Divorce, Divorce Costs, and the "Good Old Days!"

[Photo from geenvillecountyva.gov] Let's face it. Not everything was good about the "good old days!" But some things about getting a divorce were arguably better "way back when" than they are today. Frankly, in my opinion, as an Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyer, we all should take a few lessons from our grandparents about how lawsuits were handled "back in the day!" Here are just a couple of examples of how we could improve divorce procedures. I got some of these ideas from a conversation I recently had with a kind, elderly gentleman who got a divorce over 65 years ago! 1. REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DIVORCE PAPERWORK: The increase in the amount and number of court documents and paperwork was one of the things I discussed with this elderly gentleman. Ideally, in my opinion, we should reduce the amount of paperwork in Georgia divorces. For example, this kind, elderly gentleman told me that, when he got a divorce back in the 1940's, the judge signed a divorce decree which consisted of only one page! Isn't that remarkable? As a Georgia divorce attorney, I fully recognize that we cannot (and should not) eliminate all divorce documents which are part of a typical modern divorce, including parenting plans, child support worksheets, and the child support addenda. Some change is good. But it would also be nice if some of the tangential divorce documents and forms could be streamlined, or eliminated. 2. REDUCE THE COSTS OF A GEORGIA DIVORCE: Additionally, it would be nice if the costs of a Georgia divorce could be reduced. The elderly gentleman told me that, when he got a divorce 65 years ago, it cost only $35.00! Isn't that incredible? Now, we all know that $35.00 was still a substantial amount back then, but the costs of going to court have easily out-stripped inflation. One way to reduce the costs of a divorce would be for the Georgia General Assembly to reduce the amount of the court filing fee. Last year, (as I have complained about before in this blog), our legislature increased the filing fee for all civil lawsuits, including divorces, from $80.00 to a whopping $205.00! In my opinion, this filing fee increase was outrageous and unfair to Georgians who can no longer afford justice in this state. What do you think? Were the "good old days" really all that good? What changes would you recommend?

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