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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

The basic of child custody laws in Georgia

Dealing with child custody is often very complex and difficult. Now that you and your husband have decided to divorce, it is important to have an understanding of Georgia's child custody laws. Knowing what to expect can help you make the right decisions when negotiating a child custody agreement with your husband.

In order to limit conflicts, all states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA). The Act allows you to opt for joint custody and it recognizes grandparents' visitation rights. An Alpharetta family law attorney can help you navigate child custody issues during your divorce. Read further for an overview of Georgia's child custody laws.

Working together to make the divorce easier for the kids

Georgia parents who are going through the divorce process can become so wrapped up in the situation that they forget about how the changes to their family may be affecting their kids. However, there are certain things that parents can do to help ensure that the transition is easier for everyone involved.

Parents may be interested to learn that it often is not the actual divorce that has an impact on the children but the fighting that may occur. If it is at all possible, couples should pledge to co-parent as peacefully as possible. This means agreeing to not discuss the divorce in front of the kids and to not argue when the children are around. If the children want to talk about their fun adventures with the other parent, the parent should smile and act happy for them. Custody exchanges should occur quickly and with no sharp words being said.

The connection between child support and paternal involvement

A study has found that fathers who do not pay child support are also less likely to spend time with their children. Georgia fathers who are behind on support may also be less likely to provide their child with items like toys and food or to take part in activities such as helping them with homework.

The researchers identified a number of other commonalities among parents who had fallen behind on support. Fathers who did not pay support were more likely to have been incarcerated and worked fewer hours. They tended to have less education and might have more children from other relationships.

Making decisions about IVF embryos when getting a divorce

When a Georgia couple decides that it is time to start a family, they may turn to in vitro fertilization in order to conceive a biological child. However, the process can be emotionally draining on many couples, potentially becoming a factor in a split or a divorce. If this happens and the couple still has frozen embryos that were not implanted, they will have to make decisions about what they want to do.

Under the law, frozen embryos are considered to be personal property that belongs to both individuals. However, there is very little protection available for the embryos. When a couple first begins the IVF process, they usually are asked to sign a consent form that determines what they want to do with any embryos they create if they split up or if they die. This consent agreement, however, is often not enforceable in court.

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sara Kapfer divorcing

Georgia fans of Cuba Gooding Jr. might be interested in learning that the actor has filed for divorce. he and his wife met in high school and have been married for more than 20 years.

Gooding's wife, Sara Kapfer, filed for legal separation in 2014. Since that time, Gooding has told interviewers that the couple was attempting to work it out, but those efforts have apparently not been fruitful. In his petition, Gooding states that he should be ordered to pay spousal support. He wants to share custody with his wife of the couple's 10-year-old daughter. The actor is also asking that all of the earnings that he has made since the date of the couple's legal separation should be treated as his separately-owned property.

Child custody challenges during and after divorce

When parents end a relationship in Georgia, the child custody agreement could prove more difficult to create than other decisions about splitting financial assets. A parent who disagrees with the other parent's approach to child rearing might dislike the concept of sharing custody. The law, however, follows the idea that both parents should have access to their children unless circumstances threaten the best interests of the child.

During the divorce process, the parents will need to establish a visitation schedule that details when the children spend time with each parent. The agreement should contain specific guidance about where, when and how exchanges of children are to take place. In some cases, following this agreement might prove difficult for one or both parents, especially if upsetting issues like unpaid child support or other disagreements create tension.

How to protect electronic data during a divorce

Georgia residents who are considering or going through a divorce know that many of their information will be perused carefully by their spouse's divorce team as part of the process going forward. And as information is increasingly electronic, they need to be careful with the things about them that are posted. This includes social media accounts as well as emails and texts that they might have thought were private and would never be read by the public.

There are steps, however, that people can take to protect themselves and the treatment of their electronic information during the proceedings. The first thing a person considering or going through divorce should do is act as if every social media post, email or text can possibly be up for public consumption, making sure that there is no electronic information that can be used as leverage by the other side. Some people do this by deactivating their social media accounts during the process or by posting infrequently, and only very neutral things, on them.

Considerations for older people getting divorced

An increasing number of couples in Georgia and around the country are choosing to divorce after being married for decades. In 2014, people at or over age 50 were twice as likely to divorce as they were in 1990, and the number was even higher for people older than 65 years of age. When older people get divorced, there are certain things they need to consider that younger people may not have to deal with.

Figuring out how to separate the finances of couples who have been married for lengthy periods of time may be complex. Couples may need to determine how to divide retirement accounts, pensions, stock options and real estate holdings. They may also need to figure out how they will each be able to survive on their incomes alone. This may necessitate downsizing or figuring out alternative living arrangements such as getting roommates.

3 considerations of a military wife during a divorce

You stood faithfully by your spouse's side as he served in the military. Now, you find out that he filed for divorce. Whether this comes as a shock or was something you expected, there are some very important things for you to consider as you move through the divorce process.

The importance of child support

Some single parents in Georgia may struggle to support themselves and their children. This is where child support from the other parent becomes important, but one study indicates that child support is on the decline. In 2014, less than half of eligible parents had a child support agreement in place compared to 60 percent 10 years earlier.

With the number of children born out of wedlock appearing to level off at about 40 percent and most of those children remaining in single-parent households, it is important that parents have access to child support. Children whose parents receive child support tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better cognitive skills. This is linked to a number of factors, including children's access to resources and less overall stress for the custodial parent.

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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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