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Alpharetta Georgia Family Law Blog

Handling a divorce after a job loss

When one spouse loses a job during divorce proceedings in Georgia, financial decisions can become very complicated. The first thing the court will want to know is the cause of the job loss. Spouses who lose their job due to layoffs, meaning they are not at fault, will likely be treated favorably by the court. Spouses who get fired for negligence or incompetence may not get any relief in financial responsibilities from the court.

Spouses who lose their job need to be diligent when it comes to finding new employment in order to prove to the court that they are attempting to uphold their financial responsibilities. They should keep detailed records of their activities, including interviews, appointments and time spent networking or searching. This is not a time to go back to school or switch careers as the court will look down on parties who don't attempt to make the same earnings.

Tips for parenting teenagers after divorce

As many Georgia parents have experienced, parenting a teenager can be a delicate and complicated endeavor. Adolescence is a period for kids to figure out who they are, and that often comes with struggles with their parents. Dealing with a divorce on top of this can make parenting a teenager quite challenging. Having to co-parent with an ex-spouse can bring on further complications. However, there are things that parents can do together, even after divorce, to successfully parent their teenagers.

When parents are first negotiating child custody agreements, some of the challenges they will face parenting their teenagers might not be so obvious. That's why flexibility with the parenting plan is necessary to continue supporting and strengthening their relationship with their child. Teenagers are at a stage in their lives where they are building their own relationships outside the family and developing their own interests. All of these compete for the time outlined in the parenting plan. Following it strictly might lead to further tension with the children.

Will your spouse have a claim to part of the business in divorce?

You've invested years of your life and likely many thousands of dollars in the development of your own business. You have likely enjoyed the freedom of being your own boss and also the frustrations of being solely responsible for a new company.

Your hard work has afforded your family a good standard of living, but now you find yourself facing divorce. It is absolutely reasonable to worry about whether you will wind up splitting the business you have spent so long developing with your ex at the end of your marriage. There are a number of factors that will influence whether or not your ex shares in the ownership or assets from your business.

Divorce and insurance

Georgia residents who get a divorce should expect the process to be stressful and should prepare to deal with a range of practical, financial and emotional issues. However, it is important that they make sure to not disregard how important it is to keep their insurance in order and make any necessary coverage changes.

One important type of insurance that has to be addressed during a divorce is health insurance. In many situations, one spouse receives health coverage from the employer-sponsored health plan of the other higher-earning spouse. When a divorce occurs, the 1986 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows a spouse who is not earning income to extend the health insurance coverage via their ex-spouse's employer plan as long as three years after the divorce. However, this option can be expensive for the spouse who has to pay premiums.

How to ease the pain of telling your children about your divorce

Talking to your spouse about the divorce process is difficult enough. When you have the responsibility of doing the same with your children, you're sure to find yourself facing even more challenges.

Since the well-being of your children should be a top priority, you'll want to follow these tips when discussing the divorce process:

  • Have a plan: Don't go into this conversation blind. Instead, have a plan of what you want to say. You may not be able to stick to your script entirely, but it will at least give you a clear idea of the direction you want to take.
  • Prepare to answer questions: Regardless of how old your children are, they're likely to have questions. Where will I live? Will I get to see mommy/daddy as much? Will you get back together in the future?
  • Schedule the right time and place: Since this is likely to be an emotional conversation, block out a good portion of your schedule so you're not in a rush. Also, choose an appropriate place for the conversation, such as the comfort of your home.
  • Don't tell lies or stretch the truth: It's hard to say something to your children that may make them feel sad, scared or angry, but lying or stretching the truth will only make things worse in the long run. Stick to the facts.
  • Have the conversation with your spouse: Even though you're on the path to divorce, ask your spouse if they want to have this conversation with you. It's much easier to help your children through the process when you show that everyone is on the same page.

Stay-at-home parents may be concerned about divorce

Many mothers in Georgia stay home with their children after becoming parents, even if they had earlier been pursuing professional careers. In most cases, this is a joint decision for a married couple. According to studies, 25% of mothers and 7% of fathers across the country step up to play the role of stay-at-home parent. For many families, having a parent stay at home is viewed as the most beneficial way to raise children.

For other families, one parent staying home may actually be more affordable than paying for extensive daycare, especially if they have multiple children or the parent's job was not very lucrative. However, 10% of highly educated American mothers with a master's degree or higher also choose to stay home after giving birth. This often means stepping away from a high-powered career. Of course, having a stay-at-home parent in the family could provide potential benefits for the working spouse as well as the children. Working spouses can concentrate on their jobs, work long hours or seek promotions because they know that the stay-at-home spouse will be available to handle parenting duties.

After-divorce tasks

When couples divorce in Georgia, there are often a lot of details to be worked out. These might include the division of assets and debts, the sale of the family home and deciding whether one spouse will receive alimony. If the couple has children, the situation can become more complex.

Most couples manage to negotiate these matters. However, this does not mean that the work of getting a divorce is finished on the day that a court issues the decree. It is critical for both parties to tie up loose ends before moving on with their lives.

Co-parenting and divorce

Parents in Georgia who are divorced or in the process of getting a divorce and who are in a co-parenting relationship should take care to not involve their children in the divorce. The children may already have a sense that they are stuck in the middle of two parties in conflict, which can encourage them to assume responsibilities that they are too young to assume and that can stunt their emotional and mental development. To avoid this, parents should refrain from using their children as tools of communication with the other parent. The children should also be allowed to speak freely about the other household and their experiences.

Another important element of successful co-parenting is not confusing the children or giving them false hope. They should not be encouraged to believe that their parents will get back together in the future. This will result in the children holding on to the unrealistic fantasy.

Can divorcing spouses share an attorney?

You and your spouse opt to get divorced, and it's far more casual than you ever anticipated. Your spouse agrees that it is the best move for both of you personally and for your family. They back the idea. They agree that they will work with you to divide assets fairly, split up parenting time and everything else.

You even feel like you can stay friends after the divorce. You may not want to stay married, but that doesn't mean you hate each other. You still had some good years together. You love your kids. You want to work together as co-parents, and you plan to.

Divorce and the family business: A complicated relationship

Want to make divorce even more complicated than it usually is? Just try getting divorced when you and your spouse own a business together.

In many ways, splitting up with a business partner, even if the two of you are not related in any way, is much like a divorce. You have to decide how to divide your interests in the company, if one of you gets to keep the business, if you both need to sell, and what the real value of the business is on the open market.

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