Marietta and Metro Atlanta Divorce and Family Law Blog

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Much of what happens at trial is case specific and no two cases are identical. The following posts address how courts  typically address such common situations.  If you are seeking advice for  an ongoing or future case, please  feel free to contact us to discuss how the law may apply to the facts in your particular case.

Adultery, Alimony And Equitable Division Under Georgia Law

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

Adultery is most significant when a cheating spouse is seeking to obtain alimony or attorney's fees. For example, if a stay at home wife, or a wife who has comparatively less income than her husband, has cheated, then she may be barred from receiving alimony or attorney's fees in the divorce. In the classic situation where the husband has cheated, this will be a "conduct" factor in the division of property and an evidentiary issue in the award of alimony. If you have cheated, your spouse can argue the affair justifies a denial of alimony and an award of more than 50% of the marital estate in his or her favor. However, the cheating spouse is still entitled to argue for "equitable division". Unlike in the context of alimony, adultery is not a bar to property division. In the context of awarding permanent alimony, O.C.G.A. section 19-6-5(a)(8) authorizes the consideration of "other relevant factors", but marital misconduct may not be used to set the amount of periodic alimony.

Understanding Child Support

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Child support in Georgia is controlled by Georgia law.  It is calculated based upon the gross incomes of each parent. Parents often argue over the correct amount of child support, the manner in which in needs to be paid, how long it should last and what it is intended to cover. Child support is for the support of minor children.  Once a child reaches 18 yeas of age and graduates from high school, child support is no longer paid for support of the child. In Georgia, child support is intended to cover the basic necessities (food, clothing and shelter) for the minor child.  In Georgia, a parent cannot be compelled to pay college expenses as part of his/her child support obligation.

How is Healthcare Decision-Making Decided in Georgia?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

In Georgia, the courts divide decision-making for children into four major categories--education, extracurricular activities, non-emergency healthcare and religion.  Every Georgia Parenting  Plan must specify one of the parents as the final decision making in each of these four areas.  Absent any major philosophical differences in the medical arena, the primary physician custodian of the children is normally awarded final decision-making for the children.  One exception is when the sex of the primary physical custodian differs from the sex of the child, in which event, judges sometimes award the same sex parent with final decision making of the minor child.  The courts presume that a parent with the same sex as the child would be better equipped to understand healthcare decisions for the child than the parent with a different sex.

When Is It Okay to Withhold Custody?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you believe your child is in danger, call the Department of Children and Family Services or the police but don't take matters into your own hands and withhold custody.  What you can do is file an Emergency Motion With The Court for Temporary Custody of your child.  Ultimately, the Court will have to decide whether there is a danger to your child that warrants a change of custody.  That is not a decision you can make unilaterally. Keep in mind that if you do make the decision to unilaterally withhold parenting time from your ex, you risk being sanctioned by the Court or, even worse, losing primary physical custody. It's always been to utilize the procedures the courts have in place for custody changes.  If in doubt, reach out to a lawyer for advice on your specific custody issue.

Decoding Divorce Attorney Fee Agreements

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

When you are in desperate need of a lawyer, you may be willing to sign any Fee Agreement sent to you without even looking at it closely. Before you sign, take the time to carefully review any Attorney Fee Agreement before you sign on the dotted line. Be sure to read the fine print before you sign a Fee Agreement in a Georgia divorce or family law case.  If you sign first and ask questions later, you may end up costing yourself unnecessary attorney's fees and the headaches that go along with overpaying for services.

Five Misconceptions About Divorce

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

Here are five common misconceptions about divorce that we hear all the time: #1 - It Has to Be Nasty. Divorce doesn't have to be nasty.  Many divorces are uncontested.  Some that are contested are still amicable.  The parties are the ones who control whether the divorce will or wont be nasty.  ...

Surviving the Shock of Divorce

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

Most see it coming.  It's years in the making and the final announcement, of the demise of your marriage, is certainly no surprise. The worst thing you can do is play the victim and do nothing at all. Always be ready to advocate for yourself and to give your attorney all of the ammo you have to help prepare your case.

