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Shawn Patrick Hammond
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Shawn Hammond’s Answers

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  • I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and am in need of a divorce.

    My last duty assignment was at Fort Gordon and my ex lives in Augusta. I still have 6 months left over here. How can I get a divorce as soon as possible? We have only been married for 1 year and as soon as I left she moved in with another guy a...

    Shawn’s Answer

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    Let's take these things in order:
    1. Assuming you are in the Army since Fort Gordon is an Army base, you are first governed by AR 608-99 which is the Army's support of dependents regulation. In short, it states that in the absence of a court order or written agreement you are required to pay, either directly or with payments in kind, an amount that equals your BAH.
    2. You do not have to wait until you redeploy to get started on the process. As long as you have internet connection and a printer, all of the documents you need to complete can be sent to you through e-mails.
    3. Additionally, depending on who the judge is, you may be able to appear via Skype or telephone for your initial hearing which can be as early as 30 days from filing your complaint.
    4. In regards to your ex causing troubles with your command, this is an easy fix since most judges will issue a restraining order preventing such. However, to keep your command happy, you need to show proof that you are providing for your dependents. Do this via an allotment or automatic bank payments.

    There is a lot more I can tell you about this. I would suggest you call my office for further advice or an attorney with specific military divorce experience who can assist you with this matter. Try to find a lawyer who knows that COLA is not something you drink. :)

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  • My son sold a televission he recieved from a friend to a pawn shop. Can he also get charged with burglary?

    The state is charging him with burglary because he sold this television to a pawn shop that was part of a undercover investigation. Prior to the discovery of the television beeing sold he and two of his friends were being investigated for the crim...

    Shawn’s Answer

    Your son can be charged as a party to a crime. Please feel free to contact my office to discuss the matter further. (706) 860-2222.

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  • Child support and drinking problem

    My ex husband drinks beer everyday and my girls have asked him to stop! They have to go on his visitations but there are time they don't want to go! He usually only pays his child support when he wants the kids and sometimes not even then! He owes...

    Shawn’s Answer

    I think that you have a very good case that almost any experienced family law attorney will be able to knock out of the park.

    However, the best way to handle this case is to hire an attorney to file for a change of custody and a motion for contempt on child support. If you don't have the money now, and you cannot borrow the money from anyone, you should wait until you receive your tax return and hire an attorney then.

    As a stop gap measure, if there is inappropriate conduct happening in front of your children that you can prove, you could file a child neglect complaint with your local family and children services and ask for a safety plan which restricts visitation. This is a rather sloppy way to get things done and the Judge will probably give you hell for doing it but if it is your only option then you need to do what you you need to do to protect your children.

    Additionally, in regards to the child support, you should register your child support order with your local child support recovery office and request that they file for an income deduction order and establish a repayment on the arrears.

    Nevertheless, I cannot state it otherwise, you need to hire an attorney.

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  • Can a women be sued for having and affair with a married man in the state of Georgia?

    My husband had a three year affair with a 23 year old and now they have a 7 month old baby. I have took all I can, I'm filing for a Divorce. She has been sending me picturesof this child, can to my house, calling me alot.

    Shawn’s Answer

    Georgia no longer allows alienation of affection law suits. However, you can consider the following:

    1. You have to tell this person to stop calling you and to have no contact with you. If she persists file a police report and file a pre warrant application harassment or stalking;

    2. Save and preserve all of the evidence regarding your husband's adultery. Then make your claim for alimony. When you file for your divorce, make sure that the only grounds your lawyer cites is adultery.

    3. Lastly, just because you can't file a case for alienation of affection does not mean that you can't file a suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress based upon her stalking and her other criminal acts.

    Above all else, you need to hire an experienced attorney to explore all of your options in addition to the ones I have listed here.

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  • My son will be 18 next month, works 36 hrs, expelled from highschool & not enrolled in any school. I'm in GA, can't I stop C/S?

    The support is payrole deducted. The C/S order was issued in GA, and I am not in arrears.

    Shawn’s Answer

    In most Georgia child support orders child support is paid as follows:

    "until the child reaches eighteen years of age, dies, marries or otherwise becomes emancipated; provided that, if a child reaches eighteen years of age before completing secondary school, the obligations to pay child support, maintain health insurance, and pay uninsured health care expenses for the child shall continue as long as the child is enrolled in and attending secondary school on a fulltime basis, but shall terminate when the child reaches twenty years of age."

    In your case, you are stating that your son is 18 years of age, working and not in school. Under these circumstances your son should be considered emancipated.

    However, because there is an income deduction order, you may want to hire an attorney to file a complaint to stop the support payments. In many cases, the income withholdings continue until the employer receives some official notice to stop.

    In many cases where the income deductions continue after age 18, it is extremely difficult to get the money back from the custodial parent.

    As such, consult with and hire an attorney as quickly as possible.

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  • Can I move out of the country (military pcs) with my daughter?

    My ex is refusing to sign the passport consent for our 6 year old to move with me and my new husband (active duty Army) to Germany for 3 year tour. Do I need his consent if our decree states I have exclusive right to determine her primary residenc...

    Shawn’s Answer

    This issue is becoming a common problem in military child custody cases. I have handled many of these cases since the laws changed a few years ago.

