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Augusta Family Law Blog

Child support modifications ensure care of Georgia children

When separated parents here in Georgia are not married -- either due to divorce or because they never were -- determining child support is very important to the well-being of the children. Payments are typically based on many factors, such as the income of each spouse and the number of children. There are times when circumstances dictate that a parent may no longer be able to pay the amount of child support required. When this occurs, support modifications may be warranted to ensure the children continue to receive the best care possible.

A man from out-of-state was recently arrested due to not paying his child support. Authorities say that this is the 12th time in a four-year span that he has been taken into custody. When he moved from one state to another, he was reportedly carrying a debt of over $100,000. That amount has apparently not dropped below that threshold since his move.

Financial planning for Georgia families considering divorce

When Georgia couples make the decision to divorce, they have many things to take into consideration. Families with children have to decide how to manage custody, some couples need to think about possible alimony payments and others have to choose how to divide property and assets. With many people tackling spring cleaning projects around this time of the year, experts also have tips on how separating spouses can best organize their finances and be fully prepared to divorce.

The first step is for divorcing spouses to collect all their financial papers and organize them in one place for easy access to the information. This step may take some legwork, so running a credit check will be useful in the meantime. This will also be an ideal time to create separate bank accounts at an institution other than where the opposite spouse currently banks. With this time of year being the season to file taxes, it may also be a good time to observe how divorce will affect future tax filings.

Military divorce rates higher among female service members

The honor of serving one's country is undertaken by dedicated and conscientious soldiers of both genders. The pressures and stress that accompany many Georgia military families' lives do not change, whether the spouse who is not in service is male or female. Yet, recent studies show that military divorce rates are higher for women than men. Experts speculate that this may be due to a key factor.

Many men must contend with the changed gender roles that society still finds unusual. Despite modern life, men are often expected to make more money than their wives and typically their career dictates many family-related decisions. When one spouse is in the military, this is even more likely to occur, as many military families frequently move where their job takes them. When the military spouse is female, some men have difficulty coping and finding their sense of identity.

Gray divorce can heavily impact the children of the marriage

One team of university researchers has found that the divorce rate among persons 50 and older more than doubled from 1990 to 2008. As the boomer population reached middle age, there were apparently many within its ranks who were emotionally and mentally prepared to seek divorce. At the same time, there was an unexpected phenomenon that was observed in Georgia and nationwide -- many of the adult children gray divorcees did not weather the transition well.

Instead of taking a life change of their parents in stride, some adult children of gray divorce have experienced disorientation, embarrassment and an overwhelming sense of loss. Reportedly many of these children have dwelled on the reasons for such a dramatic change, and have suffered when hearing the about the romantic lives of their separated and divorced parents. Some feel guilty and angered that the parents may have stayed together for the kids only.

Man faces accusations of domestic violence after camping trip

Some people experience abuse at the hands of someone they love. They often feel as though they are powerless to escape the abuse, and many do not even know where they might be able to turn for help. A Georgia man recently had accusations of domestic violence made against him by his wife, and records show this may not be the first time this has happened.

The incident occurred when the husband and wife were on a camping trip together. Apparently, the two became angry with one another, and a fight ensued. The wife says that her husband choked her and claims that he stated he would kill her. There are no reports on whether the police were called to the scene or if the wife approached them to file a complaint after the incident.

New family created with adoption of 4 Ukrainian children

Families in Georgia do not always look like the traditional picture, but that doesn't mean there is any less love within them. Whether a family consists of one parent, grandparents or other adults raising children, the importance is that they are bound together by their commitment to and care for one another. Families who seek to grow through adoption can mean a happy ending for children who otherwise may have no one to care for them. A recent adoption in a neighboring state gave that gift to four children from overseas.

A couple from Alabama made the decision to adopt four children while they were on a mission trip with their church group in Ukraine. The recent political unrest in that area made the children's situation rather dire, and the two new parents sought to give them a permanent home with them in the United States. The father has recently returned home, flying with three of the children through Atlanta, while the mother is still in Ukraine with the fourth child to finalize her adoption.

Finances can suffer if emotions enter into divorce process

When Georgia families make the choice to divorce, it is often an emotional experience. The two partners probably do not reach the decision lightly, and it is very likely that one or both of the people involved will have hurt feelings. Divorce may come at the end of a long period of distress, and it can be difficult to keep one's emotions in check. Still, it is important to work through the divorce process to ensure that one's financial needs are met. Experts advise those going through a divorce to try to stay calm in order to deal with financial issues with as much clarity as possible.

Though many young couples without a lengthy marriage history divorce, experts still see those who have been in long-term marriages going through the divorce process as well. These types of relationships usually share more financial interests and can be much more difficult to navigate. Add in the personal history between the two people, and it is easy to see why some may be overcome with emotion when a marriage dissolves. Experts warn that this can cause people to react out of anger and hurt feelings which can actually lead to financial errors.

Will states start enforcing child custody orders?

Every state, including Georgia, uses a significant amount of time and resources ensuring that custodial parents receive their child support payments. However, most states have no automatic mechanism for enforcing child custody orders. Many non-custodial parents are at the mercy of the other parent when it comes to visitation.

Of course, legitimate reasons for denying visitation exist, such as in documented cases of abuse. Some custodial parents, however, deny visitation for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with protecting the children from an abusive parent. The denial of visitation is often used as a bargaining chip or retaliatory measure by the custodial parent.

Visitation problematic for families when 1 parent moves away

When parents divorce or otherwise split up, it can be tricky to determine how to share custody of children. If the custodial parent desires to move away from the non-custodial parent, this can add a layer of difficulty. Here in Georgia, it is often left to family courts to decide what is in the best interest of the child, even if the move is justifiable. Visitation can be affected if a parent moves far away and this can negatively affect the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent.

Experts make several recommendations when one parent feels it is necessary to move away from the other. Assuming that the move is predicated by something positive, such as a new job or new marriage, and not because the other parent is abusive or otherwise harmful, family courts will take several factors into consideration. These include facts around the move itself like how far away it is and the reason behind it. The other points to consider revolve around the child in question -- whether the child is old enough to determine where he or she wants to live, his or her connection to both parents and how much the move will upset any sense of security in the child might have.

Study finds social media as a possible cause of divorce

The information age that we currently live in has proven to be beneficial in many instances. People are able to connect with one another in ways that were not possible before the rise of social media. Unfortunately, it can also cause animosity in relationships. A recent study found some connection between the use of social media and relationships breaking apart, which can often cumulate in divorce. Those of us here in Georgia are not immune to these possible ramifications.

The study was conducted last summer by an out-of-state university and it explored the links between the internet and its potential effects on relationships, both positive and negative. One of the largest findings was that a high amount of Facebook usage negatively affected romantic partnerships. This is due to several factors including a rise in jealousy, easier access to former partners and lowered levels of trust. Divorce is often the result when couples cannot work through these types of issues.