Family Law

No topic in the practice of family law is an easy topic. Families are generally facing a difficult decision or many difficult decisions, and likely have nowhere else to turn. When going through a divorce, child custody case, paternity issues, or other domestic issues, families will likely find themselves in many stressful situations and sometimes dealing with overly complex issues. Every case is different, and what works for one family may not work for yours.

Anytime you are dealing with a domestic issue in the courts, it is wise to have an experienced attorney on your side. The family law attorney at the Law Office of C. Payne will address your case with the utmost care and diligence. Our legal team is here for you during these trying times and we will always fight to obtain the outcome you deserve.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

A family law attorney can provide guidance on a variety of issues that call for competent legal counsel. They can assist with providing information, outlining all choices, developing the case’s strategy, and taking the required steps to ensure a favorable result. A good lawyer should be committed to giving their clients the information they need to make the best choices for their families’ welfare.

As an outsider to a client’s family law issues, an attorney can be objective about the case. When emotions are running high, a client may be tempted to go for a quick resolution to put an end to the proceedings. A family law attorney knows these decisions will likely last years and sometimes a lifetime. A good lawyer will want to ensure their clients make the best long-term decision. It is likely that a family law attorney may counsel a client to wait for a more fair and equitable division rather than accept a smaller settlement agreement just for the sake of time.

These are real issues that will affect the entire family, and an experienced family law firm knows how to get the best result for their clients and their loved ones.

What is Family Law?

Family law refers to the statutes, regulations, case law, and constitutional principles that oversee domestic issues and family-related topics. Adoption, child welfare, domestic partnership, and reproductive rights are all covered within the practice of family law.

The majority of family law lawyers focus their practice primarily on divorce matters, which contain concerns about child custody, spousal and child support, and property division. Others deal with matters relating to same-sex couples’ legal rights, adoption, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, surrogacy, child paternity, child protection, child abduction, and child paternity. Family law entails a lot of counseling and communication, frequently in very sensitive circumstances.

Georgia Divorce Proceedings

It could be daunting to consider filing for divorce. Even if one comprehends the divorce procedure, they nonetheless have a lot of choices to make, including how to come to an amicable agreement on a child custody and visitation schedule and how to submit court documents. The entire family may experience emotional strain as a result, which is why hiring an attorney during these times is often necessary and can be extremely beneficial at reducing stress for all involved.

All parties should be aware that under Georgia law, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for six months before filing for divorce. Furthermore, divorce in Georgia is non-fault based, and the most frequent reason is irreconcilable differences, which means the parties can no longer coexist as a married couple. In Georgia, desertion, frequent alcoholism, and adultery are additional grounds for divorce. The couples must wait 30 days after filing for divorce according to Georgia courts.

These are just the basics needed to start a divorce in Georgia, and there are many more complexities that arise throughout the entire process. The divorce proceedings will usually last a minimum of six months and can continue well after that, especially when child custody and alimony are at issue.

Georgia Custody Proceedings

In Georgia, a judge (or the parents’ agreement) will determine how couples will divide custody and visitation of their children when parents separate or divorce. A judge will consider the child’s best interests while determining custody decisions.

Physical and legal custody are the two types of custody recognized in Georgia. Physical custody is when the child or children live with the parent who obtained physical custody rights. One parent may have sole physical custody or the parents may divide physical custody (referred to as “joint custody”). In Georgia, when parents have joint custody, they each spend about equal time with the child or children.

Legal custody allows a parent to make all life-determining decisions about that child. Major medical, legal, educational, and religious choices can be made on behalf of the child or children by the parent who has legal custody. A judge will frequently grant parents joint legal custody. In Georgia, joint legal custody means that both parents are involved in all significant decisions that affect the child or children.

Paternity Cases in Georgia

While mothers in Georgia have rights over their children from the moment of birth, establishing fathers’ rights is frequently more difficult. Georgia considers a child born outside of wedlock to be illegitimate, granting the mother of the child privileges that the father is not entitled to.

The biological father’s identity is established in Georgia by paternity. This enables the mother to seek child support from the child’s father in a paternity case and the father can obtain the rights to physical and legal custody through a legitimation case. A court cannot deal with these difficulties without first determining paternity.

In Georgia, legally married couples have equal parental rights. The biological mother is the only one with legal and physical custody rights to the child if the parents are not married. A father who is not legally married must submit a petition to the court asking for legal recognition in order to be granted parental rights.

Contact the Law Office of C. Payne

If you are considering filing a domestic proceeding or family law matter in Georgia, you should contact the Georgia family law attorney at the Law Office of C. Payne. Our legal team can help you from beginning to end with all family law matters. Contact us today by phone at (404) 393-9457 or online to get started on your case.

Paternity / Legitimation

In Georgia, a child is legitimate if born into a marriage or if the parents marry shortly after birth. If this is not the case, the only legitimate parent of the child is the mother, leaving the father with no rights or responsibilities. Legitimation is the process by which a father can establish his legal rights to a child, and which will allow him visitation and/or custody. A paternity suit is when an unmarried mother sues to declare the father of her child. A legitimation suit occurs when a father brings suit against the mother to declare he is the father.

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Deciding to get a divorce is never an easy option and can be made more complicated when children and joint assets are involved. Regardless of the situation, it is generally a good idea to hire a divorce attorney before beginning any proceedings. The Georgia divorce attorney at The Law Office of C. Payne has the experience and understanding to help individuals through the entire divorce process.

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​- Martin Luther King

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