Let Our Family Help Yours
The attorneys at Smith & Little, P.C. understand that family law matters can be some of the most difficult to navigate. From divorce and its necessary considerations to adoption disputes, seeking a resolution to any case can be an emotional and taxing journey. Fortunately for our clients, we offer thoughtful legal counsel and direction, all while treating them with the care and compassion we would like to receive if we were in their situations.
Contact us online or call (678) 928-5581 today to find out how our family of attorneys in McDonough can make your family’s case our cause.
Divorce requires the involved parties to answer various questions about how property will be split, who will pay child support and how much, or whether one party should receive alimony, to name just a few. Below are answers to some of the most common questions people ask about divorce in Georgia.
Divorce in Georgia Is No-Fault Based
A “no-fault based” divorce means that one spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong to file for divorce. In Georgia, the most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences, a broad category that does not place the blame on either spouse for the marriage’s failure and the need for a legal split.
There Are Times When a Spouse Will Establish Fault
In cases where a divorce is the result of abuse or adultery, a spouse can seek to establish a fault as the case’s grounds. Fault affects the outcome of the divorce, meaning the spouse who is not at-fault could receive a greater share of the marital property, or perhaps have sole or majority custody of the couple’s child or children.
Georgia Is an Equitable Distribution State
In divorce, “equitable distribution” means that marital property will not be split 50/50 in the settlement. Instead, a judge will consider myriad factors, from the circumstances of the divorce to the living standards and earning potential of either spouse, then determine how to apportion marital property in a way that is appropriate for the individual needs of both parties.
Divorce Does Not Always Have to Go to Court
While there are many instances where it is necessary to settle a divorce and its accompanying disputes in court, spouses can reach a settlement without it. Through negotiations, mediation, and arbitration, couples can finalize the terms of their divorce without any formal legal proceedings. Some counties in Georgia, however, will require parties to appear in court at the end of their settlement to commit to the terms of their divorce under oath. Even if spouses can settle their divorce outside of court, it can be vital to seek a trusted attorney to help make sure the terms of the divorce are fair.
Let Smith & Little, P.C. advocate for you and your family. Call us at (678) 928-5581 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to talk about your divorce.
The Adoption Process in Georgia
Adoption is a strictly regulated legal procedure in which a child’s legal relationship between their biological parents is terminated, while the legal rights and responsibilities of the child are transferred to their adoptive parents. The purpose of adoption is to promote the welfare of the children involved. This means that the state has put strict adoption laws in place to ensure adoptions do not unnecessarily split families, adopted children enter families that are able to provide them with adequate care and support, and the terms of adoption are final and enforceable.
In the state of Georgia there are six types of adoption:
- Public or private agency adoptions
- Third party adoptions, which means the adoptive parents are neither a relative nor stepparent of the child
- Stepparent adoptions
- Relative adoptions
- Adult adoptions, which means the child has turned 18
- Adoption via foreign decree, which means the adoption happened in another country
Each type of adoption requires a significant amount of documentation to complete. Generally, some of the necessary documents adoptive parents will have to obtain include:
- The consent of the child’s biological birth parent, as well as an affidavit that details the parent’s marital status, last known addresses, and names
- A petition from the adoptive parents that indicates their desire to have their adoption approved through a court
- Information about the child’s medical, social, and genetic history, in addition to their educational background
- A form that accompanies the petition that indicates any party’s consent who the adoption would require but that the adoptive parents have not yet obtained
- An affidavit that details payments the adoptive parents have made for the adoption
After these documents have been filed, the court may require the adoption agency or an independent authority to complete a report that assesses whether placing the child with the adoptive family is in their best interest. This report must be completed within 50 days of the court’s order.
Not more than six months after the adoptive parents have submitted their petition, a court will conduct a hearing to finalize the adoption.
The biological parents of the child are able to rescind their decision to place the child with adoptive parents. This is called a “disrupted adoption.” Additionally, a child’s biological parents and their relatives can contest an adoption at any time during the process. If this happens, adoptive parents must defend their case in court. Termed “contested adoptions,” these cases are difficult because they can possibly extend the process, in addition to increasing the involved parties’ emotions and stress.
If you are seeking an adoption, trust our family law attorneys in McDonough to guide you through every aspect of such an important legal process for you and your family.
Contact us online or call (678) 928-5581 to see how we can assist your case.
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