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Brian E. Daughdrill

Brian Daughdrill’s Answers

436 total


  • HOW CAN I GET A DIVORCE WHEN I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE MY SPOUSE IS?

    WE SEPARATED ON 10/10/ 2013 FOR HABITUAL DRUG ABUSE. I PRINTED DIVORCE PAPERS OF LINE AN HE REFUSED TO SIGN. HE WAS RECENTLY EVICTED FROM THE HOME. FOR THE PAST MONTH I HAVE NOT HAD ANY CONTACT WITH HIM AND HAVE NO CLUE WHERE HE IS.

    Brian’s Answer

    Assuming you mean 10.10.12, you may still have the right to bring the action in the county wherein you and he resided together and serve him by publication. There are many factors that go into determining which county has jurisdiction. You don't indicate whether you have children which is also something the court looks at. A family law attorney may be able to secure a skip-trace on your husband to determine where he is and, based on additional facts about how long you had lived at this adress, etc., tell you which county would be appropriate for filing.

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  • Final Judgment and Decree and Separation Agreement question

    We recently got custody of my husband's son. The new decree was in a different county other than the final decree when they were 1st divorced. This new decree says who has custody and child support and then says all other provision of the Final ...

    Brian’s Answer

    It isn't clear if what you are describing as a "separation agreement" is a settlement agreement. If the divorce was done via settlement (versus a trial) and there is a settlement agreement, that is typically incorporated into the Final Decree and becomes an order of the Court (thus the terms of the settlement agreement become enforceable by an action for contempt). You appear to be saying that there was a petition to modify custody which resulted in an order modifying custody and awarding it to your husband. That is not part of the divorce decree per se but it may modify some of the terms that may have been set out in the settlement agreement/final decree. If the modification judgment (the new one) says that everything in the original decree not expressly modified therein remains in full force an effect, and it the modification judgment is silent about insurance, it would appear that the original provision would govern; however, that needs to be carefully analyzed by someone with experience in family law before you take any action on that provision.

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  • Landlord problem what can be done?

    if a landlord gives us trouble because there is something that needs to be fixed can rent be withheld? is there somewhere they can be reported and what are our rights as a tenant?

    Brian’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The answer to all Landlord/Tenant questions starts with a review of the lease. What is the LL's obligation with respect to repair. Georgia has an implied warranty of inhabitability which puts the obligation to repair on the LL in the absence of language to the contrary in the lease and there are limits as to what the LL can shift to the Tenant. If the LL fails to make repairs that he is contractually obligated to make, he is in "breach" of the lease and you have legal remedies. If you intend to effect the repairs yourself and deduct the repairs from rent, you need to make sure you provide the LL the notice required in the lease, including notice of your intent to deduct the repair amount. LL may then seek to dispossess you and you need to keep very accurate records of the notice and the receipts and evidence of payment of everything else. Of course, if at any point in this you separately are in default, the LL has the right to proceed with dispossessing you. You cannot typically withhold ALL of the rent (unless the cost of repair exceeds the rent) because there is "some value" to the property, even if it needs repair. If the property is utterly worthless because it has been rendered completely uninhabitable (and this is a ridiculously hard standard to meet), you would have to move out and raise constructive eviction as your defense if the LL sues you.

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  • Im da dad of three small children wit a lady & we are not marry. & I want shared custdy of them. We live in Atlant. How

    Da mom & I broke up. We just had a newborn. She have stopped me & da children from seein eachother. Just because shes mad wit me. I've been in their life & now she have stopped dat out of maddness.

    Brian’s Answer

    To have legal rights to the children, you have to legitimate them, which is a formal legal process. As part of the process, you will establish/resolve a visitation schedule, a child support obligation and other decision making issues. You do not have to have been married to have legal rights to your children but you do have to formally legitimate them. There is no shortcut for this. It can be an amicable event because the mom may welcome some certainty (and some child support) so don't think that just because it is "litigation" that it has to be bad. A family lawyer can help you with the process and give you an idea of what to expect.

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  • I am in a middle of a divorce. I am hurting for money. no assets had been settle yet. If I sell my furniture and give him 1/2 of

    the proceeds, would I get in trouble with the courts? We had a date set to go to arbitration in a few weeks.

    Brian’s Answer

    Typically, there is a standing order that goes into effect when either party files for divorce which prohibits selling "marital" assets except in the ordinary course. If he has an attorney, they may be able to bless this because it can be done by agreement of the parties. It might also be worth your time to request a temporary hearing if there are child support or temporary alimony issues because you should not be left penniless as you go through the divorce. Fulton County has ADR (alternative dispute resolution) which is very inexpensive and the sooner that you can go through that, the sooner you may have this resolved. It is worth your time (and money) to have counsel review your matter to advise you on what you have a reasonable expectation of receiving so you don't sell yourself short.

