Client Spotlight: A Chamblee Custody Case Turns a Corner

In the five years after his divorce, Frank and his ex-wife had come to a kind of equilibrium. Both had settled in the same neighborhood, and their daughter split her time between households while attending a school she loved.

Both parents found new partners, and Frank’s daughter was thriving at her school, getting good grades and enjoying after-school activities with her friends. As divorces go, this one seemed to have a happy ending.

All that changed when Frank’s wife moved out of town and took their daughter with her.

divorce-split family

It came as a surprise to Frank. “My ex-wife didn’t tell me she was planning the move,” he says. “It caused a lot of heartache.”

But as hard as it was on Frank, the move was tougher on his daughter. Now ten years old, she was removed from a school she loved and separated from her friends. She didn’t like her new school and wanted to move back with Frank full-time.

If Frank’s daughter was older, moving back with her dad might have been as easy as making her preferences known. In Georgia, children can choose which parent to live with at the age of 14.

But it’s not as easy for younger children. Kids as young as 11 can have their wishes considered in custody court, but other factors come into play as well based on what the judge believes is in the child’s best interests.

At 10 years old, Frank’s daughter wasn’t yet old enough to choose. And Frank’s wife made it clear she did not intend to honor her daughter’s wishes. “She refused to have a conversation about it. She told me I could go to court if I didn’t like it,” Frank says.

So he did.

father-daughter

Frank initially hired a different attorney.  But his attorney let the process drag on for months while the bills added up. Meanwhile, his daughter was in a new, unfamiliar school, far from her beloved friends and teachers and she was miserable.

“It was hard to see my daughter suffer,” Frank says. As a father, he felt the situation was intolerable. But his lawyer didn’t seem to see the urgency.

Frank initially met Robyn of Hoffer & Webb through mutual friends — they lived in the same area of Chamblee. When he learned that she had expertise in family law, he asked if she’d be willing to talk to him about his custody issue. It didn’t take long for him to decide to hire her.

One of the requirements his case needed to move forward was the appointment of a guardian ad litem — an impartial third party who could judge whether living full-time with Frank was in his daughter’s best interests.

Frank’s ex-wife and her attorney had been stonewalling on that step for a long time, first claiming it wasn’t necessary, and then refusing to pay for it. These tactics had delayed Frank’s case for more than a year.

Robyn immediately stepped in to get a guardian ad litem appointed so the case could move forward.

Frank’s case is ongoing. As of this writing, the guardian ad litem will deliver a report within the month, and Frank is hoping to be awarded full custody.

But if things go differently, his next option is for his case to go to court — and if it does, he feels very confident that Robyn will achieve the best outcome possible.

One of Frank’s biggest challenges was trusting an attorney a second time after he felt his case had been mishandled. But he’s glad he did.

“When you’re in a situation like mine, it’s easy to be taken advantage of,” says Frank. “Robyn is very genuine. She cares and wants what’s best for my daughter, she’s very invested in the outcome, and she wants to make sure she’s doing everything she can.”

Work with a Knowledgeable Child Custody Attorney in Chamblee

If you’re facing a difficult custody battle, the situation can feel hopeless. But there is reason for hope.

Our law firm has an outstanding record of success handling challenging custody cases and achieving the best outcome for our clients and their children. We fight hard for the best interests of both client and child.

Get in touch at (404) 260-6330 for a free, confidential consultation today.

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