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Cherokee County Divorce Law Blog

Finances and prenuptial agreements in Georgia

Whether a couple is older and have been in previous marriages or a couple is younger and just getting out of college with debt, a prenuptial agreement can be an important part of planning for a future. A prenuptial agreement allows a couple to lay out how to handle financial issues in their marriage, as well as how assets should be divided if the marriage ends.

Prenuptial agreements can act as a financial plan that outlines how a couple will handle their debts and assets. This may or may not mean assigning a person to be responsible for certain payments or debts, but it should create a list of priorities. If there are children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can allow a couple to determine how much of their assets will go to caring for these children.

Statistics of women seeking divorce versus break ups

Georgia couples may be interested in the results of a study presented to the American Sociological Association by researchers regarding how marriages and live-in relationships end. In opposite-sex relationships, the number of women who ask for divorce in comparison to the number of women who end a live-in relationship was substantially different.

The survey, called "How Couples Meet and Stay Together", garnered information from 2,262 adults. They responded to questions about their relationships between the years 2009 and 2015. It revealed that, in those couples who were in a live-in relationship but were not married, women and men initiated the breakup at equal rates. For those who were married, however, only 31 percent of men precipitated the divorce while 69 percent of the women did so.

Why couples can benefit from a divorce statement

Talking about a divorce isn't easy whether the conversation happens in front of millions of people or in front of friends and family members. While celebrity divorces may get more attention, there is one thing that Georgia couples whose marriages are ending can learn from them. The biggest takeaway is that it may be beneficial to issue a divorce statement prior to, during or after the event has been finalized.

Although making a divorce statement may seem awkward, it can help avoid many painful or embarrassing conversations. When someone asks about a former spouse or why the couple separated, an individual can reference the statement and the conversation is over. Depending on how a couple wishes to handle the statement, both parties may post the same message on social media. Regardless of what the message is, a simple statement helps an individual get in front of the issue and control how and when it is discussed.

Initial consultations with family law attorneys

When a Georgia family decides that it is time for a divorce, the first step is for each spouse to seek an attorney. If there is no conflict keeping an attorney from being able to represent the person, they may set up an initial consultation.

When going to the initial consultation with a family law attorney, a person preparing for a divorce should be prepared to discuss the case. This initial consultation usually requires the individual seeking divorce to do most of the talking. The attorney should be asking questions and taking notes. They will need background information including the ages of any children as well as employment and income information for both spouses, among other things. The person may wish to bring with them records of accounts and information about their separate and joint assets.

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale announce split

Georgia music fans may be interested to learn that musicians Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have filed for divorce. They have been married for 13 years. According to media reports, the rock stars each filed divorce papers separately in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 3. Stefani listed irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split in her court filing. Stefani and Rossdale are reportedly seeking joint custody of their three children, who are ages 9, 6 and 1.

The two musicians issued a joint statement afterwards, saying that they were committed to raising their sons in a loving environment. Stefani is the frontwoman for the band No Doubt and also appears as a judge on the NBC singing competition show "The Voice." Rossdale, who is British, is the frontman for the band Bush. The pair married in 2002 and had their first son in 2006.

Differences between gay and straight marriages

The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2015 held that gay people in Georgia and across the country will have the right to marry if they so choose. In spite of how recent the decision is, there are still many legal hurdles that have yet to be overcome and fully determined.

In some states, same-sex married couples were barred from seeking a divorce because their marriage was not recognized in the state of their residence. Now, with same-sex marriage being recognized across the country, this problem may be eliminated. However, same-sex spouses are still waiting to receive some or all of the federal privileges that opposite-sex spouses are provided. The Supreme Court decision requires states to provide the same rights to same-sex spouses as they afford to opposite-sex couples.

Kardashian breakup fuels conversation about child custody

The recent breakup of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick may have piqued the interest of some Georgia residents. Because the reality television stars have three children, there is a lot of speculation about what custody arrangement will be worked out between them. Kardashian and Disick have a 5-year-old son, a 2-year-old daughter and a 7-month-old son.

Since reports came out that Disick had to go into rehab for substance abuse, many believe that he will not be awarded physical custody of his three children. However, a history of substance abuse does not necessarily prevent a parent from obtaining custody. Even if a parent has a history of criminal acts, mental illness or spousal abuse, a court will usually attempt to maintain the parent-child bond whenever possible.

Financial planning essential for divorcing couples

When Georgia couples find themselves under financial stress, they may think divorce is the solution to their money battles. This is not necessarily so, and without proper financial planning, spouses may find their financial situation is actually worse.

In the case of housing expenses, one set of living expenses is cheaper than expenses for two households. Proper planning before the divorce is finalized can lessen the financial strain on newly single spouses. First, they need to know what all the financial expenses were when they were a couple. Eliminating the expenses paid by the other spouse will provide an idea of what will be needed after the marriage ends. If alimony is involved, one spouse needs to budget for this payment, while the receiving spouse needs to know they may have to pay taxes on spousal support payments and to plan ahead for when alimony ends.

Prenuptial agreements and the Garner/Affleck divorce

Georgia residents may have read media reports during recent months speculating that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were likely to divorce. The prominent Hollywood couple removed doubt by announcing their plans to split on June 30, and the timing of the news has generated a new wave of conjecture. The announcement came just one day after the couple's 10th wedding anniversary, and many legal experts believe that Affleck and Garner waited until this date due to the terms of a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements sometimes contain clauses that are triggered after the marriage has endured for a certain amount of time, and some legal experts believe that this may have motivated Affleck and Garner to put off filing for divorce. Prenuptial agreements have long been viewed as a tool used by the wealthy to protect themselves from the financial fallout of a divorce, but a 2013 survey of American divorce attorneys revealed that the popularity of these arrangements is soaring.

Same-sex marriage decision affects Georgia couples

Same-sex couples in Georgia who have been unable to marry in the state have had that right granted to them by a Supreme Court decision. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed. The majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the definition of marriage has changed over time.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent that the decision threatened democracy in the United States. However, a majority of Americans support same-sex marriages, and it is legal in most states. Nearly two-thirds of people in an ABC News/Washington Post poll two months prior to the decision said they were in favor of gay marriage, and more than 35 states had legalized it.

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