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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

Do Georgia grandparents have guaranteed visitation rights?

We introduced the subject of grandparents' visitation and custody prerogatives in our immediately preceding blog post, noting therein that there is a national -- though varied -- legal scheme allowing for such rights.

Georgia is of course centrally on board with its own statutory laws regarding the legal right of grandparents to visit their loved grandkids and, in some instances, secure custody rights over them.

A central question on the mind any Georgia grandfather or grandmother seeking visitation is obviously this: Is that right guaranteed under state law?

Grandparents' visitation rights: a national scheme with variances

In many families across the United States, including in Georgia, grandparents play a central and loving role in the lives of their grandchildren.

It is thus far from surprising that, when things break down in a family, the grandparents often step forward to claim a right to maintain a close and meaningful relationship with their grandkids.

Do they have such a right?

Georgia child support: A deadline tomorrow is indeed material

Views across a wide spectrum are being expressed regarding a state mandate that is scheduled to kick in from tomorrow and potentially affect scores of thousands of people.

One thing is certain: Those affected aren’t going to be happy.

Georgia authorities, like their regulatory peers in other states, are routinely concerned with the outstanding obligations of residents legally tasked with making child support payments.

Domestic violence; ramifications for victims and falsely accused

A recent domestic abuse incident involving a federal judge from neighboring Alabama that is alleged to have occurred late last Saturday night in a downtown Atlanta hotel spotlights intimate-partner violence that many commentators say is at troublingly high levels across the country.

The judge was arrested by the Atlanta Police Department after his wife told officers that he had physically assaulted her. He was subsequently released on a signature bond and is scheduled to attend a court hearing on the matter later this month.

The case is a sad and timely reminder of family violence, an occurrence that a long-tenured Georgia domestic violence coalition states unfolds in many forms. The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) notes that, in addition to highly publicized incidents involving physical altercations, domestic abuse also commonly features emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, as well as economic abuse that financially disadvantages one partner in a relationship.

Ensuring a fair property division outcome in a Georgia divorce

In most divorces, there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be dealt with. One matter that is often at the center of concern -- and that frequently emerges as a core contention -- is the equitable distribution of marital assets.

That immediately preceding sentence references two concepts that are critically important in dividing divorce-related assets under Georgia law and that an experienced Atlanta-based family law attorney can centrally assist with.

A state family law judge will focus closely on the so-called "equitable" division of assets. Although that standard is centrally tied to fairness, it does not follow under state law that the result of property division will be a precise 50/50 split. A court will look closely at myriad factors in making a distribution ruling, and a divorce client can be helped greatly by an experienced family law attorney who can identify and help value all property/asset sources in a marriage.

Divorce view: It's a process and usually not just about the money

Money may be the sole focus of some divorcing couples as they spar during the divorce process, but a single-minded focus on lucre as a marriage ends might make for more pain than gain over the long haul.

So says Larry Stein, an investment firm founder who provided some dissolution-related views for readers in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

The problem with couples battling over coins while retaining a laser-like focus on amassing wealth as they get ready to embark on post-divorce life, notes Stein, is that their myopic view can obscure other important divorce-related factors.

Georgia child support guidelines: Yes, they're complex, detailed

“[Y]ou should contact a lawyer.”

So states a primer on Georgia child support, which duly notes that the state’s guidelines in this subject area “are quite complex and detailed.”

That of course begs this question: Truly, how arcane and convoluted are those guidelines, and how much information needs to be assimilated before a clear picture emerges on child support duties and related considerations?

How do I know if my children are doing well after my divorce?

Marital breakups across the country, including in Georgia, are certainly not cookie-cutter events. That is, divorce in one instance might seem entirely devoid of drama or any material issues at all when viewed from a post-split perspective, with the parting in another case being drama personified.

In some breakups, property division is of paramount concern, whereas the division of assets is a minor matter and something easily disposed of in some other divorce proceedings. Is alimony a concern? Maybe -- but maybe not. In some divorces, a marital contract -- such as a prenuptial agreement -- takes center stage. In others, there might be very few documents or other correspondence to consider at all.

Georgia child custody: a basic primer, courtesy of the state

If you're a Georgia spouse and parent who is about to get divorced and knows little -- or nothing -- about the process, you might be harboring some ungrounded notions about post-dissolution life.

One of those might concern logistics regarding the kids. Perhaps you think that you and your soon-to-be ex will each have refrigerators in your respective abodes that will be virtually bathed in yellow from hurriedly scratched post-it notes regarding pick-up times, school and sports activities, vacation schedules and so forth.

Key issue with marital contracts: enforceability

Many people across the country have changed their minds about so-called marital contracts in recent years, now fully appreciating their strong utility as planning devices for both soon-to-be and already married partners.

Increasingly more fiancés and spouses are seeking the legal acumen of proven family law attorneys in fully explaining the parameters of prenuptial agreements and postnuptial contracts. An experienced attorney can also draft such agreements to ensure their lawfulness and enforceability in the event of a future challenge.

That latter potential certainly can arise with certain marital agreements and, indeed, such contracts are sometimes contested in court during a divorce proceeding.

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