared. 

4. Be alert during the divorce process. It is not uncommon for your soon-to-be ex to hide assets, shift money, and seek vengeance as you part ways. Try to be civil and cooperative during the process. Open communication and compromise will be key to amicably settling divorce. As always, keep your eyes and ears open for any suspicious activity and unusual behavior from your ex. 

5. Build your divorce team. While you have your circle of family members and close friends, start building a professional team that will be on your side during your divorce. Your professional divorce team can include your attorney, colleagues, counselors, and even your doctor. 

While you build your divorce team, collaborative law may be another option to help you with your Georgia divorce. Click here to learn more about collaborative law and how an entire team of professionals can settle all aspects of divorce by a written agreement. In addition, they will help determine what’s best for a couple divorcing with children. 

Contact The Atlanta Divorce & Family Law Attorneys Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

Remember, it is very important to discuss your case and questions with an experienced divorce and family law attorney. 

The Atlanta divorce attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will help you understand the Georgia divorce process, your legal options, and possible outcomes of your divorce. 

We have four convenient offices throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan area including Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta. To schedule a consultation today, call us at (678) 905-8492 or complete a contact form by clicking here.


The holidays can be a very emotional and stressful time after a recent divorce. The first holiday season after a divorce or separation can be difficult. Now that you’re not with your ex, the holiday parties and events you have been attending for years have suddenly changed. Going through the holidays alone requires good planning, a good attitude, and realistic expectations. Through the eyes and first hand experiences of our clients, here is a short list of tips to help you have a happy and enjoyable holiday season.  

5 Tips From SMP Clients to Survive the Holiday After Divorce

1. Make plans with family and friends. Make plans with close friends and loved ones to avoid spending time at home alone. Make sure that you don’t have free time where you may end up thinking about your ex;

2. Avoid sentimental places. Avoid visiting places where you have holiday memories with your ex;

3. Keep your children’s best interests in mind. If you and your ex have kids, plan for them to spend time with both you and your ex. Ensuring that they get quality time with both parents over the holidays has a positive effect on your children’s well being and the level of cooperation with your ex;

4. Take a vacation. Get away from all the people and places that remind you of your ex and your previous life. Taking a vacation will give you the opportunity to relax and forget about all the drama and difficulty that came with your divorce and separation; 

5. Count your blessings. Always remember that things could be worse. No matter how bad the divorce was, you still have something to be thankful for. Be thankful for what you have and take a positive outlook on your situation and the holidays. Be optimistic, you never know what the holiday and New Year may bring to you. 

Don’t Go Through Divorce Alone: Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Are Here For You 

If you or someone you know is contemplating or going through divorce and needs help with understanding the Georgia divorce process and options, schedule a consultation with one of our Atlanta divorce attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor. Our team of family law attorneys will help you discuss your situation and guide you through this difficult time. With four offices in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta, we proudly serve our clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. 

Call us at 678-905-8492 or complete our simple contact form to schedule a consultation today.


A timeline allows the client to express the issues they have and their importance.  Recently, our associate attorney, Jenni Brown, discussed the importance of preparing a timeline of events before a consultation or immediately after retaining a lawyer. While there are many reasons to prepare a timeline, Jenni discusses six benefits and tips of having a timeline of your case:

1. Express all issues. A timeline allows the client to express the issues they have and their importance. 

2. Prepare a list of concerns. Compiling a list of concerns in advance ensures that no issue is missed. 

3. The attorney knows every detail. It gives the attorney a full understanding of the client's story (how they got to where they are, what events have occurred over the years, what issues need to be addressed immediately). In addition, this allows the attorney to see the big picture and focus on what is important to the client and present those concerns and facts to the judge.

4. Ensures transparency is evident. A client's credibility is always under scrutiny. The more transparent a client can be about the timeline of events, the more likely important facts will not be misrepresented. An attorney will use your timeline for strategy. Stick to nothing but the facts and try to leave out the “he said, she said.” The more factual, the better. 

