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Marietta Family Law Blog

Higher assets mean higher stakes in divorce

Almost everyone in the world wants to have more money, and with good reason. A large amount of wealth can be a blessing in terms of not wanting for material possessions, but in some instances it can also be a curse. One of those instances is divorce. The fact of the matter is that in a divorce, assets will be divided, and the more you have, the more you have to lose.

The concept of high-asset divorce is particularly relevant for professionals who earn large salaries, such as engineers or architects. Individuals with a high net worth could find themselves suffering a serious financial blow if they do not treat their divorce seriously, and the same could be said for spouses of high net worth individuals. If you were a stay-at-home mother or father, for example, for a spouse who earned a large salary, a divorce could result in a serious change in the quality of life you experience.

Your divorce agreement is not final

One of the most frightening thoughts about a divorce is how the final decision could affect the rest of your life, from how involved you are with your child’s life to how much money you can call your own. It can be a serious blow to learn that your child custody agreement only lets you see your child every other week, or that a chunk of your money will go to your former spouse. Fortunately, the court’s final decision about your divorce agreement is not actually final. It can be changed in the future if circumstances allow.

While you will not be able to change the immediate actions of the divorce settlement years after the fact (such as which spouse got the house), you may be able to alter the factors that affect you on a daily basis. These factors include visitation schedules and child custody, as well as child support and spousal support. Of course there must have been significant changes to the circumstances surrounding these issues in order to successfully have them changed. You can find information about all of this and more here.

Research: a friend's divorce could mean your own divorce

We all know that choosing our friends is important, because they affect us in many ways, but it might surprise you to learn just how far the influence can extend. It’s not unheard of for a friend to suggest a TV show or book that gets you hooked, but what would you say if a friend’s divorce influenced the state of your marriage? A study from a few years ago hinted at just that possibility, claiming that a social contagion effect may cause divorces to infect friends.

According to the findings from the 2010 study, having a divorced friend increases your likelihood of divorce by nearly 150 percent. It also found that having a co-worker who is divorced can increase your divorce likelihood by 55 percent. The study claimed that even second generation friends can feel the effects, meaning that a friend of a friend’s divorce could have impacts on your chances of divorcing.

Child support offenders could lose their license

Child support has been a source of tension for many divorced couples for years and years. It’s very rare that both parties are satisfied with child support payments, often because the payer believes they are paying too much, and the receiver believes that they are entitled to more. As a society, we could continue to talk about how the courts do their best to ensure that child support is fair to both parties, but the state of Georgia has recently decided to take more assertive action.

Thanks to cooperation between Georgia’s Department of Driver Services and the State Department of Human Services, parents who fail to make their child support payments could now lose their driver’s licenses. Many have already begun receiving notices that their licenses will be suspended as early as Aug. 20 if they don’t make their payments. The director of Georgia’s Child Support Division claims that the incentive already seems to be having an effect.

Child support orders are not permanent

If you have a child, reaching a settlement in your divorce can fill you with very mixed emotions. On the one hand, your marriage is over and you can move on with your life, but on the other hand, child support terms have just been set that will affect you for the rest of your life. If you feel that those terms are unfair to you, or that they may one day become unfair, the prospect could seem even more daunting. What you should know is that there will always be arrangements following your divorce, but the terms of these arrangements are subject to change.

Despite what you may feel after your divorce case, the courts are not your enemy, nor are they out to get you. If you experience changing circumstances in your life that affect the balance of the child support order, the courts might modify the order to better reflect the new circumstances. There are websites that can answer many of your questions before you even step into a courtroom. The important thing is that he courts are willing to work with you to reach an arrangement that is fair to you, your former spouse and your child.

Individuals can keep their premarital assets in divorce

Lack of understanding can make divorce a frightening concept. What should be an option for leaving a difficult marriage could instead become an unknown legal procedure that costs you much more than you bargained for. This fear can prevent people from taking advantage of divorce for fear that they will lose many of their assets or custody of their children. For individuals with above average wealth, this asset division could be even more concerning.

What you should know about marriage and asset division is that the law is very clear when it comes to keeping assets that are undeniably yours. An article from Forbes explains the asset division process in-depth, including the mystery of Separate Property and Marital Property. In the simplest terms, Separate Property includes assets that were owned by a party prior to the marriage, but it also includes gifts or inheritance given specifically to one of the spouses. This means that houses or cars that you purchased before the marriage will remain yours even if your marriage ends in divorce. Although a caveat exists that an individual's property once commingled with marital property can lose its status as separate property.

Stable parenting makes a strong custody case

When settling a custody dispute between a divorcing couple, the courts take many factors into consideration to ensure that the agreement reached is best for the child. Oftentimes, this means that courts must make a judgment call on parenting methods that may seem harmless or acceptable to some parents. In instances where you may be battling for child custody, it behooves you to be on your best parental behavior to prove that you are fit for the role. Providing a stable environment goes a long way in showing good parenting.

Divorce can legally split spouses, but not personally

It’s no secret that divorce can be a very lengthy and complex legal process, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t matters outside of the courtroom that divorcing couples should attend to. It’s a simple fact that divorce will change your life, and unfortunately your relationship with your ex-spouse might take a turn for the worse. For couples who have lived together for an extended period of time, this animosity might manifest itself in cruel and unfair ways.

We’d all like to believe the best in people, but divorce can cause tensions to run very high, and couples who have been sharing their lives might be punished by loopholes in their security, as a recent USA Today article reminds us. The article mentions five things that you can do right now from your home to save yourself a great deal of potential stress if you are going through or have recently gone through a divorce.

Grant Program promotes fatherhood in custody arrangements

It would be wonderful if custody disputes were always easy and both parents parted amicably and agreed to maintain a good relationship for the sake of their children, but this simply isn’t the case. When a marriage ends in divorce, parents can sometimes have feelings of anger or resentment toward their former spouses, and this derision can sometimes cause a rift between a child and his or her parent.

There is relief for fathers who are being or have been denied child custody and they do not necessarily have to struggle alone. There are groups that aim to help fathers reconnect with their children, thanks in large part to the Responsible Fatherhood Grant Program. The program offers grants to groups like Faith in Fathers, which help fathers reconnect with children that they have been unable to see due to circumstances beyond their control.

Child support offense is a crime

American courts take the well-being of children very seriously. In instances of divorce, the courts strive to be fair to both parents, but they almost always put the child's needs first. This includes which parent is granted custody of the child and how much child support is paid to give the child an acceptable standard of living. Because children depend on this money, the justice system is not very lenient when it comes to failing to make payments.

Sixteen child support offenders were recently arrested in North Carolina. Seven of the offenders had outstanding warrants, and they were taken into custody. All totaled, officers visited around 70 different addresses in their search for the child support offenders.