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Alpharetta Georgia Family Law Blog

Wedding planning should include divorce negotiations

Couples in Georgia typically spend a lot of time planning their weddings. However, they are more likely to talk about where the event will take place as opposed to the terms of a prenuptial agreement. There can be a variety of benefits for couples who choose to negotiate the terms of their divorce before they even get married. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the fact that they have had a discussion about money, which is the second-leading ground for divorce.

In a divorce, an individual must show evidence that an asset is separate property that should not be divided with a former spouse. However, banks and brokers only maintain records for seven years. If an individual fails to keep records beyond seven years, it will be difficult to determine the origin of an asset. It can also be relatively easy to commingle assets during a marriage, which may turn a separate asset into a marital one.

Single fathers and their rights

With the number of children born out of wedlock increasing from 18.4% in 2007 to 40% in 2019, the issue of fathers' rights, which are different for wed and unwed fathers, is an important one. Georgia residents should be aware of how these rights differ and how they affect issues of custody, visitation and support.

When children are both to married parents, the law assumes the husband is the father. However, when couples are not married, the father's paternity is not automatically established. Instead, the father needs to officially establish paternity. Being present at the birth and being listed as the father on the birth certificate is the simplest way. In other situations, the father might wish to register with the state as the child's father by filling out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. A paternity test is necessary to establish paternity and the state might order the mother to cooperate to do so.

Your professional success can impact your divorce outcome

Working in a high-stress and demanding profession can be incredibly rewarding. Whether you are a doctor, dentist, business executive or engineer, you may experience personal satisfaction thanks to your ability to do such difficult work and receive substantial financial compensation for your efforts.

Unfortunately, it can be your marriage and family that get the short end of the stick if you have a demanding career. In fact, highly educated professionals may be at increased risk of divorce because they just don't have as much time to spend with their loved ones. As if that weren't bad enough, your professional and financial success can impact the way that the courts handle your divorce.

3 ways a therapist can help you during divorce

The end of your marriage is undoubtedly going to be a stressful time for you and people closest to you. Even if you know that divorce is the best option in your situation, you may still experience complex emotions and irrational impulses that could damage your personal life or even your career. Finding a healthy way to handle all of your emotions can help.

While some people associate counseling or therapy with mental illness, the average person who is a healthy and well-adjusted adult can still benefit from therapy in certain situations. Divorce, which is a major source of stress and emotional trauma, is a perfect example of a situation in which an otherwise healthy adult could benefit from counseling.

How older adults can take to protect themselves in a divorce

Divorce among spouses 55 and older is on the rise. For those who are at least 65, the chance of getting a divorce has more than doubled since 1990. These older ex-spouses could face many challenges during the property division process. For many Georgia couples, mediation may be a better solution than going to court since it's less adversarial.

One ex may have to pay spousal support. This could be particularly complex for older people who have progressed in their careers. In addition to a salary, the alimony-paying spouse may have an executive compensation package, stock options, partial company ownership and more. All of this should be calculated when deciding on alimony payments.

Property division and compensation structure in divorce

How people in Georgia are compensated at work may affect how property is divided in a divorce. If one or both people are paid a regular salary, the division may be fairly straightforward. However, if there are bonuses, commissions, stock options or other perks, the process may become more complex.

For example, it may be possible to exclude a bonus with a clawback provision from marital assets. The reason for this is that the bonus could be withdrawn at some stage. If the bonus is included, the divorce agreement may include conditions under which the other spouse might have to repay it. A bonus from the previous year is likely to be considered shared property, but the spouse who earned it should be aware that the attorney for the other spouse may try to get it included as both a bonus and as part of overall income for the year.

Some marital problems more likely to lead to divorce

A study that was published by the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy has highlighted the top four reasons that people in Georgia and around the country get divorced. They are lack of intimacy or love, lack of trust, sympathy or respect, growing apart, and communication problems. The study involved surveys of 2,371 straight people who had recently gone through a divorce, and their average age was 45 years old.

The most commonly-cited of the reasons for divorce was a lack of intimacy or love, with 47% of those surveyed naming that. Respondents in the open-ended survey said things like "I had no feelings for my partner" or "he didn't love me after we'd been together for a long time". Lack of trust was indicated with statements like "we had an inability to regain trust".

Can you lose your business in a divorce?

A business is probably one of the most valuable assets you'll ever have. Business owners spend endless hours making companies successful from the first day they open for business. 

If you are one of those business owner, what will happen to all your hard work if you get divorced? Will your spouse take half of your company? Will you be able to afford to keep the business running when you lose a significant portion of your other assets?

These kinds of questions are perfectly normal for a married business owner to ask themselves. 

As with many legal aspects of divorce, the answer to these questions is generally the same: it depends. Two aspects of your business could affect whether or not it is divided during a Georgia divorce:

Child custody hearings and documentation

Georgia parents who are getting a divorce might have to go to court for a judge to make a child custody decision. They might need to submit certain documents to the court prior to the child custody hearing.

For example, a parent may want to submit visitation and phone call logs. These are records of when the noncustodial parent visited or contacted the child. They can be used by the noncustodial parent to show an ongoing relationship with the child. On the other hand, they could be used by the custodial parent to show that the other parent has not been spending time with the child. However, the noncustodial parent can argue that this is because the custodial parent has prevented visits or phone calls. This may be viewed negatively by the judge since a family court will value parents' efforts to cooperate with one another.

Approaching child custody as a divorcing father

One of the most worrying aspects of divorce for fathers is how divorce could change the relationship that they have with their children. If you have been with your children almost every day since they were born, the prospect of spending the majority of your life away from them can seem inconceivable and heartbreaking.

While the process of divorce can bring about unexpected changes, it does not mean that you have to lose the relationship that you have with your children. The way that you approach child custody and divorce can have a huge impact on the result you will achieve. This is why it is important that you take action to plan your approach and create a strategy for the entire journey.

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