5. Lowers your attorney’s fees. A timeline can cut costs down if the client is prepared and organized. Having a client prepare a timeline pushes them to be organized and truly think about what’s important to them.

6. Easy for clients to prepare. A client can prepare their timeline by simply typing it out in Microsoft Word or Excel, or writing it in a notebook. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, after you submit your timeline, it is saved to your electronic file. 

Let the Family Law Attorneys of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Help You with Your Case Today

If you or someone you know seeks legal help for anything from a divorce to DUI, the attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor can help. The Atlanta family law attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will help you review your case, discuss your options and rights, and help guide you through this process. With four offices in Dunwoody, Buckhead, Alpharetta, and Marietta, we proudly serve our clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. 

To schedule a consultation today, call us at 678-905-8492 or complete our contact form.


If you need help with child support or child custody, contact the family law attorneys of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor todayIn mid-September, our Associate Attorney, Jonathan Brezel, worked on a child custody case that is rarely seen at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor. Typically, we deal with parents’ or grandparents’ visitation rights. This is a rare situation where we moved under the Georgia code for a third party to obtain custody from a parent who is determined to be unfit to care for their child or children. 

Jonathan filed a third-party custody case representing an aunt and uncle against the biological mother of two young children. The aunt and uncle have been caring for the children since the mother lost custody of them during a juvenile court proceeding back in 2009. Typically, when a parent loses custody in a juvenile court case, the juvenile courts like to reunite the child(ren) with their biological parent(s), but in this case, the unfit mother, who suffered from drug issues, failed to complete the reunification plan implemented by the juvenile court. Juvenile court orders typically last for two years, and although the uncle and aunt had received a second order in 2011 extending their temporary guardianship over the children, Jonathan’s clients desired a more permanent solution that would grant them and the children comfort that the minor children would not be suddenly and unjustly removed from their home.

There was particular concern with the youngest child, who suffers from emotional and psychological issues. Every time the youngest child saw the biological mother, the child would experience anxiety and withdrawal.

The Outcome of this Unique Child Custody Case

At court Jonathan successfully reached an agreement where the uncle and aunt would retain physical custody and also negotiated a provision that unsupervised visits would not be possible until the children reach the age 18. In addition, Jonathan was able to implement a plan where the children’s biological mother would be required to attend individual counseling sessions before she would be allowed to exercise visitation with the youngest child. When the mother completed a sufficient number of sessions, her counselor would meet with the children’s therapist. Once the child’s therapist consented, the parties will attend family counseling sessions in order to ease the mother back into the youngest child’s life.  Finally when the parties had attended a satisfactory number of counseling sessions the mother would be allowed to visit her children under the supervision of the aunt and uncle every other Sunday. 

It’s also worth noting that the mother is required to provide the aunt and uncle with child support for their continued to care of the children. 

For now, the children’s fear about being returned their biological mother has been eliminated. According to Georgia law, the aunt and uncle are now the children’s legal physical custodians. 

Contact Our Atlanta Family Law Attorneys Today

The family law and child support attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor have extensive experience representing the best interests of children in family law matters. Our team serves as an advocate for families throughout the Atlanta Metro Area. We will help you discuss your situation and understand your options. To schedule a consultation today, call us at 678-905-8492 or complete our simple contact form.


Our divorce attorneys came up with a short list of 3 ways to effectively communicate with your ex post divorce.  You and your spouse are no longer happy together. You get a divorce and harsh accusations and dramatic battles are made during the process. You assumed your divorce was over, but with children involved, the battle has just begun. Depending on your situation, your children may still have a relationship with the other parent. That means you must interact with your ex, a tough prospect after all the drama that happened during the divorce process. Our divorce attorneys came up with a short list of 3 ways to effectively communicate with your ex post divorce. 

