Home Firm Overview Family Law

Family Law

When you are facing a divorce, it is one of the most emotionally-charged and potentially life-changing events to deal with. The breakup of a marriage can be an exhausting, frustrating time. When you are at your most vulnerable and confused, you are in the position where you must make important decisions about your future and the future of your children. A lawyer from our law firm can assist you to manage the situation and forward your objectives. We fully understand that confronting the issues involved in divorce carefully is of great concern. You need solid guidance and legal counsel to help you make the right decisions at the right time, and to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Family Law in Georgia

Contested Divorce Some former couples cannot come to an agreement that is reasonable or fair through mediation or negotiation. Although this is the preferred method, in some cases, the divorce issues must be taken to the court to make the final determination. Your legal representation and their skill and ability are crucial if you hope to achieve your objectives in a successful litigation.

Uncontested Divorce When the two parties in a marriage can come to a decision on the crucial issues in a divorce, they are in a good position and can seek an uncontested divorce.

High Net Worth Divorce When either or both parties have a large number of properties, business interests, and other assets, the financial issues in a divorce can be exceptionally complex. Protecting your assets and interests is a real concern, and should be carefully managed by a qualified and experienced professional from our firm.

Military Divorce Members of the Armed Forces face specific challenges in divorce that civilians never experience. It is vital that you have legal counsel familiar with the law and how to deal with marriage dissolution when one or both parties are members of the military.

Collaborative Divorce A relatively new way to resolve the issues in a divorce is the process of a collaborative divorce. It has been proven that the agreements made in this process are often more easily adhered to, as they are established in this process with the help of legal counsel, as well as other experts that may be necessary.

Simple Dissolution There are some marriages that can take advantage of simple marriage dissolution. When the two parties are in agreement with the divorce and do not have serious issues to resolve, they can get help from our firm with flexible rates.

Same Sex Marriages Same sex marriages are now recognized in all fifty states, which means that same sex couples can be divorced like other married couples.  However, there are still legal issues unique to same sex couples that have not been litigated and may have no easy answers, particularly as regard children who are borne or adopted within a same sex marriage.

Cohabitation Agreement Many couples do not get married, and choose to live together in what is loosely called a "common law marriage." In Georgia, however, you must have resided in Georgia as a married couple prior to 1997 in order for your "marriage" to be recognized. Thus, most people who have cohabited or currently cohabit cannot be "common law married." Without a legal marriage, a breakup can lead to serious problems with regard to assets, custody, support and other issues. Parties who do not plan to get married should try to reach an agreement in advance as to what happens to their joint accounts, property and enterprises should one of them decide to end the relationship or if one of them dies or is incapacitated.

Prenuptial Agreement While prenuptial agreements were rare in the past, currently many couples find that getting the financial agreements resolved prior to getting married is a good plan. This is an important legal document for those who are business owners, or have a large number of property or assets that they need to protect in marriage. Our firm can provide a prenuptial agreement that will comply with current law and protect the parties should the agreement need to be enforced.

Annulment Legal annulment is different from a religious annulment. The court can rule that the marriage was void, and the parties can move forward as if the marriage never occurred. An annulment can be sought under specific reasons.

Enforcement of Court Orders There are countless cases in which a court ordered payment for child support, alimony, visitation or other issue is not complied with. In such cases, you have legal recourse.

Enforcement of Settlement Agreements In cases in which a settlement is finalized in a divorce and the settlement agreement is not complied with, legal action can be taken to enforce the order.

Alimony The state of Georgia provides for one spouse to receive alimony, based upon the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity of each party and other factors.

Divorce Mediation Mediation is an extremely valuable tool in conflict resolution. When the two parties involved in a divorce simply cannot come to an agreement, it may be the best option to contact a divorce mediator to help you through the process. Using mediation in divorce and finding out more about mediation could help you to understand the process and whether it is right for you.

Child Custody There are few issues that raise more concern in a divorce than that of child custody. There are many factors that will influence a court decision on custody. There are also potential legal issues surrounding a modification of child custody, third party custody, relocating a child out of state, or relocation of a parent out of state.

Parenting Time and Visitation Rights As a parent, you have the right to access to your children. How this is negotiated is important to both you, as a parent, and to your children.

Fathers' Rights Fathers have rights equal to the rights of the mother. In the past, this was not the case; old viewpoints have changed, but you may still need to take action to protect your right to influence the lives of your children with regard to education, religion, and other important aspects of being a parent, as well as have access to them.

Mothers' Rights Protecting your rights as a mother is a critical issue. Your ability to raise your children, influence their lives and share your life with them can be threatened under certain circumstances. We can help you address these issues professionally, and will share your personal concerns.

Grandparents' Rights Do you have rights as a grandparent? Georgia law allows for grandparents to have access to their grandchildren through a court order under certain circumstances.

Child Support How will Georgia law affect the issue of child support in your case? This legal issue requires skill and experience from your attorney to ensure your objectives are pursued. How the matter of determining gross income for child support is done, or problems regarding your ex not paying child support, or the need for a child support modification, issues regarding parental alienation or other matter should be addressed with legal help.

Legal Separation When a couple is not yet ready to divorce, either for religious reasons, financial reasons or when they are still hoping to resolve their marriage, it may be necessary to arrange a legal separation agreement. These are critical legal documents and how they are drafted could affect a future divorce should it take place later.

Child Protective Services In certain cases, Child Protective Services or the Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services (DFACS) is involved in child custody legal matters. If you have run into a problem or issue with CPS or DFACS, our firm can help you protect your rights as a parent.

Legal Guardianship Some children will require a legal guardian. This can be an issue when both parents have passed away, or when they have problems that make them unable to care for their children, either through illness, drug or alcohol use, criminal activity or other issue.

Domestic Abuse One of the most frightening and dangerous situations for individuals and children is that of spousal abuse and child abuse. To protect your health, safety and future, it is crucial that the correct legal action is taken without delay. The effect of domestic abuse on custody awards is a matter that can lead to litigation, with a variety of claims and counter-claims. These are serious issues and require aggressive legal counsel to press forward with your interests as the top concern.

Family Violence or Stalking Protective Order When a party to a relationship has been a victim of domestic violence or stalking, the court is authorized to grant an "ex parte" temporary protective order (TPO). A TPO is powerful relief. It can order that a spouse or other party not be allowed to return to the other party's residence and have no direct or indirect contact with the other party or his or her family members, including children. The ex parte TPO is done without any input or defense from the other party, so that party gets his or her chance to defend against the claims in a hearing usually 2 or 3 weeks from the date the TPO is issued. Many TPOs get dismissed at this hearing, either because the dispute between the parties has cooled off, or because the court finds that no violence or stalking was proven. If the Court decides that the threat of violence or stalking continues, then the Court will issue a protective order for 12 months. A 12 month order can be extended for 3 years or even made permanent. Our office has extensive experience with the complex and highly contentious area of family law practice.

Call our office at 770-451-8786 if you would like more information about any of these topics.