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Gwinnett County Family Law Blog

Child support: Why it seems like it's so high for some parents

If you have to pay child support, then it's important that you pay what is fair to your child and to you. It can be difficult to understand why some child support payments seem so high, but it's easy to break down the math.

When you look at the average cost of raising a child between birth and the age of 18, most children cost around $234,900. That was in 2011 dollars, so the cost may be even higher now.

Kinship caregiver law helps give caregivers more rights

There may be a day when parents can no longer take care of their children. Maybe one parent sought a divorce because the other was incarcerated, or perhaps one has passed away. Regardless of the reason, if a child is unable to be raised by his or her parents, family members may step in.

The problem with that is that the individuals who take custody may not have the same rights as parents, and that can actually harm children. According to a May 6 report, a new law may help those who are kinship caregivers have more rights without violating the parental rights of the children's parents.

What kinds of protective orders are there in Georgia?

When you feel you are in danger or that your children are at risk, you may not be sure what to do. Should you call the police? Do you reach out to family and friends? One thing you can do is talk to your attorney.

Your attorney can help you obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) that can help protect you and your children from the person threatening you. If your situation is a result of domestic violence, the TRO can help remove the abuser from the home and keep him or her away from you and your children at least temporarily while the case is investigated.

Woman appeals court decision giving ex-husband right to embryos

When you're married and decide to freeze eggs and embryos to have a family later, the last thing you're considering at the time is a potential for divorce. If you do go through a divorce, who gets to keep those embryos?

An April 13 news article addressed a case just like this. A woman gave birth to twins using donor eggs and her ex-husband's sperm. They went to court over the embryos, and the court ruled that he had the right to destroy the three embryos that remained. The woman did not agree with the ruling and is appealing the decision.

Bias in court: Moms versus dads and custody

When it comes to having custody of your children, it's important to you that you're treated fairly by the courts. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is an unspoken bias against fathers, but that's what many people worry they'll have to contend with. Is there really that much of a bias in court, though?

When it comes down to it, there used to be a bias in favor of mothers. They were traditionally the caretakers of children, and fathers traditionally served as providers who earned a wage. In the past, it was assumed that a mother would keep her children while the father continued to work and provide child support.

How does domestic violence affect children and their mothers?

Anyone who has had to go through domestic violence deserves better. There's never an excuse for the pain and suffering violence can cause in a home. In fact, domestic violence can quickly become a cycle. Children may feel that if they behave, they'll be less likely to get hurt, but the offender may continue to hurt them or their other parent anyway.

It's a common coping mechanism to believe you can predict and prevent violence when you're in a domestic violence situation. The truth is that you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells or use special strategies to live comfortably and without fear. You may want to control the situation and protect your children, but any time violence is in the home, it can escalate.

You can seek out missing child support payments

There is no worse feeling than knowing your child needs something that you can't give him or her. Child support is designed to help by providing your child with a second parent's income; it's the money that two parents together would have to spend on their child, in theory. When a person doesn't pay child support, that person is not hurting his or her ex, but instead hurting the child.

There are state laws that help protect children and their primary guardians in these situations. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 gives district and state attorneys the power to collect back child support. That means that if your ex does not pay child support as required by the court, an attorney does have the power to seek out that money and to collect it on your behalf.

Paternity establishment is an important step for fathers

There was no moment in your life more exciting than when you found out you had a child on the way. You knew you wanted to be in your child's life. While you can be there from the first day, something you may not know is that you won't automatically be assumed to be the father in all cases. In those cases, you need to take steps to assert paternity.

Why is establishing paternity important?

Domestic violence changes and threatens lives

Domestic violence is hurtful and terrifying to those going through it. It's often someone who is close to another, like a spouse, who takes advantage of a situation by abusing or manipulating the other party. Domestic violence can lead to a person suffering serious injuries or being killed. Those who witness it, like small children, suffer the emotional scarring of the situation.

In many situations, those who flee from their abusers end up returning to them. Why? Some claim they have nowhere to go. Others have no money or access to items they need, because their partners control those assets.

What happens with dual-nationality custody and divorce?

When a divorce involves a dual citizen, it can become tricky quickly. If there are children involved, it can become a battle to figure out how to share custody or make visitation arrangements. If you own property in either country, that could become a major point of contention.

So, what can you do? When it comes to your property, you have a few options. Sell, and divide any profits you make. Or, keep the properties and rent them, if they're things like homes or apartments. You could also divide your properties up by nation, if you have more than one. Then, each person could have a property in his or her own home country.