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Atlanta High-Asset Divorce Law Blog

Should you seek alimony in your Georgia divorce?

While alimony paid by the husband to the wife was once almost automatically included in every divorce, this is no longer the case here in Georgia as well as elsewhere in the United States. Family law courts are increasingly not awarding alimony to be paid to ex-wives. In some cases, the wives may even have to pay spousal support to their ex-husbands.

It can be challenging to transition to a lesser standard of living than what you enjoyed while you were one-half of a couple. That's why judges frequently order rehabilitative alimony for a limited number of months or years. Its purpose is to ease the transition into a new life while also giving the recipient spouse time to return to school or acquire the skills to re-enter the workforce and become self-supporting.

How do courts divide debt in divorce?

Two spouses going through divorce need to figure out how to divide everything. They need to determine who gets the house, any cars they share and other important assets. However, they also need to divide what they do not have, namely debt. 

Everything from credit card debt to student loan debt will come up in a divorce. Regardless of whether financial issues contributed to the divorce, both spouses will need to bring their respective debts to the table for the court to divide. It is possible for one spouse to have to continue paying off another spouse's debts even after finalizing the divorce. Here is what you can anticipate when you divorce with debt. 

How can I help my kids get through the divorce?

Not only does divorce take the wind out of the spouses' sails, it can threaten the well-being of the children as well. Learning that your parents are divorcing can rock a child's world — and not in a good way.

Even when the kids are tired of listening to mom and dad bicker and fight, hearing that their parents are actually divorcing can still be a major blow. While it might be inevitable that the kids will be upset, moms and dads can take certain steps to make the landing a little softer.

How can I best split the spoils of my high-asset divorce?

If you are 50 or older and going through a divorce, chances are good that you and your spouse have acquired significant assets and marital property during your union. If so, the focus of your divorce will be less likely on the custody and visitation schedule with the kids and more on the property settlement.

It's more expensive to live singly than as a couple, and the folks at the American Academy of Actuaries say that it can be as much as 50% higher. You also must halve the retirement pensions, and when you're north of 50, that means there will be precious little time to recoup any losses.

Professionals you may want to have on your divorce team

It is a common expectation that couples will use attorneys in a divorce. Having individual legal representation even in an amicable split is beneficial to ensuring the process goes correctly, quickly and fairly.

However, lawyers are not the only important people in a divorce. You may find other professionals useful in your case, especially if you have multiple, complex assets.

Child agency rife with caseworker neglect

Losing your child(ren) to the custody of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) is traumatic. But sometimes that is necessary when conditions in the home are critically sub-par or the parents are otherwise unfit.

Parents with kids in DFCS custody should, however, be assured that their kids are all right and protected from further harm under these arrangements. But according to recent news reports, that is apparently not a given.

Paying for your child’s college after a divorce

Divorcing your significant other involves a period of adjustment. One of the many things you may need to adjust to is learning how to get by on one income. You may, too, have concerns about financing the higher education of any children you share with your former spouse now that the two of you have detangled your lives from one another’s.

In Georgia, the courts cannot force you or your ex to finance your shared child’s college education, but that does not mean you and your ex cannot come up with an agreement as to how to do so on your own. If you wish to make paying for your child’s college easier on everyone, there are some steps you may be able to take to help do so. These steps include:

Can I legally avoid paying alimony?

There are couples who remain married in loveless relationships because they fear that they can't afford to get divorced. And it's true that between the property settlement, child support and alimony, a divorced spouse's paycheck can be stretched really thin.

But there may be ways to mitigate how much money is expended post-divorce in spousal support. Some divorcing couples are able to sidestep the concept of spousal support entirely.

With mediation, divorce can be constructive, not destructive

One of the main worries a divorcing couple has is that once they enter the courtroom, their privacy will end. Traditional divorce is not only public, but also lengthy, expensive and sometimes destructive to future family relationships.

However, there is an option. Even with the involvement of significant assets, you can consider mediation, a more constructive, less adversarial form of alternative dispute resolution.

How is custody of special needs kids determined?

If you are fighting for custody of your special-needs child, your case is necessarily more complex and nuanced than many child custody situations. The factors that a judge would ordinarily consider when determining a custody situation are increased to accommodate the special needs of the child.

There are no one-size-fits-all custody arrangements for special-needs children. Even children who are diagnosed with the same disabling condition have variations unique to their diagnoses and circumstances. For instance, suppose you have an autistic child. Since autism is diagnosed on a spectrum, that could mean anything from a high-functioning child with Asperger's syndrome to a non-verbal tween who still needs to be diapered.

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