Skip to main content
Adriana Arguelles de la Torriente

Adriana de la Torriente’s Answers

170 total

  • What chance do I have with an upcoming hearing for a family violence protective order?

    How will the judge determine my outcome if I have no proof of evidence on the plaintiff goading arguments and using our children against me?

    Adriana’s Answer

    I agree with the other posts that it is difficult. But keep in mind a few things.

    First, the case must be filed in the county where you reside. Not where the petitioner resides. Surprisingly, cases get tossed for this reason all the time. Make sure that the petition is filed in the right county.

    Second, the petitioner has the burden of showing that there has been an act of family violence and that without an order there may be future violence. Family violence is defined as 1) Any felony; or(2) Commission of offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass. O.C.G.A. § 19-13-1. Therefore, you should listen carefully during the petitioner's testimony to ensure that they are showing evidence of something that qualifies as family violence. Saying ugly things to the petitioner absent showing that they are threats of harm does not qualify as family violence.

    You should not offer your own testimony until after the petitioner has put up their case. I find it surprising how many respondents start talking and dig themselves into a hole when the petitioner has not met their burden.

    If the petitioner has continued to contact you after the ex-parte order has issued, I would certainly bring that to the court's attention. If they are frightened of you, then they should not be contacting you. Colleagues have had cases where the petitioner continues to text the respondent to meet up with her for trysts days after the ex-parte order. Clearly, if the person wants to have relations with the respondent they cannot be fearful of them.

    I STRONGLY encourage you to hire an attorney to represent you in this case. If the petitioner is successful, you could spend the next twelve months with very limited if any visitation with your children. The emotional ramifications to your children will be horrendous. Most attorneys charge between $1500 to $3000 to represent in a family violence case.

    Good luck!

    See question 
  • How do I get a court ordered DNA test?

    My child's father ran off to New Jersey before my daughter was born and some days he says he will get a DNA test to prove she's his and others he says no. I'm a single mom and don't have alot of money to spend to get DNA test but I need to so my c...

    Adriana’s Answer

    Yes. You can initiate a child support case through the Office of Child Support Services. They will then transfer the case to New Jersey. This will take a while. They will pay for the paternity test or at least provide a severely discounted rate.

    Another option is to have him go to a testing facility. I have pasted a link below for an American Association of Blood Bank approved DNA testing facility. You would want him to complete an in-person test because they will photograph the DNA donor that way you are assured that he is the one who was tested. Those tests run under $500.

    See question 
  • Divorce - emergency hearing on violation of the agreement

    I am taking a child on a vacation. I am obligated to provide the father with basic travel info. He is being difficult and wants more info, even thought I am not required to provide it. He says he will not sign the consent for the minor child to...

    Adriana’s Answer

    Depending on the county where your divorce is pending, you may require to provide notice to the other party if you are leaving the jurisdiction. This is usually found in the domestic standing order (some counties call it a mutual restraining order). Some counties do not have it and others allow the parties to travel outside of Georgia with a minor for a period of a few days such as Fulton. See the attached link. Other counties require the parties to get the consent of the other parent before traveling. Some counties bar travel.

    The DeKalb Standing Order states, "Each party is hereby enjoined and restrained from causing tor permitting the minor children of the parties to be removed from the jurisdiction of this Court." I've had judges interpret the jurisdiction as DeKalb County for the purposes of property despite arguing that it was the state of Georgia.

    Depending on the standing order (you didn't mention the county), you may need to have an emergency order to be allowed to travel without the other parent's consent. Emergency hearings are generally not for the purpose of travel although judges do grant them when there is a family member is gravely ill and a parent wants to take a child to visit the family member.

    I would strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney who practices frequently in the county where your divorce is pending. Those attorneys generally have a very good idea as to what a specific judge needs in order to have an emergency hearing placed on their calendar.

    See question 
  • I am located in Georgia and want to file a no-fault divorce.

    we verbally agreed upon the separation and I have moved out. I gave him a separation agreement that he said he would sign but he is purposely taking his time doing so. Can i still go through with the no-fault divorce without the signed agreement o...

