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Augusta GA Family Law Blog

Child custody modifications could be in the future for Gosselin

Reality television fans in Georgia may be familiar with the show "Jon & Kate Plus 8." Off the air for many years now, the reality TV show focused on a couple who welcomed sextuplets into their family. Viewers had a front row seat to the trials and tribulations of a house full of kids, as well as increasing tensions between a husband and wife. Eventually, the couple divorced and began what would be a long and contentious child custody battle.

It appears that Jon and Kate Gosselin may be preparing for a return to court. After a recent altercation, a GoFundMe account was created to gather money to pay for Jon Gosselin's legal fees. He may be planning to ask the court to grant him increased rights and access to his children.

How business value is determined during a divorce

Starting a business is a goal that many Georgia residents share. In order to be successful, a great deal of time, effort and investment is required. For successful business owners, the thought of losing business assets during a divorce leads to an enormous amount of stress. Understanding how a business is valued during the divorce process can make it easier for both spouses to move forward.

The best way to determine the value of business assets is by hiring an independent expert to complete a business valuation. That process becomes more complex if a business has considerable assets, or multiple different asset types. Having this information in hand, however, can make it easier for spouses to begin the negotiation process.

Collaboration, child custody and domestic violence

Leaving a marriage where domestic violence has occurred can be a nightmare, and is a step that many victims put off for years. When the time comes to finally pull the plug and start a new life, victims of domestic violence may be fearful of a nasty child custody fight. When considering how to proceed, it may be worthwhile to consider collaboration as a divorce option. Collaboration can seem like an impossible goal to achieve when working with an abusive spouse, but the way that the process works can actually be beneficial for some Georgia victims and their children.

Collaboration involved both spouses working toward a shared goal: the resolution of property division, child custody and other divorce issues outside of a court of law. That does not mean that the couple meets over coffee to hammer out their settlement; the process involves a series of meetings where both sides have an attorney present. In addition, neutral mental health and financial experts may also participate.

Another state considers legislating child custody changes

Many Georgia readers are aware of a growing trend regarding how custody cases are handled in family courts across the nation. There is a distinct move toward a system under which shared custody would be a starting point for all cases. Currently, one state is considering legislation that would require family courts to begin all child custody matters with the presumption that 50/50 shared custody is the best possible outcome.

Those in support of the bill believe that children thrive when they are able to have access to both parents. Many also believe that the current approach places fathers at a distinct disadvantage, often relegating them to occasional visitors in the lives of their children. They feel that beginning from a position of shared custody helps to level the playing field and gives both parents equal access to shared children.

Program seeks to restore parents' child custody rights

Struggling through drug or alcohol addiction is a scenario that many Georgia families face. One common result of addiction is a loss of parental rights. In many cases, parents lose their child custody rights when their children are placed into protective custody by state authorities. That can be heartbreaking for both parents and children alike, and is an outcome that a court system in one state is trying to avoid.

The program is called "Best for Babies," but most people simply refer to it as "Baby Court." It is a pilot program that aims to reunite parents who are struggling with addiction with children who have been removed from their care. The program takes a team approach, and combines the resources of the judge, attorneys, social workers and experts in child development. All of those parties are focused on the shared goal of reuniting parents and children in a safe and stable home environment.

Protecting business assets from loss during divorce

Owning and operating a successful business is a lifetime goal of many Georgia residents. Once a business is up and running, the goal shifts to preserving that success, and growing the business as time passes. For many spouses, protecting business assets from loss in the event of a divorce is a priority; others do not think about these matters until the need arises, which is often too late. The best time to shield business assets from property division losses is prior to walking down the aisle.

Drafting a clear and comprehensive prenuptial agreement is an important financial planning measure. In the case of business owners, having these protections in place well in advance of a wedding will bring the peace of mind of knowing that business assets will remain intact if the worst case scenario should occur. Many people think of prenups as being one-sided, and aimed at preventing the less moneyed spouse from achieving any financial gain in the event of a divorce. In reality, a prenup can be a very balanced document, and can provide protections for both partners.

Resolution looks at child custody and domestic violence

When most Georgia parents face a custody battle, they are squared off against the other parent in a struggle over who will get the greater share of parenting time. That can be a difficult set of circumstances, but it is one that all parties will move through relatively unscathed. For some families, however, an environment of domestic violence makes child custody matters a far more difficult path to navigate.

United States Representative Pat Meehan would like to improve things for victims of domestic violence and their children. According to statistics compiled by the Center for Judicial Excellence, in the past decade more than 580 children were killed at the hands of a parent who was involved in a child custody case at the time. Many believe that a great deal of those deaths could have been prevented had better precautionary steps been taken.

Child custody case centered on parents' low IQ

There are a number of ways that parents can lose custody of their children. State authorities will step in if a child is being abused, neglected or has been abandoned. Outside of those matters, however, most parents feel comfortable that the state will not interfere with their parental rights. In fact, losing child custody rights to the state is not even a concern that registers with most Georgia parents. Unfortunately, there are cases in which children are removed from loving homes even when there is no evidence of abuse or neglect.

An example lies in the case of a couple who lost custody after child welfare authorities in their state of residence determined that they lacked the mental capacity to care for their two small children. The father receives Social Security disability checks for a mental disability, and has an estimated IQ of 66. The mother was tested and demonstrated an IQ of 72. The average IQ range for adults is between 90 and 110.

Georgia children seek forever home through foster care adoption

Adopting a child tends to come with many unknowns, causing prospective adoptive parents to question whether or not they truly want to go through this process. This is especially true when it comes to foster care adoption. With the bureaucratic procedures varying by state and the outcome for the child being up in the air, families are often hesitant to pursue this option for adoption. However, family lawyers in Georgia can provide guidance to those ready to begin this process.

The hope for children in foster care is that they will be able to permanently return to their birth parents. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, leaving thousands of children ready to be adopted. The challenge lies in the fact that these children may be in foster care for years prior to the termination of the parental rights.

Being prepared for unexpected costs in Georgia divorce

Making the decision to obtain a divorce is a big step. It is, however, just the beginning, as all the property division, spousal support and child support talks get started at this point. Those in Georgia who are considering divorce or who are working through the process have several things to consider as they move along. Resources are available that provide information about the various aspects involved, allowing divorcing couples to be prepared.

While many people are aware that the divorce process itself can be rather costly, the other expenses that arise during this time are often forgotten. One possibly large expense that could be overlooked is alimony, or spousal support. Although this may seem old-fashioned, it often comes into play when one party is the primary breadwinner. One's income, where the couple live and other factors will be taken into account in order to determine whether spousal support is required and, if so, how much it will be. 

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