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Woodrow Wilson Ware

Woodrow Ware’s Answers

143 total


  • Can a child appeal an agreement between her parents forcing her to move from Georgia to New York?

    Child is moving from Georgia to New York due to one parent without representation agreeing under duress to allow the other parent to have custody during the school year. She does not wish to leave her friends and school. She has already starte...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    Believe it or not, this is a very interesting question in light of some fairly recent case law from the last few years. Though traditionally the answer would be no, the answer now is not entirely clear. Did the child have a guardian ad litem appointed during the case? How old is the child? A very good argument could be made that she would have the right to appeal through her guardian ad litem, if she had one. So then the question becomes why did she not have one in this case? It might have been because of her age or any other number of factors that are not clear in your post.

    Depending on the facts, this is a case that might capture the imagination and interest of a lot of attorneys!

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  • My husband owns our home. How can he leave everything to me in a will.

    My husband owns our home. How can he leave everything to me in a will.

    Woodrow’s Answer

    As my colleagues have pointed out, this can be easily accomplished through a simple will or through a new property deed. Neither approach should be terribly expensive for you, and it will certainly be easier if you allow an attorney to assist you with it.

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  • I was served with a TPO. My wife and I are going through a divorce. The allegations are all false!

    She claims I have pulled a gun and knife on her, stalking her, tried to force her to have sex, attempted suicide, curse at the kids (not my kids, her niece and nephew). We live in the same house, she sleeps in a separate bedroom down the hall, yet...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    Believe it or not, it is quite common for the TPO process to be abused. It is often used as an opening salvo in the divorce battle with the purpose of putting one spouse at a serious disadvantage (in this case, literally putting you out of your own home).

    It sounds like what has happened to this point is that an ex parte order has been issued. "Ex parte" in this context means that the judge has only heard from one side. The allegations will almost always be assumed to be true, and the ex parte order will be issued if the allegations, taken as true, would merit the issuance of the order.

    However, there should be what is called a "ten-day" hearing scheduled in which you have the opportunity to give your side of the story. That is where the true battle is fought, and where you need the services of an attorney. Based on your location, you are probably in either Newton or Walton County Superior Court. All five judges in that circuit are veterans of the TPO process and know how it can be abused.

    If the process has been abused as you indicate, you have a very good opportunity to turn the tide by demonstrating as much to the Court. Although you state that you are "going through a divorce," I can't tell whether a divorce action has already been filed or not. If not, the judge is likely to tell you that a divorce action is the proper context for sorting out the issues you have with your soon-to-be ex.

    Good luck to you!

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  • Married for 6 yrs, we separated he had an affair and now has a child and lives with the mother, but lies about all, says not tru

    We have been separated for 2.5 yrs, We decided to reconcile 9-2014, then I find out he is living with another woman and has a child. He denies all and continues to have a relationship with me. I have confronted her she denies all. A family member ...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    I would advise you to proceed VERY carefully before throwing a whole lot of good money after bad with a protracted legal battle. Unless your husband is quite wealthy, your quest for alimony is likely to end in failure. At least in theory, alimony is not about punishing the bad spouse. It is supposed to be about a spouse who honestly needs it getting some support from the spouse who can honestly afford to pay it. If you've managed to support yourself for 2.5 years without his assistance, the court may see your need as relatively low. If he has a child and, again, is not quite wealthy, the court may see his ability to support you as limited because he has an obligation to support his child first and foremost.

    Plus, alimony as a general concept is quickly falling out of favor in modern society, particularly where there are no minor children involved (I gather from your post that you and your husband do NOT have minor children).

    Although it is probably not what you want to hear, you are probably best off trying to let go of your anger as best you can, divorcing this "gentleman" as quickly and painlessly as possible, and moving your life into an era of bigger and brighter things.

    Good luck to you!

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  • Would a custody modification or the original divorce that was mediated regarding college be the enforceable document.

