The term family law encompasses several areas of law including divorce, child support, and child custody matters. In many instances, a family law case can include all three and they are all closely related. Whether you are making the difficult decision to divorce or have questions regarding child custody or support, an experienced attorney can help provide the advice and legal guidance needed during this emotional time.
Asset Division After Divorce in Georgia
Divorce is undoubtedly difficult. In addition, once you make the decision to end your marriage, you must also divide the assets acquired throughout the time you were married. Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that when you and your spouse request the court to divide your assets (and debts), the court will divide them equitably, or fairly. It is important to know that this does not necessarily mean equally. Before dividing the assets, the court will label the property as follows:
- Marital Property – any real or personal property acquired throughout the marriage
- Separate Property – typically property acquired before the marriage, property that is gifted to one spouse, or property inherited by one spouse
Once the court makes the determination as to what constitutes marital and separate property, they will be divided between the spouses. Separate property will remain with the original owner and marital property (both assets and debts) will be divided equitably.
There are many factors a court will consider when dividing property fairly during divorce. In addition, separate property can become marital property. Division of assets can get quite complex. It is important to speak with a qualified family law attorney to help ensure the divorce is fair and that you receive your lawful share of the property.
Child Custody in Georgia
When deciding child custody matters in Georgia, the court will consider the best interest of the child. Several factors are considered when determining what is in the best interest of the child. To start, however, both parents are equal in the eyes of the law and neither will be presumed preferable.
There are two types of custody in Georgia: legal custody and physical custody. Both types can either be a joint or sole custody arrangement.
- Legal Custody – refers to ability to make major decisions concerning the child
- Physical Custody – where the child physically resides
Child Support in Georgia
The Georgia Child Support Commission provides guidelines along with a Child Support Worksheet in order to determine child support obligations in the state. The court will first designate the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. Thereafter, once the calculations are complete, the noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent.
Know that the Child Support Worksheet provides a presumptive payment amount, however, the amount can vary upward or downward based on several factors, as well as mandatory and non-mandatory deviations.
Call an Atlanta Area Family Law Attorney
In many cases, emotions run high when deciding family law matters and the law can be complex and confusing. It is crucial to hire an attorney that you trust to help provide support and legal guidance through divorce or child custody and support proceedings. Contact attorney Tom Mitchell of the Mitchell Law Group to discuss the unique circumstances of your family law case.
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