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Gwinnett County Family Law Blog

Get the help you need filing for divorce in Gwinnett

If you've decided that you want to get a divorce, it's probably with much debate and maybe even sour feelings. The first thing you'll need to decide on is the kind of divorce you're going to pursue. Is someone at fault for the marriage coming to an end, or are both parties to blame in one way or another?

There are several legal requirements for divorce that you need to know about if you live in Georgia, because without meeting them, you won't be able to file for divorce correctly. Georgia does allow for no-fault divorce, but other grounds can be used to file for divorce, especially if you want to prove that the other person is responsible for your marriage ending. For instance, if your husband or wife has cheated on you during your marriage, you could potentially file for divorce with the grounds of adultery.

Grandparent custody legislation could make custody easier

If you're facing the decision of allowing your grandchildren to go into foster care or continuing to live under your roof, you're probably ready to go the extra mile with the help of your attorney to make sure you get custody.

New proposed laws in Georgia could help grandparents like you raise grandchildren without as much of a legal battle as in the past. According to the news, a woman interviewed about raising her grandchildren stated that when her grandkids were 4 and nearly 5 years old, she had filled out paperwork to take them into her custody to avoid foster care.

Senate approves bill for tougher penalties for domestic abuse

If someone has been convicted of domestic violence in the past, should that person be exposed to more serious penalties in the case of a repeat offense? If you've been victimized by a domestic violence offender, then your opinion may be that people who offend more than once deserve much harsher penalties. That's what the Georgia Senate believes, too, and soon, you and your attorney may be able to seek harsher penalties for those who are abusive to the people they are meant to be in a loving relationship with.

The Georgia Senate has backed tougher penalties for repeat offenders in a new bill, Senate Bill 193. The bill, if it passes both the Senate and House, will allow the potential misdemeanor charge for domestic violence to be raised to a felony charge instead if there was a prior out-of-state conviction for domestic violence.

The availability of weapons during divorce; can it be restricted?

A new bill in Georgia does have the potential to help with domestic violence and danger during divorce. A state lawmaker pre-filed a bill that could make it harder for those going through a divorce to get a gun; this is partially in response to some fears that anxiety, tension and drama during a divorce could lead to serious harm coming to one party or the other. However, this is a bill that will face significant challenges thanks to the given right to carry guns in the United States.

According to the bill, anyone in the middle of a divorce would be unable to purchase a gun. If the judge presiding over the divorce agreed, then the person would be able to purchase a gun. To get a judge to agree, it's likely the person would need to provide a good reason for purchasing the weapon.

Domestic violence in Georgia: 5 Types

Domestic violence can't be allowed in a home. It affects children, their siblings and parents, and it's a negative environment to be part of. Domestic violence in a divorce situation can result in one party having to take out restraining orders and needing to work with an attorney to separate the other parent from the children involved in the case.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse that is used to control another person. For instance, a husband hitting a wife, a wife demeaning and blackmailing a husband, and so on, are both kinds of abuse. Both physical and emotional abuse are recognized in Georgia, as well as economic abuse, psychological abuse and sexual abuse.

Facts about the rights of unmarried fathers in America

Unmarried fathers do have rights in relation to their children. They are biologically connected to their children, and that means they share equal responsibilities to the children with the children's mothers. If you need to assert your rights, your attorney can help, since you may need to file paperwork with the courts.

What is a father, by law?

Wage garnishment dilemmas; new laws aim to right wrongs

If you fail to pay child support or someone who is meant to pay you child support fails to pay, then a wage garnishment used to be a way that the child support could be collected, and it still can be in certain circumstances. However, laws in Georgia have now made it difficult to collect assets from those who haven't paid when the assets have been moved into a financial institution. That means once a person has money in the bank, it can't be touched.

Originally, no wage garnishments were allowed, even in cases for child support. However, in October 2015, the attorney general and clerk of courts both appealed to the U.S. District Court senior judge in charge of the ruling and asked to allow wage garnishments of a recurring nature and garnishments that were set for child support.

Can you determine your own custody arrangement?

If you're trying to obtain custody of your child, it's important to understand what information you should provide to the courts. One of the most helpful pieces of information is a parenting plan. If you and your spouse can put one together before going to court, then the plan can be reviewed and may be accepted as it is.

That plan may focus on your parenting time schedules, proposals for traveling and transportation arrangements, agreements about how the parents can talk to the child when in the other's care and more. The judge will review this information, and if he or she agrees with the statements, he or she may approve the plan. If not, then he or she will be most interested in acting in the best interest of your child.

When can a paternity test be ordered in Georgia?

If you're trying to get child support from someone in Georgia or you're trying to avoid paying child support for a child you don't think is yours, then a DNA test can be helpful. A DNA test is nearly 100 percent accurate, so the results can prove whether or not you're the parent of a child. Your attorney can help you with a child support case, but you first need to prove that a man is the father of your child in Georgia.

A DNA test is not always required to show that someone is a parent. Two people could agree on the fact, for instance, signing agreements to say they know each other to be the biological parents of a child. However, a new law in Georgia will allow DNA testing for paternity before child support cases have to go to court. This means that those who question paternity can actually find out before going through a lengthy legal process.

Domestic violence is a major issue

It's easy to dismiss domestic violence issues as he-said-she-said situations or something that only happens in certain areas or income levels, but this just isn't true. Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in our society and is not limited to sex, race, socioeconomic status. Understanding the seriousness of domestic violence and the negative effects it can have long after the victim has escaped the abuser is important to fixing this problem.

According to statistics released from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, more than 100 Georgia residents are killed every year in domestic violence-related attacks. Hundreds more die every year across the country at the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect them. The Centers for Disease Control reports that recent numbers show that approximately 1 in 3 women aged 14 to 44 have experienced at least one domestic violence incident. Even more startling, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that every nine seconds a woman is beaten somewhere in the country.

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