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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a divorce without retaining an attorney?

Yes, you absolutely can go about getting a divorce on your own. However, divorce law can be very confusing, and even if you just want a quick, uncontested divorce, you still have to be able to skillfully navigate the Georgia legal system. Our Georgia divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of James S. Lewis P.C. offer a special service to people who are interested in obtaining a fast, amicable divorce. Flat Fee Divorce is easy and inexpensive, and our attorneys have the experience and familiarity with the system to help you through the process as quickly as possible.

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative law is a relatively new way of handling divorces in the United States. Developed in the early 90’s, collaborative divorce is a completely different way of approaching marriage dissolution. Each party retains his or her own attorney, but this system is done completely outside of the courtroom. The mindset of this type of divorce is totally toward cooperating and reaching an amicable agreement in all aspects of your divorce, including child support, alimony, child custody, property division and other issues. Our collaborative divorce attorneys at Law Offices of James S. Lewis P.C. are experienced in this type of law, have taken courses on this issue and are among the relatively few lawyers who practice it in Georgia.

What is alimony?

Alimony is generally defined as the support paid to the dependent spouse that continues after the marriage has been dissolved. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support or maintenance. There are several types of alimony in Georgia, and depending upon the circumstances of your divorce, you may be eligible to receive alimony or you may be required to support your ex-spouse. If you have questions about what types of alimony you can expect after your divorce, you can always speak with an alimony attorney at the Law Offices of James S. Lewis P.C.

What types of paternity tests are available to me?

The most accurate way to determine paternity is through a DNA test. These tests are now widely available online or in your local drugstore. Whether such tests are admissible in court as positive or negative evidence of paternity depends on how the specimens are collected, transmitted, stored, tested, and also whether the testing company is authorized to provide testimony in support of these facts. A court-admissible test can cost 5-10 times as much as non-court admissible test by the same company.  Usually parties agree in advance to stipulate to the results of a non-court admissible test on the condition that a retest may be done if one party does not agree with the results or method of the first test. You will need an attorney to make or to enforce this kind of agreement.

How much should I expect to set aside for supporting my child?

The state of Georgia uses a child support calculator based upon your monthly income and the number of children, along with a number of other variables. That calculator is used often to find a general starting point and does not necessarily indicate the amount that you will have to pay. Depending on the circumstances, amount of time you spend with the child and other factors, the amount might be more or less. However, each situation is unique and once you meet with one of our attorneys, you will have a much better idea of what you can expect.

What are grandparents’ rights?

The legal right of a grandparent to take custody of a child in the case of abuse, abandonment, neglect or other such circumstances is an issue that seems to come before the Georgia Supreme Court every year or so. Ultimately, the rights of a parent to stand up to an aggressive and often better-financed grandparent are governed by rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpreting the U.S. Constitution.  If that seems a little intimidating, don't worry.  Our attorneys have experience fighting on both sides of this issue.  We know how to make the argument you need to make to get the best possible outcome under the law. If you are involved in a dispute with a grandparent or as a grandparent or other relative, it is best to speak with a qualified attorney at our law firm to discuss your case.

I have shared custody with my children, but I want to move to another state. What do I do?

If you want to move with your child or children away from your current residence, you may run into trouble with the other parent or the court. You should obtain a court order allowing the relocation before you move, or you may find yourself in another state defending a custody battle here in Georgia. We can help you through the process of obtaining either written agreement or a court order. Our family law attorneys are very familiar with the Geogia statutes and Supreme Court rulings surrounding situations like these, and we can effectively guide you through the process.

Contact a Georgia divorce & family law attorney at the Law Offices of James S. Lewis today to discuss your case.