William C. Gentry

Attorney at Law | Marietta, Georgia

Free Initial Consultations
Toll Free 888.365.5983
Local 770.884.4171

Marietta Family Law Blog

Changing circumstances could affect your divorce agreement

One of the main reasons that people stress the most about their divorce case is because they are afraid the final decision will bear consequences that they will have to endure for the rest of their lives. While this may be true in some cases, it is not true in all cases. Both parties must adhere to the terms of their divorce settlement, but some of those terms are subject to change, namely child custody and child support.

It can certainly be disheartening to hear that you will only have partial custody of your children, even though Georgia courts often split parenting time fairly evenly, and you might grow concerned about how much of your paycheck is going toward child support. Fortunately, the courts understand that divorce settlements are made under certain circumstances, and if those circumstances change, so too could the divorce settlements. If you experience a significant change in your life, it could be grounds for you to modify your custody and support arrangement.

High-asset divorces can get messy

As unfortunate as it is, divorce is rarely a pleasant experience, and things rarely work out as easy as they should. In nearly every divorce case there will be battles over who deserves how much money or what kind of custody arrangement is fair to all parties. It may not surprise you to learn that the more that is at stake in a divorce, the more heated the divorce proceedings can become, as both parties want even larger pieces of the proverbial pie.

While there are no statistics that show just how serious these high-asset divorces can be, there are a few examples happening right now that run the gamut of divorce court battles. The head of Point72 Asset Management, who is worth nearly $11 billion, has been divorced from his wife for about 25 years. Despite receiving $3.5 million in the divorce, she still claims that she is owed approximately $3 million from their settlement, and the former couple have been in and out of court battles ever since.

Study rates child custody statutes low across the country

Child custody has always been a hotly contested topic in divorce cases as neither parent wants to sacrifice time with their child. In recent years, many men have taken up the banner of fathers’ rights in an effort to combat what they perceive as a gender-biased court system that often sided with women in custody issues. In 2014, we like to think that the country has become much fairer with its custody arrangements, but a recent study conducted by the National Parents Organization claims that this may not be the case.

The study observed the shared parenting statues in every state in the country and gave them each a grade ranging from A to F. There was not a single state in the entire United States that received an A grade from the report card. The state of Georgia received a C-, or a 1.7 on a 4.0 GPA scale. This is just barely above the national average of 1.63.

What you should know about divorce in Georgia

While the exact percentage is up for debate, it is common knowledge that the divorce rate in the United States is fairly high. With so many marriages ending in divorce, many couples may find themselves curious about the process. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult topic to pursue, since the laws and perceptions surrounding divorce vary by state. If you live in Georgia and you have questions about the divorce process in this state, then read on for more information.

It might surprise you to learn that you can represent yourself in a divorce case. However, this is not advised, as many aspects of divorce, such as child custody or child support, can be complex to individuals who are not highly experienced in dealing with them. Additionally, the ramifications of poor representation cannot be overstated, as a gaffe in court could severely limit your involvement in your child’s upbringing.

How do you file for divorce in Georgia?

The exact procedure for a divorce filing varies from one state to the next. So if you and your spouse have decided that it is time to bring your relationship to an end, it is important to be aware of the rules in your home state. This is particularly the case if you have recently moved, as many states require you to have been a resident there for a set period of time before you can commence a divorce proceeding there.

Some states even require you to have permanent residence there. In Georgia, you should go to the county in which your spouse is resident to file your divorce complaint. However, you can file it in your own county if your spouse does not reside in the state. This document should outline the situation between you and your spouse, including living arrangements, debts, assets, plans for your children and the reasons you have chosen to file for divorce.

Stand up for your rights as a father

When parents separate, often they still both want the best for their child. Many children in Georgia grow up in the primary care of one or the other of their parents, seeing the other less frequently. Nevertheless, they still grow into happy, well-balanced individuals. Families come in all shapes and sizes and it is the love and respect within them that counts, not the configuration of the family unit.

As a father, you have just as much right to spend time with your child as does his or her mother. You each are an important part of your child's life, so if you are both willing and able to be part of it, you should be. Courts generally favor arrangements which allow the child or children to have contact with both parents wherever possible.

Study claims expensive wedding could mean divorce.

It is true that money isn’t everything, but almost everyone would agree that being wealthy is nice. Being able to buy nice, expensive things can certainly make life easier and more enjoyable for a lot of people, and wealthy, high-net worth individuals always tend to host the best events. One of the more popular ways to show off affluence is by having an extravagant wedding, but a recent study indicates that and expensive wedding does not necessarily mean happily ever after.

According to researchers at Emory university in Georgia, people who spend more than $20,000 on their wedding are nearly half as likely to divorce than those who spend a more modest $5,000 or $10,000. Those who spend $1,000 or less are actually 53 percent less likely to divorce, indicating that cheap weddings lead to longer relationships. However, this is not to say that having a small, intimate wedding is the best option, since those who invited two-hundred people or more to their wedding were 92 percent less likely to divorce than those who invited nobody else.

Child custody concerns in Georgia

Child custody is an extremely important aspect of a divorce settlement. Oftentimes, both parents want to be heavily involved in their children’s lives, but custody arrangements do not always allow this. It can be difficult or confusing to learn that you will not have a large role in your child’s upbringing, but legal knowledge and assistance can help you make a better case for why you belong in your child’s life. Since the law varies by state, it is important to be familiar with Georgia’s stance on child custody.

The most important thing to remember about child custody is that the court always has the final say, and the court will do what it believes is best for the child. Children who are 14 years of age or older can choose which parent they want to live with, and parents can agree on custody, but none of this matters if the courts decide that the proposed living arrangement is not in the best interests of the child. The courts will consider many factors when it makes these decisions, including the emotional ties between the parties and each parent’s involvement in the child’s upbringing, such as educational, social and extracurricular activities.

Child support is not a suggestion; it?s the legal requirement

A man was recently arrested in Virginia after being pulled over for driving on a closed shoulder. The trooper who pulled the man over took him into custody after he learned that the man was wanted for child support and other charges in Norfolk. Even though this case happened in Virginia, Georgia residents could easily find themselves in a similar position if they fail to pay their child support.

I can no longer make my child support payments. What should I do?

Child support orders are made based on a number of factors affecting the lives of a divorced couple. Both parties may not always believe that the child support order is fair, but it is ultimately up to the discretion of the court in most of these cases, and the courts tend to do what they believe is best for the child. At the same time, it’s important to remember that the order is determined based on factors at the time of divorce, meaning that the support order, much like the factors of life, is subject to change.

If changing circumstances make it so that you can no longer make your child support payments, know that your child support order can be changed to reflect these new circumstances. However, the modification will only occur if you bring the case before the courts and successfully prove that the previous payments are no longer feasible.

Marietta, GA

278 North Marietta Parkway Northeast , Suite 101
Marietta, GA 30060

Toll Free: 888-365-5983
Phone: 770-884-4171
Marietta Law Office Map

Back to top