    My son is 18 now and i paid dor three years child support after he chose to give full custody to his dad . The modification didnr include college but the original divorce did state we would divide college is the college portion enforceable since i...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    I would agree with my colleagues. However, you really need to get an attorney to look at your paperwork with you. As Mr. Hughes pointed out, post-majority support obligations are not modifiable, but there is even an exception to this general rule! If the parties specifically agreed that this term would be modifiable by a court in the language of the agreement, then apparently it would be. See Katz v. Katz, 258 Ga. 184 (1988). A sharp attorney might try to build in a modification provision into an agreement in which post-majority support is an item. An even sharper attorney would build in a one-way modification provision that would only benefit his or her client's position.

    Once again, the lesson here is that there is no substitute to having an attorney actually sit down with you and review your agreements and orders to make sure that you understand completely what your rights and obligations are.

    Good luck to you!

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  • Can I file for contempt of court myself without child support enforcement every month?

    My child support case is with child support enforcement and I'm needing to know if I'm allowed to file for contempt once a month by myself. My ex has finally paid only 500 last month which is the first time in 2 yrs and that's only because he was ...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    Yes, the law specifically allows you to proceed in concert with or independent of the Division of Child Support Services ("DCSS"). Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 290-7-1-.18 (2011). See also O.C.G.A. 19-11-22. This is true whether you choose to use an attorney in your private case or not. However, be sure to promptly inform your DCSS case manager of any notable developments in your private case, including without limitation if you collect any money from the obligor in that case. If you do not, DCSS may close their case against the obligor for noncooperation. Good luck!

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  • I have taken my ex-boyfriend to court for back child support. After 1 month, he's missed a payment : (

    I have taken my ex-boyfriend to court for back child support. They changed the judgement for him to pay me an extra $100 a month for 18 months. He paid the first month. Now he's missed another payment. I called the court house for the proce...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    Apply for services with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). They can assist you in collecting child support from your ex and in taking him back to court, if necessary. Good luck!

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  • How can i find a lawyer (pro bono) serving my county? (Walton co ga)

    I recently got a sales charge for sched II and need to find a lawyer who will provide services pro bono or one i can pay some now and then the rest later...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    In addition to avvo.com, you should also check the Walton County Bar Association's website at www.waltoncountybar.org. Click the "Find a Lawyer" tab, and select "Criminal" as the area of practice. This will provide you with several excellent local attorneys who have the skills you need. Start making calls and see if you can find someone willing to take your case under the payment terms that you can afford. I agree with my colleague; you should not expect a private attorney to work for you for free.

    If you are completely unable to afford an attorney, the Public Defender's Office actually has some very good (though overworked) attorneys. Do not underestimate the help that they can provide you if you have the right attitude. Good luck!

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  • What form would I use to modify a Contempt order I filed against my ex?

    I filed a contempt of court order on my ex who has not paid Alimony for 5 yrs. Order was from Florida and registered in Georgia when Child support at the time was not paid. When I filed the Motion using pro se forms I apparently neglected to "Stak...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    The other attorney may have said you failed to "state a claim," which was his or her way of saying you have no case. It is also a defense that will probably be stated in the answer. You will rarely see an answer to any kind of complaint that does not assert that the plaintiff has "failed to state a claim." That should tell you something.

    As my colleague suggested, you should see an attorney about this immediately. Often, a successful contempt filed because of a defendant's failure to pay alimony will also garner an award of attorney's fees, which would hopefully leave you out of pocket nothing for hiring the attorney.

    Good luck to you!

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  • Should I get an attorney for a misdemeanor charge for too many unexcused absences?

    My husband and I were taken to jail after a hearing at the courthouse. We are not people that have ever been in any trouble at all. We live in Georgia. We have had a really rough year between our honor roll student not wanting to go to school du...

    Woodrow’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, you should absolutely get an attorney. It sounds as though you and your husband, as parents, have been accused of violating the mandatory attendance laws (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1). If convicted, you could face up to a $100.00 fine, community service, and imprisonment of up to 30 days for EACH day that your child is absent without excuse in excess of five.

    However, a certain protocol must be followed by the school system before you can become subject to these penalties. Your attorney should first examine whether this protocol was followed correctly. If it was not, your charges may be dropped.

    Also, if your child was the one at fault here (i.e. he or she was the one who refused to go to school despite your command and reasonable efforts to make him or her do so), then this should be handled as a truancy case against your child, not a criminal case against you and your husband.

    See an attorney who has experience with mandatory attendance laws and truancy issues immediately.

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