Are you in the process of a divorce and have children? Check out these 4 things to know about family law, then call our Georgia attorneys now.
1) Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney
The first thing that you must have with an attorney is a very good connection. You need to either meet them in person or have a video chat with them to make sure that there is a connection and a trust there. The second thing is looking up the attorney on Google and seeing what kind of reviews they have and what kind of experiences other clients may have had. Often, people don’t want to ask their friends and family about who they used for their divorce. This is where looking up attorney reviews on Google can come in handy.
2) How Child Custody is Determined
In Georgia, several factors influence any custody action. Having the necessary evidence makes it easier for the judge to make a decision.
Your relationship with your child, the bond that your child may have with you or the other parent, and whether there are half or stepsiblings in the other residence all influence how child custody is determined. Any prior history of alcohol, drugs, abuse, neglect, or domestic violence are considered as well. The judge wants to hear about those things and will decide based on those factors what’s in your child’s best interest.
It’s important to be represented by an attorney who knows the judge on the bench because every judge decides these cases differently.
3) Timeline of Child Support
In Georgia, child support is set up by statute, so there’s not a lot a court can do to shorten or lengthen the time. In Georgia, child support lasts until a child turns 18, marries, graduates high school, or whichever comes first. If they’re emancipated and they’re legally an adult at that time, you’re no longer obligated to support that child.
It’s a little bit different if they’re still in a secondary school, which is high school. If your child is still enrolled in high school and they’re 18 years old, you would still be obligated to support them financially until they graduate high school. The court does cap that, just so your child is not in high school for too long and still receiving child support. If they reach the age of 20, then your child support obligation would be suspended, even if they are still in high school, which gives you some protection.
4) Determining Alimony
Unfortunately, under Georgia law, there is not an established formula for calculating and setting alimony in divorce cases. The judge is going to look at one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. This can vary dramatically even throughout the life of a divorce case. Parties may be employed or may have changes of income while a divorce is pending, which is why it’s imperative that we show the judge one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay over a certain period. Ultimately, we look at the last three years of one party’s budget, their need of financial support, and the other party’s three years of income. We also would consider other factors, such as if one party’s going to retire soon and what kind of retirement income they may have, or if one party’s job is unstable where they may not make that much from year to year. All these factors we would want to consider and present to the judge so that the judge can make a deciding factor on what the formula is. Ultimately, it’s a moving target throughout the divorce case.
Are you or a loved one in the process of a divorce in Statesboro, Springfield, or Swainsboro and have questions? Contact the experienced Georgia divorce attorneys at Hall & Navarro today for a consultation and case evaluation. We can help get your life back on track.