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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

Do I have to change my last name if I am getting a divorce?

It is understandable that many women who used a husband's surname in marriage would want to use their maiden name after a divorce, but a divorce does not automatically result in a name change. Many women also choose to keep their last name because they want to have the same name as their children or they want to maintain a consistent identity in their professional lives.

If you decide you would like to change your name, it is relatively easy in Georgia to do so as part of your divorce, but your name will not be legally changed until the divorce is finalized. You can make a name change request in your complaint for divorce or your answer to a complaint for divorce, and once your divorce is finalized, the divorce decree will include your name change. Your divorce decree will also be the documentation you use to change your name on your driver's license.

What you need to know about dividing a home in a divorce

When you divorce, a shared life is split in two. Not only is your relationship over, but you must also divide all your shared property. You must decide who gets the china, the cars and the couch.

Georgia is an equitable distribution state. All your marital property, which are most assets acquired during the marriage, is divided during property distribution. However, equitable distribution does not mean all your property will be divided exactly down the middle, but how the court deems fair. Your largest marital asset is likely your shared home. Here is what you need to know about dividing a home during a divorce.

Divorce for mature couples: Is divorce right for you?

For seasoned, mature couples who are having challenges in their marriages, the question is often asked whether divorce is the right decision. Late-life divorce, (sometimes called "gray divorce"), is a more difficult decision to come to than most people think.

Although it seems like having your kids grown up and your finances in order, it would be the simplest time of your life to get a divorce, but this appearance can be deceiving. It is important to know what to look for, so you can make a smart decision.

How is child support determined in Georgia?

In Georgia, every child has the right to child support. It is normal for a parent to receive assistance from their ex-spouse. Financial support is a critical aspect of your child's life. Any parent or caretaker can collect child support if they house and care for the child more than half of the time. 

The application process for child support is fairly simple. Child support services will help you collect child support payments or any other back payments once the process is complete.

Understanding Stepparent Adoptions in Georgia

In many remarriage situations, the new spouses bond with each other’s children. It is not uncommon for the new spouse to take on the role of father or mother for the other spouse’s kids. For personal and legal reasons, many families want to proceed with a stepparent adoption.

Although stepparent adoption is a great choice for many families, there are complex legal procedures involved. Anyone considering a stepparent adoption needs to understand the process and get legal help to protect their rights and help them through the process.

Dividing Teacher Retirement Benefits in Georgia Divorce

There are some benefits that are notoriously difficult to divide in divorce. Military benefits commonly cause numerous challenges, and complex IRAs for executives also pose challenges.

However, many people don’t realize it, but teacher retirement benefits are among the most difficult to divide. It is important for teachers and their spouses to be aware of the problems and the potential solutions.

Wedding Insurance? How About Marriage Insurance

Insurance has become one of the most profitable markets in the United States. Almost anything can be insured these days. A recent article in CNBC.com discusses wedding insurance, which is a policy that engaged couples and other invested parties can purchase to protect their investment in a wedding – an investment that costs $33,000 on average, according to the article.

Although the wedding is a tremendous financial investment for two people about to get married, there is an even greater investment they will make, and a greater risk to be insured: the marriage itself. How can this investment be insured?

Avoiding a big IRA mistake in divorce

In most divorces, there is at least one dispute difficult to resolve before the marriage can be legally brought to a close. In some divorces, the most difficult disagreements can be found in emotionally charged matters such as child custody. In other situations, the most contentious conflicts are over how to distribute marital assets such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), real estate, pension, stock holdings, savings and so on.

We read recently of a doctor who made a costly IRA mistake in his divorce. He found himself in Tax Court earlier this year after he failed to pay taxes on $140,000 in IRA withdrawals transferred to his former wife.

Who gets the pet after divorce?

Many married couples treat their furry friends like children. This is particularly true for couples who do not have any children yet. However, if the marriage ends, then pet custody becomes a point of contention. 

During divorce proceedings, the topic of pet ownership can come up. If you and your spouse both actively want the dog or cat, then the judge will need to decide who is the best fit for overseeing the pet's well-being. However, it is also important to consider whether you can reach a resolution outside of the courtroom. 

Using Mediation to Protect Your Children in Divorce

For most couples facing divorce, the children are the most important thing to consider. Parents need to make sure their kids get the best outcome possible in terms of child custody, parenting plans and child support arrangements.

However, in addition to considerations of custody and support for the kids, parents should consider protecting their children through the actual process of the divorce. When it comes to protecting your children in your divorce, how you go about resolving your contentious divorce issues can be just as important as the outcome of these matters.

Contact our Georgia Family Law Firm by calling 866-497-5134 or by completing this contact form. An attorney will respond within 24 business hours.

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