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  • What rights does a stepfather have regarding his wife's minor child from a prior marriage?

    I am a stepfather to a 4 year old girl. I am married to her mother and the 4 year old is from my wife's prior marriage. The child's biological father has not given up his rights and has joint legal custody. (My wife has joint legal custody with...

    Brian’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Strictly speaking, you as a step dad (welcome to the club) have no "legal" rights regarding the child. You can't make decisions for them, you can't exercise medical decision making authority, etc. Doing so will put you in conflict (obviously) with her dad. If your wife has final decision making authority on medical issues, she can give you (in writing) authority that the doctor may accept or Dr. may require conference with mom. As to pick up, unless the agreement specifies that the child is to be picked up in person by the parent, I have never seen a judge say that the parent whose visitation time is starting can't send someone to pick up. This can, however, be a source of friction with the other parent and it can be REALLY hard on you if you drive there and get to have the scene in front of the 4 year old because the father refuses to let the child go. Start with the agreement and make sure you and your wife fully understand who has what rights and then discuss how to handle it and then discuss with father, too. A family therapist or a family lawyer with experience can help you "script" the conversation so that it remains positive and productive.

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  • I am having conflicts with Xmas holiday schedule. Plan states,First week of Xmas vacation, including Xmas Day till 25th Dec 2pm

    This is what my parenting plans holiday schedule says: During even numbered years (2008, 2010, etc.), the Custodial Parent shall have the minor child(ren) on the holidays delineated below: >> First week of Christmas vacation, including Christma...

    Brian’s Answer

    To provide meaningful analysis of your schedule, the exact language is needed and what is also important is the language describing the "second" period of the vacation. In recent years schools have gone longer and closer to Christmas and it is starting to create problems in older visitation schedules. In some instances, because the schedule describes the second period as running from Christmas to New Years (for instance), you, as the custodian and the first weeker, would get from the 24th to the 25th and then from New Years through the 7th (based on what you put above). It all depends on your language in your final decree. Your decree may also provide that you and your ex can agree on an alternative schedule in which case, he or she should be willing to discuss it because next year it may flip around and bite them. Obviously, if the parents can be cooperative, that is the best solution. An hour of an attorney's time would be able to give you significant insight into how to interpret the agreement.

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  • I filed a motion for new divorce trial a month ago. What happens now? What is the process?

    I filed an extraordinary motion for new trial due to the court's staff assisting my ex husband during the divorce. What happens now and what are the next steps to get to another trial?

    Brian’s Answer

    It isn't clear whether you filed a motion to set aside the judgment or for, as you described, a "new trial" and whether you had a trial to begin with as opposed to submitting a final decree and a settlement. You also don't indicate what the staff did to assist your ex husband and whether that in any way influenced the outcome of the case. Typically, when you file a motion, there is a period of time where the other side has to file a response and then the judge rules on it. Unfortunately (you have not identified the issue you are raising), you are also burning through your time to file an appeal (if you have not already). Because of the complexity of what you are attempting, you really do need legal counsel at least to review what you have done and tell you what deadlines, etc., you are facing.

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  • I have no lease lived in a apt 4 months now she wont allow me entry or allow me to get my personal things. i have mail there

    i rented the upstairs room from a lady who has lost her mind. I paid rent for the past 4 months have no lease and now she has refused me entry and will not even allow me to get my things out of the house. I have paid rent every month but the polic...

    Brian’s Answer

    While it may be correct that you have no written lease, the law does not require a month-to-month (periodic) tenancy to be in writing to enforceable. Copies of your receipts or checks showing monthly payment is sufficient to show the existence of the tenancy. Unfortunately, because police are not lawyers or judges, they avoid making the call and simply refer it to the courts. There is a cause of action for wrongful dispossession (it is a tort) and a breach of contract related to the obligation to give notice before termination, formally demand possession with a date certain and time for you to remove your belongings, etc. There isn't an answer that doesn't involve using the courts that won't similarly subject you to claims (such as if you effect self-help and just went on the property against her authorization).

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  • Can a homeowner's association own land in Georgia and be sued?

    I own a piece of property in Fulton county bordered by a major road on one side and a side street on the other. The city will not allow a way out of the property onto the main street side (they only allow a way in) and the only way out is on the s...

    Brian’s Answer

    Yes, a HOA can own land and frequently does as a common area. Yes, they are or should be a corporate entity and can be sued. You should be able to find them on the secretary of state's web site as far as their registered agent for service. It is likely that the strip was created expressly to bloc access to an adjacent piece of property to the road their developer created.

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