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Augusta GA Family Law Blog

Prospective parents can be prepared for adoption in Georgia

The number of children around the world in need of families to call their own is heartbreaking. Yet, many families choose not to consider adoption because it seems too daunting and costly. While the process of adopting a child varies in each case, it is an incredibly rewarding thing in which to be a part. Those in Georgia who may be looking into adoption have many resources available to them that can guide them through the process.

The journey to adoption begins with making the decision and beginning to create a profile. Prospective adoptive parents must have a home study done, determine the agency or agencies with which they want to work and choose a family law or adoption professional to assist with the process. Getting these things prepared before the new year can allow a family to be presented to birth mothers who are having children toward the end of the year.

Georgia parents can choose child custody arrangement

Custody arrangements following divorce can take a variety of forms, depending largely on the two parents and their relationships with the child. While there are many options available to parents going through the divorce process, it is important for them to take the child's best interests into consideration. Joint child custody, both legal and physical or solely joint legal custody, may be an option that parents in Georgia consider.

When two parties decide that they are going to share legal and physical custody of their children, they are largely doing most of the parenting together. They make decisions concerning the children's welfare and how they will be raised cooperatively. Additionally, the children spend equal, or nearly equal, time living with each parent. This may result in three days with one parent and four with the other, switching for holidays, or spending a week with one and then a week with the other.

Remembering older children in Georgia foster care adoption

Foster care provides a home to children who have no family, although it may only be temporarily. Adoption, on the other hand, gives children a home and a forever family to call their own. Sadly, many children grow up in the foster care system and are then less likely to be adopted. Georgia families interested in adoption have many resources available to them and may choose to seek assistance from family law professionals.

One family decided to look into adoption, even though they had three biological children. After beginning the process, they sought to find some way to bring attention to the fact that older children are often overlooked because of age. The mother began to take pictures of children in the foster care system, trying to show them that they are loved and deserve to feel beautiful.

Georgia child custody: Meet the child's best interest

Divorce can bring up a number of questions when child custody is involved. No matter the background or whether children are biological or adopted, how these questions are answered will have a lasting impact on everyone involved. Determining one's child custody arrangement is one of biggest challenges for divorcing couples. Family law professionals in Georgia can assist parents as they work through this aspect of divorce.

Children of various ages often react differently to learning that their parents will be splitting up. Younger children may not fully understand what is going on or may blame themselves for their parents not being in love anymore. Elementary and middle school-age children typically want everyone to get along and be nice to each other. Older children may judge their parents' actions or decisions and decide to take sides, especially if encouraged to do so by one parent.

Finances: an important concern during and after Georgia divorce

Most people do not get married with the goal of eventually getting divorced. However, for some couples, divorce becomes the only option to end an unsatisfying marriage. The process of separating completely from another person can be emotionally draining, and it can create a great deal of financial stress as well. Those is Georgia considering divorce may want to seek guidance from a family law professional to gain a better understanding of how this action will affect their finances now and later.

In many marriages, one spouse handles the majority of the finances. From monthly bills to how much goes into the vacation fund, this person has a much deeper understanding of the couple's financial standing. When divorce enters the picture, though, it can be incredibly helpful for both parties to have an understanding of their shared and individual assets and debts. Knowing what assets one possesses currently and what portion of future assets, like retirement accounts, one is entitled to will be crucial as property is divided between the two parties. 

Stepparent adoption in Georgia impacts children and parents alike

Each and every family is unique down to the very core. Some families have all biological children, some have no children, and some have children with paws. No matter how individuals get to be a family, the love and bond that is shared is something special. In Georgia, stepparent adoption is one way to create a one-of-a-kind family.

Many times when adoption is being discussed, it involves infants or small children. These little ones, often from another country with no place to call home, are brought into a two-parent household, where they grow into beautiful teenagers, young adults and contributing citizens. However, this scenario is by no means the only or best purpose of adoption. Another type of adoption -- one by a stepparent -- can also leave a lasting impact on the life of a child or adolescent. 

Georgia divorce can affect finances long after it is finalized

As one prepares for or works through ending a marriage, the finances involved in the process may seem overwhelming. While many things have to be considered, like retirement plans and others assets or debts, various financial aspects have to be taken care of after the divorce is finalized, especially for those dealing with child custody arrangements. Parents working out a child custody arrangement in Georgia should be aware of potential finance-related things that will come up.

As parents, a couple's relationship may no longer be spousal, but they will continue to be the mother and father of their children. Regardless of what type of custody arrangement that the two parties decide upon, they will have to continue to communicate and work together in areas concerning their children. Deciding upon and then paying for extracurricular activities like sports or girl/boy scouts can create conflict between the two parents.

Single-parent adoption a possibility for Georgia residents

When the topic of adopting a child is brought up, most people have a variety of preconceived notions, some well founded, others not as much. Some believe that the only families that adopt are couples that cannot have children on their own. Others think that only well-to-do families with a husband, wife and possibly a few biological children are suitable to adopt. However, single-parent adoption is a very real possibility for those in Georgia.

Over 20 years ago, one woman was bold enough to start the adoption process as a single mother. She had no children of her own and was not in, nor pursuing, a serious relationship, but she knew that she wanted to be a mother. This woman went through the process and adopted a little girl from India.

Georgia child custody: Children are people, not pawns

Not all divorces are created equal. A divorce proceeding is unique to the two parties, particularly when children are involved. The parents' roles in their children's lives is a central focus in resolving these issues. In some cases, it does not work for both parents to be heavily involved in child custody, thus resulting in primary custody being awarded to one party, while the other typically receives visitation rights. However, whenever possible and with growing frequency in Georgia, co-parenting or shared custody may be awarded.

Research shows that children used as pawns in high-conflict, or even low-conflict, divorces tend to react poorly. They may act out in school, withdraw into themselves or suffer another way either emotionally or psychologically. While there is evidence that shows that children of divorce may not do as well academically or relationally, that does not have to be the case.

Protecting one's retirement plan in Georgia divorce

When dissolving a marriage, dividing assets can be challenging and stressful, which can be especially true for those divorcing later in life and nearing retirement. The divorce rate among those over the age of 50 has doubled over the last two decades. This can leave individuals wondering what they are going to do about their retirement and pensions. Family law professionals can assist those going through this process in Georgia. 

Retirement and pensions are two of things most fought over during the divorce process. When two parties both have careers and are able to create their own retirement accounts, the tension can be minimal. However, this is not always the case. For other spouses, dividing all of their shared finances, assets and debts can create friction. 

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