Are All Uncontested Divorce Lawyers Alike?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you are able to do an uncontested divorce, why not choose the least expensive one you can find? That's easy.  Because not all lawyers are alike and you get what you pay for. If you want a professional with an expertise in drafting uncontested divorce complaints, settlement agreements and all of the related documents needed to get divorced and up want it done right form start to finish, you need to choose a law firm that can deliver on that promise....

Separation and Divorce in Georgia

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

How long have you been separated and why does it matter? In Georgia, you have to be separated to be divorced.  Separation means that you are no longer intimate with one another.  This is why every Georgia Divorce Complaint contains a paragraph that says the spouses are legally separated.  

How Long Will It Take to Get Divorced?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

"How Long Will My Divorce Take?" is a question we are asked over and over again. The answer depends upon you .... and your spouse. If you are motivated and you and you spouse agree to everything, you can file for divorce in Georgia 31-days after the Complaint for Divorce and Acknowledgement o...

Mediation Magic

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

I believe in magic.  I've seen it with my own two eyes many times at mediation. Mediation of a divorce can be truly magic.  Many people resist mediation and ask as if it is a slow walk to the gas chamber.  It's more like an escape from the gas chamber.  If you ever experienced the trauma of tr...

The Ladder to a Successful Divorce

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Dec 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

You can climb your way out of a bad marriage regardless of how daunting it may seem.   To prepare for your divorce, you may want to tackle one or more of the following tasks. 1. Find a lawyer to represent your best interests.  This is easier said than done.  You should speak to anyone you are...

How to Avoid Divorce

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Nov 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Who better to give advice on divorce than a divorce lawyer?  We see and hear it all.  Every day we hear about broken marriages.  We know how marriages fail and we see the scores of couples go down the same path every year. So what advice do we have for preserving your marriage?  Here are ten t...

Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Uncontested Divorce or DIY?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Nov 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

The internet is great for a lot of things but DIY divorce is asking for trouble.  There is simply no excuse for not hiring a lawyer when getting a divorce.  Don't fall for the $99 divorce paperwork you find online.  Blank forms are not a substitute for legal advice and, even though you can find a lot of information on Google, you should not be making major life decision based upon what you read online.  Hire an experienced, knowledgeable divorce lawyer with a reputation you can trust and steer clear of the online DIY divorce forms.

Is Your Divorce Really Uncontested?

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Nov 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

What you think is an uncontested divorce may not be an uncontested divorce in Georgia. If you disagree as to any issue, hope to resolve issues in mediation or simply don't have much money to spend on lawyers, that doesn't make your divorce uncontested. You must in in agreement on everything from the outset of your case in order for your divorce to be uncontested.

Amicable Divorce in Georgia

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Sep 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

Tying the knot is easy.  Undoing it is hard.  We cut through the paperwork, minimize the conflict and try to make it easy. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to get down and dirty.  It only helps lawyers when you take that route.  You need complete financial disclosure.  You need a fair ...

Stepparent Adoption in Georgia

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Sep 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

Stepparents who take the place of an absent or deceased parent often want to "make it official" and adopt the stepchild. The first step on the road to stepparent adoption in Georgia begins with getting written consent from the other birth parent.  the birth parent will need to terminate his/he...

Alimony and Adultery

Posted by Diane Cherry, Managing Partner | Sep 02, 2022 | 0 Comments

Adultery, alimony and absolution may sound like salacious topics for discussion but the reality is somewhat less than compelling in the post-Girls Gone Wild era. Today, adultery almost seems like a prudish and antiquated remnant leftover from Victorian England. In 2014, the significance of ad...

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Separation and divorce are often the most difficult times of a person's life. Our family law experts are dedicated to representing every client with integrity, dedication, and with the understanding that you are trusting us to help resolve your divorce or family law matter as if you were a member of our family.