How to Communicate With Your Ex After Divorce

1. Remain calm.  As we discussed in a previous blog entry, ‘3 Golden Rules for Staying Calm During a Divorce,' remaining calm during the entire divorce process is crucial to both the outcome of your case, your well-being, and your ability to move on with your life. Be realistic.  You may not be able to stay calm.  So bring someone with you who can help you.  Try to communicate over email or text so that you can think about what you are going to say before you say it.  Of course, be sure to have someone else review what you have written to ensure you take the sarcasm and cynicism out.  

2. Forget the petty drama.  Making the decision to get a divorce can be frustrating and traumatic. Unfortunately, the divorce itself can cause drama. If you continue to create and feed off that drama, it will never end. For the sake of everyone’s happiness, leave the drama behind. 

3. Remember what is really important.  Remember that you made the decision to get divorced because you believed it was the best decision for you and your family. It’s important to know that your kids will still have a relationship with your ex. Having open communication and establishing a civil relationship will be crucial to the well-being of your kids and moving forward in life. 

Speak with the Atlanta Divorce & Family Law Attorneys @ Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

If you or someone you know has gone through a divorce and is having a difficult time communicating with their ex, schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney. You don’t need to go through the divorce process alone. Our team of family law attorneys will help you discuss your situation and guide you through this difficult time. With three offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Marietta, we proudly serve our clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. 

To schedule a consultation today, call us at 678-905-8492 or complete our simple contact form.


dreamstime xs 10117143Divorce can get downright ugly if you or your spouse seeks revenge or is inclined to sabotage the other during the divorce process. If that’s the case, immediately contact an experienced divorce attorney to discuss your case. An attorney will offer options including collaborative divorce and mediation, and it’s just best to ensure you have full representation. Knowing you have someone on your side and your attorney is looking out for your best interest will give you peace of mind. 

In a previous blog entry , our Associate Attorney, Jenni Brown shared with us three common dirty divorce threats your spouse may make during the divorce process. However, as former “As Seen On TV’s” Billy Mays infamously said “But wait, there’s more!” Believe it or not, there are more threats your spouse may make. 

Consider the following and understand the legal advice Jenni offers on what spouses can do to combat these threats from their soon-to-be ex. 

Three More Dirty Divorce Threats

1. "Since you have had an affair I will gain custody and you won't see the kids again!"

Georgia courts will determine custody on what the court finds to be in the best interest of the minor children. An extramarital affair does not equate to being a “bad” parent, however the courts will consider adultery when considering whether or not to grant alimony. 

2. “I can’t get a job, because if I do I won’t be entitled to any alimony.” or “You are not entitled to alimony because you can get a job.”

Alimony is based on a multitude of factors, the main factor being one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. The fact that both parties are working does not preclude the other party from receiving alimony. The court will consider the length of the parties’ marriage, the contribution that both parties have made to the marriage, the earning potential of each party, the age and health of both parties along with numerous other factors. Contact an attorney at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor to further discuss your rights and obligations related to alimony payments.

3. “I will take custody from you and you won’t ever see the kids again!” 

Georgia court recognizes the importance of both parents being involved in their children's lives. In Georgia, there are two different types of custody: legal and physical custody.  The court will determine what is in the children’s best interests when deciding a parenting plan that will be most beneficial for the minor children. The court has the option of awarding joint physical custody which would allow both parents equal time with the children, primary and secondary physical custody which would allow one parent the majority of the time with the minor children while allowing the other parent visitation with the minor children or sole physical custody which will allow one parent 100% of the time with the minor children. It is rare that a Georgia court will allow sole legal custody to either parent, typically it must be shown that the visiting parent would be detrimental to the children’s best interest in order to justify sole legal custody. The attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor can assist you in determining the best interests of the minor children

Talk To The Divorce Attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the misplaced threats mentioned above or need help with your pending divorce, our team of divorce attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor are here to help. Our Atlanta divorce attorneys will discuss your case, help you understand the divorce process, and your options and rights. With three offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Marietta, we proudly service our clients and their families throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. To schedule a consultation today, call 678-905-8492 or complete our contact form here

 


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