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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

Domestic abuse focus, part 2: identification and curtailment

There are differing views, of course, as to what constitutes the predominant health concern in the United States. Some people might reasonably weigh in with the view that heart-related diseases top the bill. Others might just as easily point to cancer concerns.

The U.S. Surgeon General has an opinion on the subject, and he opts to go with domestic violence.

That expressed viewpoint is both eye-opening and depressing. As we noted in our immediately preceding blog post, though, it is hardly surprising in light of increased reports of domestic abuse actions occurring across the country.

Identifying, curtailing domestic abuse: Education must come first

Any television watcher in Georgia or elsewhere across the country with avid viewing habits well notes that a highly singular and specific subject has been dominating the airways recently, on both local and national programs.

That subject is domestic violence, which has been a lead story on news broadcasts and talk shows for several weeks running.

The National Football League in particular is being prominently featured in what is now essentially a national debate on family violence, with the league being under a withering spotlight.

Divorce: Do you need an accountant to go with that?

The question posed in the above headline begs another query, namely this: How complex is your divorce?

That in turn leads to additionally related questions, most of them centered on matters involving the identification, valuation and equitable division of property in your dissolution proceeding.

A recent media focus on complex financial considerations asks interesting questions about the parties you might need on your “divorce team” to render professional advice as you work through various matters en route to a final divorce decree.

View: No basis for distinction between married, divorced parents

In a nutshell, here’s what most disturbs writer and psychologist Robert E. Emery about a perceived irrationality he sees in family law.

On the one hand, and regarding a given issue (say, for purposes of discussion, child rearing), a judge will assume a role of passivity and refuse to invoke judicial power. He or she feels restrained from acting because a couple is married and the court thus deems the matter an internal family concern, respecting the special province of marriage and the authority of parents. The court will refrain from exercising power in all but the most extreme circumstances, such as imminent fear of violence in the household.

In some divorces, intellectual property considerations loom large

A core of common concerns sometimes emerges in many marital dissolutions, revolving around a few select matters.

Quite often, and understandably, children emerge front and center in divorce proceedings. What will best promote their interests as regards parental custody? Can a parenting plan be worked out that fairly and comprehensively addresses visitation, holiday schedules, school and sports activities and other matters?

Child -- as well as spousal -- support is also of central importance in some divorces.

And then there is property division, which fully engages soon-to-be exes in many divorce negotiations. Customarily, that includes determinations regarding the family home and, potentially, other real estate holdings, personal property, heirlooms, artwork, jewelry and, importantly, savings and investment accounts.

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.

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