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Alpharetta Georgia Family Law Blog

Mistakes people often make after a divorce

Divorce can be difficult, but don't make the whole process harder than it has to be. The way you respond to it defines what your future looks like. Even if your spouse ended a marriage that you did not want to end, you can bounce back and work toward a positive future. You just need to know what mistakes to avoid.

With that in mind, here are a few things people tend to do and how you can avoid them:

The top reasons people file for divorce

Divorce rates in Georgia and across the U.S. have been trending downward over the last few decades. However, when people do choose to end their marriage, it is usually attributed to one of several common factors.

The website INSIDER teamed up with the National Center for Biotechnology Information to discover the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. The researchers surveyed 31 women and 21 men who had taken part in a pre-marriage course called PREP, which stands for "prevention and relationship enhancement program", 14 years ago. They found that there were 11 common reasons that people filed for divorce.

5 things you should never do in your divorce

There are certain mistakes that people make during their divorce processes again and again. Of course, if you've been through a divorce in the past, there's less of a chance that you'll make these mistakes. The problem is that most people going through a divorce have never experienced it before so they're prone to committing some errors.

Here's what you should avoid doing at all costs if you're currently dissolving your marriage:

Child custody decisions and the best interests of the child

When parents in Georgia go through a divorce, they must negotiate child custody and visitation. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the next step might be going to court. The standard used by a judge to make a decision about child custody is the best interests of the child.

A judge considers several factors to make a decision about what is in the child's best interests. A parent's physical and mental health is important as is the parent's ability to provide for the child. This includes providing food, shelter and clothing as well as access to education and emotional support. A court is unlikely to approve a custody situation that will lead to significant upheaval. In general, the aim is to disrupt the child's routine as little as possible. The child's age is also a factor since a very young child may need more care than older children. The court will consider the child's relationship with both parents, and older children might have some say about the custody and visitation arrangement.

Studies say attractiveness, marriage stability related

When people in Georgia marry spouses who are significantly more or less attractive than they are, the marriage might be more likely to end in divorce. An article in "Psychology Today" reported that several studies have found that a roughly similar level of attractiveness between couples increases the likelihood that the marriage will last.

A study that examined online dating practices found that it was common for people to express interest in those who were more attractive than they were. However, people generally tend to gravitate toward relationships with people who are at similar levels of attractiveness. One study reported that women with less attractive partners are more likely to flirt with others and show less commitment to the relationship. Marriages in these types of mismatched pairings may end because the less attractive partner is jealous, according to some research.

When is it time to get a divorce?

Everyone has their own reasons to get a divorce. In some cases, you might not even have a clear reason at all. Perhaps you simply want to be a single person because you feel you were happier before you got married. Whatever your personal reasons are -- or whatever your spouse's personal reasons are -- chances are that one or several of the following reasons played a role in your marital breakdown:

Constant criticism: If one spouse is always criticizing the other spouse, it won't bode well for the marriage. In fact, criticism and disapproval is one of the primary reasons why couples decide to call it quits.

Managing divorce after the alimony tax rule changes

In 2019, alimony will be different for newly divorced couples in Georgia, at least when it comes to taxes. Going forward from Jan. 1, alimony payments will not be tax-deductible for the ex-spouse making payments. Also, the recipient will no longer have to list payments as taxable income. For couples not able to get their divorce in before the new rules take effect, it may still be possible to minimize financial burdens after a split.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers points out that alimony arrangements must be in a final divorce settlement or court order. This means that temporary agreements quickly prepared in an attempt to beat the tax change deadline won't legally hold up. However, there are other Tax Cuts and Jobs Act adjustments that could apply to newly divorced adults. For instance, the increased child tax credit may benefit the parent who gets custody of children.

Living conditions in Georgia can interfere with child custody

Each case is different, but when judges in the U.S. must make decisions regarding child custody and visitation disputes, they will often take into account a parent's living conditions. Children have certain essential rights, which need to be respected and attended to no matter who has custody or visitation rights.

One of the most important things any judge will want to know is if a child will be safe. For instance, if a parent lives in a neighborhood that is overrun with crime, a judge may consider the best interests of the child when determining whether a child can have overnight visits with a non-custodial parent.

What divorced spouses should review at the end of the year

Starting a brand new year can mean a lot for recently divorced individuals. The next 12 months could be the first full year without your spouse by their side. Some find it depressing, while others find it relieving as they enter their new phase in life. You could make resolutions to improve yourself physically or financially to start recovering from the separation, or you could go back to dating to see if your true soulmate is still out there.

There are several areas about your divorce that you should look over before the clock strikes midnight on December 31 regardless of how long it’s been since the finalization. New divorcees will have to begin adjusting to their post-separation conditions while older ones may have had something significant happen to them in the last year that could change the court’s orders on the matter. You can get a better sense of how your life will be going forward if you look at the categories individually.

The advantages of parallel parenting in high-conflict divorces

Divorcing Georgia couples may wonder how they can create a healthy environment for their children if they are unable to get along. A strong co-parenting relationship is the ideal situation, but this is not always possible. In some cases, parents simply have too much conflict to communicate and cooperate in the way that is necessary to successfully raise their kids together.

However, they can still share custody or allow the noncustodial parent visitation time by becoming parallel parents. The idea behind parallel parenting is to remove the possibility of conflict by having no direct contact between the parents. According to research, the most harmful aspect of a divorce is the conflict children witness between their parents, so parallel parenting allows them to eliminate this problem regardless of their feelings toward one another.

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