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North Georgia Family Law Blog

How the 'best interests of the children' is determined in court

When the courts make their decisions based on the best interests of the children, there are several factors that they take into consideration. The first thing they do is look at the relationship each parent has with each of their children. This is important because, when it comes to child custody, the courts want to make sure that there is minimal impact to the children.

Depending on the age of the children, they may ask for their opinion on the relationship they have with each parent. The courts will also look at which parent is considered the caregiver. This may include who feeds the children, bathes them, gets them ready for school or events and which parent works with them on homework. It may also include looking at each parent's history.

What to do if someone is violating a family law order

Many people in Georgia are married and have children. While the couple is together, they generally make all the decisions regarding schedules, responsibilities around the home and how the relationship will work. However, if the couple splits, the court will probably get involved. In the divorce, a court will divide assets, make child custody determinations, parenting time decisions, child support decisions and many others.

After an order is issued, whether a person agrees with all the decisions, they must follow the order. However, not every person follows the orders.

You do not need to tackle divorce alone

Going through a divorce could be one of the most strenuous and stressful times in a person's life. Emotions inevitably run high, and you could feel overwhelmed with all the decisions that need to be made. Add to it family members and friends who may be well-intentioned but could be providing you with less than ideal advice, and you could make your situation worse.

There are often many things that need to be considered and decided in a divorce, including spousal abuse or alimony, plus property division and if you have children from the marriage, a whole new list of decisions to be made including child support, child custody and visitation rights.

Requirements to begin a Georgia stepparent adoption

People go through many changes throughout their lives. This is no different for parents. Sometimes, parents get divorced or were never married and split up. After, life does not end for the parents and many find new partners later down the road. Some will even remarry. Usually in these circumstances, the children will form bonds with stepparents over time, as they can be a big part of their lives.

The stepparent may even eventually start to take over the role of parent, if the biological or legal parent is not a big part of the child's life. The parents and the child may want the stepparent to adopt the child, which would terminate the biological or legal parent's rights to the child. But, for the adoption to happen, the other parent must consent and sign the appropriate paperwork. In addition, if the child is 14 or older, the child must also consent.

How does domestic violence affect children?

Many people in Georgia settle their disputes through violence. This is not the best way to settle disputes though and that is why it is illegal. People who harm others can be charged with a number of different crimes depending on the severity of the violence used in a particular incident. This violence is used in confrontations with strangers as well as those who live in the same home as the perpetrator or are in a familial relationship with the victim.

Domestic violence can be very detrimental to the person who is harmed, but it can also be very detrimental to others in the home, including children, who are not physically harmed through the violence. The degree of the effect that the violence may have on the children depends on their exposure to the violence, the severity of the violence and frequency, but it can have both short and long-term effects on the children.

Understanding the basics of alimony

People throughout the United States, including those living in and near Atlanta, Georgia, know that every person is unique, as is every relationship, whether it is a business relationship, friendship or married couple. In some situations, both spouses are able to work and juggle schedules to earn money for the family. With other families, one spouse earns money to support the family financially while the other spouse stays at home and either takes care of the housekeeping or cares for the children, or both.

When one spouse has decided to give up a career in order to take care of the family at home, he or she might be at a serious disadvantage if the marriage fails and the spouse now has to enter life alone. While before he or she was likely dependent on the income of the other spouse, now they are on their own.

How alimony is treated for tax purposes

When people get divorced in Georgia, they realize how many expenses they were able to share, which allowed them maintain their lifestyle. After a divorce, people need to start paying for their separate expenses, which can double their budget. However, most of the time, the people are still earning the same amount of money during the marriage as they are right after a divorce. Therefore, figuring out how to pay for these new expenses can be difficult.

That is why in some situations, one spouse will have to pay alimony to the other spouse. This is a payment separate from child support, which is paid directly to the other spouse to ensure they are able to pay for their expenses until they can earn more money and pay for them on their own. In some cases, this may never occur, and there could be a permanent spousal maintenance award.

Team up with success to protect your rights

Ask anyone who has ever been involved in a divorce and they will tell you that it can be stressful times. Emotions inevitably run high during these times, and it is not always easy to make the best of decisions.

You may also have family members and friends who have gone through their own divorce trying to give you advice and consultation. While this is often with the best of intentions, you should still proceed with caution. Every person is different. Every relationship, living situation, family and marriage is different. What worked for one person may not be best for you, and vice versa.

When does a child's choice affect custody determinations?

As children grow up in Georgia, they become more mature and intelligent. They also start making decisions on their own, both good and bad. This can be frustrating for parents during a child's teenage years, but at the same time, as children get older, they have a better understanding of what works best for them. This is true whether the parents are together or not.

Children also have different relationships with each parent. If parents are divorcing, children may have an opinion about which parent they would like to primarily live with after the divorce. Ultimately, a child custody order will determine when the child will be with each parent, but arriving at the order is based on analyzing a number of factors, including the child's wishes if they are old enough.

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