    What we normally do is go to court and modify custody to allow you the sole and exclusive authority to execute any and all passport and visa applications necessary to relocate and to travel overseas. Once you have this court order, there is nothing your ex can do to stop you. You just take your order to the passport office on post and they will do the rest.

    If you have lived in Arizona for more than six months, Arizona would have jurisdiction under the UCCJEA to file for this change of custody.

    Consult with an experienced attorney who can get this done for you.

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  • If a mediator wrote that the ex-spouse is entitled to 50% of "Gross" military pay do I have to provide a clarifying order?

    Married for 16 years (for military purposes). 80% disabled. Mediator wrote that exspouse is entitled to 50% of gross military pay. Since it is written wrong DFAS will not acknowledge it. Can I get away with not providing a clarifying order? USFSPA...

    Shawn’s Answer

    At some point you are actually going to have to break down and pay an attorney.

    However, to answer your question, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act states that your wife can only be awarded a portion of your disposable / taxable military retirement. She cannot be awarded any portion of your disability.

    In my opinion, the mediator committed an act of legal malpractice by writing a division of military retirement that is not only incomprehensible but unenforceable. The DFAS website has published guidelines that specifically states what language to use in military retirement cases. As such, you should request that the mediator be responsible for preparing a clarifying order to correct the problem. Additionally, a petition should be filed in the jurisdiction where the divorce was granted to address the problem.

    What you also need to realize is that your wife is still entitled to that 50% share of your retirement that has not been converted to disability. In order to prevent an order of contempt from the court and the payment of her attorney fees, you need to begin making direct payments to her for her share of your retirement and pay her all amounts due to her from the date you began receiving benefits.

    Above all else, hire an attorney to fix this problem.

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  • My neighbors goats keep coming on to my property, and they are tearing up my fence. is there a law regarding this?

    the goats are also tearing up my fence, and eating my rose bushes. i have aske her over 7 time to keep them out of my yard. now her cow is pushing my fence down. i have horses i have to keep in my fence and her children are rigging my fence so the...

    Shawn’s Answer

    In answering your question, my first thought was to look on-line for some good goat meat recipes. So, do an internet search yourself and see what you can find. After a year in Afghanistan with the military, I realized that there are a lot of good ways to cook goat and if done properly can be rather tasty.

    Then, of course, I figure it is important to let you know that you cannot harm these animals just because they come onto your property. More than likely, you could end up in jail. So here is what you do.

    First of all, give your neighbors notice in writing via certified mail telling them that their animals are coming onto your property and causing damage. Give them details of your previous efforts to solve the problem and relate the damages to date. Inform them that they will be responsible for any and all property damage. You will need to keep a copy of the letter and the return mail receipt.

    Then, every time the goats come onto your property, call your local sheriff's department and animal control. Most states have laws about animals not being under the owner's control. Additionally, most counties have animal control ordinances which include fines and the eventual destruction of the animals. Eventually, your neighbors will get tired of getting animal control citations and having their animals taken to the local animal shelter.

    You also need to document all property damage caused by both the animals and the children next door. The best way to do this is to take before and after pictures of the fences and plants.

    If there has been property damage and you have evidence of such, you then need to get a written valuation of the damages. Normally, this is done by an expert who repairs or replaces the damaged items. Then you can file a lawsuit in small claims court.

    However, above all else, you need to consult with and hire a local attorney to discuss your rights and options further.

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  • What is a good format for a military clemency letter?

    I'm getting clemency letters for someone in my unit who just got in trouble for sexual assault. I really feel like he got found guilty over a formality. What is a good format to encourage people to write clemency letters with? Would it be most ef...

    Shawn’s Answer

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    The format is not so important as the content. The letters should state how long the writer has known the defendant, how they know him and important aspects of his character. The letters should also state the defendant's contributions to the community and how he will contribute if not in jail.

    The ability to maintain employment is important as well as the court may lessen the sentence with an increased fine.

    The letter should be typed or neatly written with the information contained therein organized in a logical manner. Normally, the letter should be no longer than one page but should be at least a few paragraphs. Have some detail but not too much.

    I would suggest that you contact the defendant or his attorney to find out if there are any specific statements they want referenced in your letter.

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  • Can a military spouse sue the Army? Who would I sue?

    I am currently hospitalized. I am unable see & walk; my husband is active duty army & we have 2 children 3 & 5 years old. Our 3 year old son is autistic & we have exhausted all outside options for care for them & I am not being released b/c of the...

    Shawn’s Answer

    So, as I understand your question, your husband is deployed, you have health issues that are preventing you from taking care of your children and you want your husband home.

    Under these circumstances you have no claim to sue.

    However, there are some issues that you may want to consider. First of all, if you have children that you cannot care for and your husband is deployed, then his commander may consider sending him home early from deployment. The problem with this is that it may trigger a discharge from the military for your husband not having a valid family care plan. Naturally, this would mean the loss of all pay and medical benefits.

    There are other sources of support available to you. You may want to contact the family advocacy office on post, the post chaplain's office, your unit family readiness group and the social work services through your health care provider. This is also a time when the extended family may need to step up and help out as well.

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