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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

The rise in shared parenting

Georgia fathers may be at a disadvantage in getting custody of their children in a divorce. In more than 80 percent of cases around the country, mothers get physical custody. However, fathers may want to push for shared parenting. This is an arrangement in which the child spends approximately the same amount of time with each parent, and it is growing in popularity.

The increase in shared parenting is bolstered by research showing that children benefit from these arrangements. It tends to lower children's stress and give them a sense of security. Several states have passed laws that encourage shared parenting, and in Sweden and Australia, it has become commonplace.

Child support modification based on a change in income

A Georgia non-custodial parent who has a job change that results in a lower income may need to change the amount of child support paid. This is called a child support modification. A parent can go through the court system to apply for a child support modification, and the court will decide whether the income change merits a reduction of the payment amount.

Parents may also make an agreement between themselves about lowering the child support. However, if a legal child support agreement is in place, it is still necessary to have the change approved by a judge. A judge will usually approve it as long as it does not violate state guidelines. A parent should not delay in taking the legal steps to get the agreement modified because the changes are not retroactive. The parent will continue to owe the same amount until the court grants the modification.

How to handle a car loan in a divorce

As part of a divorce settlement, a person may be ordered to pay some or all marital debts. This may mean that a Georgia resident is required to make car loan payments even if his or her name isn't on the account. However, if a person's name is not on the account, there is no need to make payments absent a court order.

It is important for anyone who has a debt in their name to make payments regardless of what a divorce decree may say. While an individual may be held in contempt for failing to make payments as ordered, only the borrower's credit is impacted if payments aren't made. In many cases, an individual doesn't have to worry about paying debts that are incurred before the marriage. However, a judge may still require whoever is in the best financial position to pay that debt to do so.

How parents might reach an agreement about child support

Georgia parents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about child support. It is possible for parents to negotiate their own child support agreement as long as the agreement they make is consistent with state law. The written agreement is usually submitted to a judge so that it can become legally binding. The judge will review the agreement and make sure that both parents understand its contents.

A child support agreement should have three elements. It must specify how much support will be paid, when it will be paid, and for how long it will be paid. Parents might reach an agreement about child support through informal negotiations. In some cases their respective attorneys will merely review the resulting document, while on others the negotiations may be primarily carried out by the attorneys.

3 financial mistakes to avoid during divorce

Navigating a divorce can be extremely complicated. This is especially true if you have to deal with issues such as custody and high-value property division. If you do not take appropriate steps to take care of your financial interests, you could find yourself with less than you need. When you are starting over after a marriage, doing so in a secure economic position can reduce the stress that comes with a divorce.

If you are considering divorce and you and your husband have accumulated some high-value assets during the course of your marriage, it is time to take steps to protect yourself. In addition to seeking advice from accounting and finance professionals, you should also talk with an experienced divorce attorney in the Alpharetta area as soon as possible. In order to protect your assets, avoid the following three financial mistakes people make during a divorce.

Helping children adjust to divorce

When Georgia parents decide to get a divorce, they are often concerned about how their children will be affected. Whether it is amicable or acrimonious, parents understand that kids can be bewildered, frustrated and angry as a result of parents splitting up. Experts agree that parents play a major role in helping their children adjust to this significant change.

When parents decide that separation is the right thing to do, children should be informed of what is going to happen and future living arrangements, such as one parent leaving the household, should be explained.

Financial steps to take in a divorce

Georgia couples who are getting a divorce might wonder what financial steps should be taken to prepare for it. People should not make any major financial changes or decisions during the process. This includes not changing beneficiary designations or wills. Bank accounts should not be used in ways that are significantly different. If a couple shares a joint account, they might be able to reach an agreement about how they will manage the money including paying for the divorce.

However, people should be prepared for the possibility that a spouse may be resistant to cooperating and sharing financial information. This could require legal action to get the information released.

Getting alimony after a divorce

Georgia residents who are going through a divorce might wonder whether they can get alimony from their spouse. In some cases, a person may request alimony on a temporary basis while the divorce is in progress. If it is possible to prove in court that the person requesting alimony deserted their spouse or committed adultery, they cannot receive it.

Once the divorce is over, if alimony is granted, it might be temporary or permanent. A person who remarries can no longer receive alimony.

How nesting may ease children's adjustment to a divorce

Georgia parents who are ending their marriage might be considering joint custody. This is a growing trend with divorced parents as studies increasingly show that children fare better when they spend a significant amount of time with each parent. This builds a stronger relationship between parent and child, but it also means that children's lives are disrupted as they must move back and forth between their parents' homes. As a result, some parents are trying an arrangement called nesting.

With nesting, the children remain in the family home while the parents move in and out. Parents might have their own places, or they might share a place like one couple who rented an apartment near their home. There are some disadvantages with the arrangement including a potential lack of privacy and the possibility of conflict over chores and shopping. However, nesting may also provide children with much-needed stability at a vulnerable time.

Dividing retirement accounts in a divorce requires help

Getting divorced can be a difficult process, especially if you and your former spouse don't agree on critical issues. Many times, child custody and visitation are contentious. You may not agree about who gets the kids on certain holidays or how to arrange vacations. Asset division can be just as complicated and frustrating. The more assets you have accumulated during your marriage, the harder the process of asset division can become. You and your former spouse probably won't agree about who gets what and how to divide the assets fairly, which can lead to a protracted divorce process.

Georgia is an equitable division state. The courts try to ensure that the division of all marital assets is fair and even between both partners. That doesn't inherently mean a 50/50 split of assets. The courts will consider issues like child custody and earning potential as well.

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At Hecht Family Law we understand that this is not only a very trying time for you, but that you want to get what you feel you deserve during the divorce process. We will always keep your end goal in mind.

Ready to rest easy tonight? Take a moment to contact Hecht Family Law. We offer free phone consultations, or you could send us an email to discuss your family law matter today.

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