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Carrollton Family Law Blog

Helping families through changes after divorces

A divorce is a terminal event. It brings a marriage to its legal end and allows the two parties who were once joined together to move forward in life as single individuals.

Life continues after divorce for Georgia residents who choose to use the legal process, and sometimes the paths that their lives take require them to revisit the decisions they made when they ended their marriages.

How are alimony awards determined?

Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is a payment made from one former spouse to the other to help balance any economic disadvantage caused by divorce. Traditionally, this meant ex-wives who worked in the home during the marriage would have time to transition to a career outside of the home. However, both men and women now seek alimony.

Georgia recognizes both temporary alimony and permanent alimony. Temporary alimony is more commonly awarded. Temporary alimony is usually awarded to help one former spouse to transition from being married to being single. However, permanent alimony is awarded in cases when one former spouse probably will not otherwise be able to financially support himself or herself.

Divorce has had an evolving history in the United States

Divorce is a common legal issue that affects many Georgia families each year. From households across the state and in every type of neighborhood, individuals decide that it is a better option to live apart than it is to continue to live with their spouses. However, divorce has been viewed differently at different periods of time in the country. While it is now an acceptable option for those who wish to pursue it, it was once a stigmatized practice.

In centuries past couples often opted to separate instead officially and legally end their unions. There were less than one divorce per thousand marriages, though over time that statistic changed. The rise of women in the workforce during World War I and World War II advanced the idea that women could exist on their own without the financial power of men.

What happens to shared debt during a divorce?

A divorce will almost inevitably involve dividing up property. When it comes time to settle the division of a couple's property during a divorce, the parties often focus on who will take possession of high value items such as homes, cars, and jewelry. They may squabble over how financial accounts should be handled and whether certain items of property are marital or separate.

Most will also struggle with the process of deciding how to pay off their shared debts once they are no longer joined by marriage. Like assets, debts can be owned by both of the parties to a divorce. For example, if a husband and wife share a credit card account and build up a substantial balance on it, they may each be liable for the balance's repayment even if they are no longer married. To this end, they may decide during the settlement of their property how and who may be responsible for managing the repayment of the obligation.

Methods of establishing paternity

Paternity is an important legal concept in the realm of family law. While it is a straightforward process to determine a child's mother based on the child's birth, determining their father can be a less obvious endeavor. In Georgia there are different ways that a man may be proven to be the father of a child and establish his paternity over that child.

If a man is married to a woman when she becomes pregnant with a child, or if a man marries a pregnant woman before she gives birth, under the law the man may be presumed to be the child's father. However, if a man is not married to a woman, he may need to find a different manner of establishing paternity over his child.

Legal advocates for fair property and debt division outcomes

Dividing up martial property pursuant to a Georgia divorce can be a difficult process. Individuals may struggle to say goodbye to items they own with their soon-to-be exes due to sentimental connections or because of anger over losing out at benefiting from those items.

While in some cases couples are able to work out their own property settlements without the interventions of the courts, in other situations judges must make the tough decisions over how items of property are assigned to the parties to ending marriages.

Can parents change a child custody plan?

Child custody orders and agreements are intended to serve the best interests of the children who are subject to their terms. While in some cases Georgia parents may be able to create sound parenting plans that withstand the test of time and meet their children's needs long into the future, in other cases child custody agreements and orders may become unworkable due to changes in circumstance experienced by the parties.

A change in the lifestyle of a parent may necessitate a child custody modification. If, for example, a parent is required to move away from their home for their job and doing so will limit the amount of time that they can spend with their child, their custody plan may need to be modified to ensure that they have a continuing relationship with their kid.

Parallel parenting is a good option after high conflict divorce

Shared parenting with your ex can be a stressful prospect, especially after a high conflict divorce. If there is lingering hostility and the two of you are not on speaking terms, parallel parenting might be a good solution. Parallel parenting is shared parenting with no direct communication between the two parents–all communication is done indirectly.

Since there is no direct communication, it’s a way to put the needs of your kids first by shielding them–and yourself–from potential conflict and animosity. Parallel parenting allows parents to disengage from each other and break the patterns of ineffective communication that may have carried over from the marriage.

Why paternity can be important in a family law case

Becoming a parent is a huge transition for any Carrollton resident. Even when an individual finds out about their pending pregnancy early on in the process and does everything that they can to ready their home and self for the arrival of their baby, they can never fully know what will be in store once they deliver.

Finding out that one is a parent near a baby's delivery or even after a child is born can be a shocking and even difficult development in a man's life.

How do I modify a child support order?

In Georgia, a parent may be required to pay child support to their children if they are not the primary caretakers of those youths. Child support in Georgia is established by statute and, generally, parents pay a portion of their income to their kids when they are subject to child support orders. If children have specific needs, a parent may be asked to pay more than what is established by statute to ensure that their children's requirements are met.

However, the unfortunate circumstance of a parent not paying their mandatory child support occurs with frequency in Georgia and throughout the rest of the nation. While a parent who chooses to avoid their payments because they do not want to make them may be pursued through child support enforcement efforts, a parent who does not pay because they cannot may have other options.

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