Atlanta Legal Issues Blog

Lawmakers encourage shared parenting with new child custody bills

The every-other-weekend dad may be a thing of the past as lawmakers work to speed up a new trend toward co-parenting. Over 20 states are considering bills that would encourage shared parenting even when parents cannot agree. In Georgia and other states, new shared-parenting bills could be a game changer for child custody battles.

Several states have already considered laws making equal parenting and joint physical custody the standard in child custody agreements. Many agree that equal parenting time should be the initial starting point for custody decisions. The legal push for new arrangements comes from the lobbying of fathers' rights advocates who feel discriminated against when it comes to parenting their children.

Tax overhaul will affect deductions for divorce payments

The tax overhaul put in place by Congress is set to reach out and touch every aspect of American life, including divorce and alimony. The 75-year-old standing tax deduction for alimony will disappear beginning in 2019, and the new legislation was recently signed into law. In Georgia and all other states, the new ruling will not affect those who begin divorce proceedings or have signed separation papers before 2019. 

Experts agree that divorce negotiations will be more stringent and may lead to less spousal support. Divorces started after Jan. 1, 2019, will no longer be eligible for a tax deduction under the new law, and the recipient of the payments will no longer be required to pay taxes on it. Under the current tax law, the deduction allows for more money to be divided between spouses, empowering them to live independently.

Shifting attitudes in parental rights

In August, several months after being abducted by his mother, a boy and his father were reunited. The story was dramatic and had a happy end; however, inside that story is an example of the evolution in how we award custody

The struggle to locate and return the child to his father has implications beyond one family in Georgia. Statistics show that when it comes to single-parent homes, generally speaking, that parent is usually a mother. In an increasing proportion of single-parent homes, that reality is shifting.

Do Georgia courts favor mothers in child custody cases?

Fathers in the midst of a divorce may be concerned about their access to their children and their ability to obtain child custody. The assumption many people have is that mothers are best suited to care for a child.

Does this assumption impact the way courts determine which parent gains custody? Thankfully in Georgia, the answer is no.

Can I Get a Modification to my Child Support or Custody order?

The main reason that the court will grant a child support or child custody modification is if there has been a change in the circumstances since the original order. There are instances wherein you can seek a modification without a change in circumstances, but that does not occur as often. Some of the changes in circumstances that the court will consider a modification for, include:

How Long Do Child Support Payments Continue in Georgia?

When a couple divorces and there are children involved, the spouses and/ or the judge will make a decision regarding custody and child support. The non-custodial parent will pay support to the custodial parent who has the children living with them. The amount and the duration of the payment will vary case to case. If you have questions regarding your situation, consult with an Atlanta divorce attorney from our firm right away. In Georgia, the non-custodial parent will need to provide child support payments until the child turns 18, becomes emancipated, gets married or passes away. Oftentimes, the court can order child support payments from both parents to continue if their child is attending secondary school past the age of 18. This may allow the child to receive payments until they reach the age of 20, but the ruling expires at age 20. There are also exceptions if the child does not graduate high school at age 18. If the child is still in high school after age 18, the parent may need to continue payments until the child graduates.

Various Possible Child Custody Orders in GA

A child custody order will determine which parent will have physical and legal custody of the child. Generally both types of custody will be shared in some way unless one parent is deemed unfit to have custody of the child. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make decisions in the child's life. Joint legal custody requires parents to work together with these decisions, but one parent will have final decision-making rights regarding medical, religious and education decisions. Physical custody dictates which parent the child will live with. Commonly parents receive joint physical custody where they share equal time with the child.

Completing a Divorce Agreement Quickly and Outside of Court

Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful. In order to make the process as quick and easy as possible, consider an uncontested divorce or negotiating a settlement agreement. An uncontested divorce requires both parties to cooperate and agree over all divorce issues. While this may prove to be impossible for some spouses, if you are able to maintain an amicable relationship, the process can be much less overwhelming and time consuming. In order to complete an uncontested divorce, you will need to come to an agreement on matters including: child custody, child support, spousal support/ alimony, property division, debt division and all other issues in your divorce. If you are able to agree through negotiations, a marital settlement agreement can be made and signed by the court.

How Can I Make The Divorce Process Easier For My Children?

Going through a divorce can be an emotional roller coaster for both parents and the children involved. As divorce lawyers, we are often asked how to help children adapt and get through the divorce as easily as possible. We wanted to provide some helpful tips for you to help keep the divorce positive and avoid a large mess. If you are already struggling with a messy divorce situation, contact an Atlanta divorce attorney from our firm for help. One of the most important aspects of a divorce is having support and making it so the children do not feel abandoned. Maintaining support is crucial, visits from other family members or family friends will show the children that they aren't losing people close to them.

Details of Post- Divorce Litigation

Oftentimes changes happen after divorce orders are made. While orders may have been suitable for both parties at the time of a divorce, life happens and situations change. It may be necessary for the divorced couple to modify their divorce decree later down the road. Post-divorce litigation is the dispute resolution method that is commonly used to make these sort of modifications. In order to make sure that your needs and wants are fought for in your litigation, retain the help of an Atlanta divorce lawyer. In order for this litigation to take place, the parties will need to provide proof of a substantial change requiring a decree modification. Examples of situations that may qualify for post-divorce litigation include:

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