    Adriana’s Answer

    I am assuming that by no-fault you mean that neither is at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. In Georgia, we call that irretrievably broken. To avoid going before a judge, you would need to have filed a case, have him served, and also have a separation agreement that addresses all issues (divorce, custody, child support, asset and debt division, alimony and attorney's fees).

    I strongly advise you to contact an attorney to file a case on your behalf and ensure that he is served properly. Once he is served he must file an answer within thirty days. I find that once a spouse gets a case filed and served, the other side becomes eager to resolve the case without judicial intervention.

    Please also recognize that just because you proceed under a "no-fault" it does not necessarily mean that the case will not be contested.

    See question 
  • My grandson will be 12 in November and wants to live with his Dad (my son). There is currently a custody and child support

    agreement in Cobb County where he lives when he's with his mother. Can my son file a domestication and modification in Fulton County to have transferred to his county. 770-235-6477

    Adriana’s Answer

    Your question did not clearly state who has custody of your grandson. It sounds like his mother has custody but your question said "where he lives when he's with his mother." Does he live with someone else in addition to your son? If mother has custody from a prior case and she still lives in Cobb, then Cobb County would be the proper venue for the petition.

    See question 
  • How/what is procedure to fire an attorney that has done almost "NOTHING" on a divorce case in 4 mos??

    I am assisting my daughter who is not being represented well, or protected. Retainer fee was $2,700 for a divorce case of only 3 years. Two children involved. Its rediculous the representation that she currently retained. she is young and easily ...

    Adriana’s Answer

    The attorney should provide your daughter with an invoice showing the money that has been used from the retainer. Most attorneys that I know invoice their clients each month so it should be easy for the attorney to provide that information. If your daughter chooses to fire her attorney, she has two options. First, she can ask the attorney to withdraw from her case. Second, she can hire a new attorney who will file a substitution of counsel thereby releasing her current attorney.

    See question 
  • Do I need to go back to PA to get a divorce

    My ex lives in PA and I now live in GA and have been for four years now

    Adriana’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague that you have not provided sufficient information. The other important question is: did you and your spouse ever live in Georgia together?

    See question 
  • How to deal w my atty for siding w/ husband's claims & allegations in divorce case then letting my TPO hearing get dismissed?

    The day b4 my TPO hearing, my atty informed me in text that he got my husband to consent to 12-mth protective order & told me NOT to appear in court the next day of hearing. Judge dismissed case bc all parties were not present. Judge requires all ...

    Adriana’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I strongly encourage you to hire a different attorney. Because the case is dismissed, he does not need to withdraw. However, there may be other remedies including filing a new case if the case was dismissed without prejudice. Before going down the path of filing a bar complaint, I would make sure that you are safe by getting a protective order.

    See question 
  • How do i get my husband to financially support our 2 children?

    My husband does not live with us anymore after multiple arrest for domestic violence and he refuses to pay any money to support the kids for rent, food, clothing etc. He tells me that because the kids don't want him around anymore hes not going t...

    Adriana’s Answer

    I would contact Atlanta Legal Aid. They may be able to represent you for free. You can also start the process of filing for divorce yourself and then asking for a temporary hearing to establish child support. I would strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney since you are dealing with an abuser and the parenting situation needs to be carefully addressed.

    See question 
  • I have been having problems with obtaining a passport for my child because it requires both parents signatures.

    Reading the forum I see that I already have sole custody of my 3-year-old child, but it does not feel like it because of little discrepancies like my passport dilemma. My child’s father lives out of state and has played no role in his life to a p...

    Adriana’s Answer

    You can file a case in Superior Court asking the court to grant you the authority to get a passport without the father's consent. You do not need to have his consent -- the Ansell case makes it clear that forced consent is not consent at all. The court does not have to give you sole custody in order to allow you to get a passport for your child.

    I would recommend speaking to an attorney and having them review Ansell v. Ansell, 328 Ga.App. 586, 759 S.E.2d 916 (2014) before filing a case.

    See question