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Cherokee County Divorce Law Blog

Illness in wife could lead to divorce

Georgia residents might be interested to learn about a study examining the relationship between divorce and illness. Researchers at Iowa State University determined that couples with a seriously ill wife were more likely to get a divorce than couples with a seriously ill husband. However, no information was available about whether it was the husband or the wife who usually initiated the divorce.

Data for the study was gathered from 2,701 married couples that were surveyed between 1992 and 2010 in the Health and Retirement Study. Researchers examined the onset of cancer, lung disease, stroke and heart problems in the marriages and then looked at whether or not the spouses divorced later on. The onset of illness in the wife was found to increase the chances of a marriage ending in divorce by 6 percent, while the onset of illness in the husband had no measureable impact on the potential for divorce.

Factors involved in grandparent custody

Some grandparents in Georgia might be interested in obtaining custody of their grandchildren. This depends on the specific situation and, in some cases, the grandchild's preference. However, if the child's parents challenge the request, the courts may consider their right to custody as superior to that of the grandparents.

Sometimes, parents and grandparents enter into a voluntary arrangement giving the grandparents custody. Problems with custody issues can occur when the parents challenge that agreement. In such cases, both the grandparents and the parents are required to show why the child's best interests might be better served if the child remained in their care. In the case where the child was in the care of the grandparents for a considerable time and considered them as primary caregivers, the grandparents' right to custody may supersede that of the parents. In addition, parents who have not maintained a relationship with their child may have less of an argument against grandparent custody.

Artworks and art supplies may be divided during a divorce

Georgia residents who are artists may be surprised to learn that any pieces they have, whether in storage, hanging on a wall or on consignment in a gallery, are considered marital property and are eligible for property division during a divorce. Additionally, any tools they used to create their art may also fall into this category, similar to the way that copyrights are also considered to be joint property held by both individuals.

Artists who are going through a divorce should make take a complete inventory of their works, including those that were sold before and after the marriage. When a painting was created and when it was sold may determine whether it is or is not considered marital property.

Lower divorce rates among medical professionals, study shows

Georgia doctors, dentists, pharmacists and others working in the health care field may have lower divorce rates than the general public despite the stresses of the profession. This was the conclusion of a study that was recently published, and it will likely surprise many people who thought otherwise.

Researchers found that while 35 percent of people who were surveyed and who did not work in the health care industry were divorced, only 23 percent of pharmacists, 24 percent of doctors and 25 percent of dentists reported having that status. In addition, 31 percent of hospital administrators and 33 percent of nurses that were surveyed were divorced. According to the study's senior author, there is some conventional wisdom that doctors tend to have higher divorce rates than the general public, but this is the first large-scale study that has investigated whether this is true. The study surveyed 200,000 medical professionals along with more than 40,000 doctors as well as people in other lines of work.

Georgia custody disputes may be resolvable without court

In Georgia and other states, parents and guardians who become involved in custody disputes may be able to avoid going to court. While formal judicial resolution can provide useful resources for families during their battles, court cases are only one way to settle such arguments. Parents can also devise unique parenting agreements that set the terms of future interactions with their ex-spouses and children. These documents are commonly filed along with divorce paperwork, and they become legally binding after gaining official approval from a judge.

According to legal advisors, parenting agreements should address certain specifics. Though these compromises are dependent on the circumstances of each case, issues like physical custody of a child, parent visitation schedules and contact with relatives and third parties are all commonly included. Parents may also want to consider deciding where their children will spend time during significant events like birthdays and holidays. Those who draft vacation and custody schedules in advance can incorporate such details into their agreements.

Limiting the cost of a divorce

Getting a divorce can be an expensive process in Georgia, but there are ways for individuals to keep the costs in line. Financial planners encourage those going through one to prepare for the divorce ahead of time by developing a better understanding of their assets, income, living expenses, and debts. Worksheets can be used to work through the process, and specialists can help in cases where there are family businesses or high-value assets.

People may also want to learn more about their rights and responsibilities in relation to the divorce process. While someone may not want to pay child support, for example, the state may have clear guidelines for determining the amount of support that will be required. Fighting against those legal guidelines may prove to be expensive and fruitless. However, there may be other areas where an individual will have a strong legal case for limiting their losses.

Divorce evidence can be found on social media web sites

Georgia spouses who are contemplating a divorce may want to watch their personal posts on social media sites. That's because their spouse could use these postings as evidence against them to bolster their chances of a more favorable divorce settlement.

Two-thirds of U.S. lawyers say they use Facebook postings as a key source of evidence, according to the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers. Postings on other social media sites, such as Twitter and MySpace, also are used. These sites are good ways to connect with old friends and make new ones, but they also set the stage for potential divorce and child custody battles. Using social media sites to find evidence is acceptable under the law.

Credit, debt and division of assets in divorce

Couples in Georgia who are divorcing often need to work out issues regarding the division of their assets and debts, and they may also need to consider how this will affect their credit reports. Individuals should make certain that they close any joint accounts shared with ex-spouses because they may still be held responsible for those accounts. They should also remove authorized users from individual accounts since the owners of those accounts are liable for the debt.

A divorce decree may divide debts between a couple, but creditors are not necessarily bound by the divorce agreement. If two individuals share a debt and one is supposed to take responsibility for it but does not, the creditor may pursue the other one. The delinquent debt may also appear on the credit reports of both individuals.

Divorce can affect a parent's taxes

Georgia parents who may be going through a divorce may be more worried about which parent will be awarded child custody than their taxes. However, decisions made regarding how the child's time may be split up can actually affect a parent's taxes once the divorce process is complete. As such, tax incidence should be taken into account during the divorce process.

A major tax decision that must be made is which parent will be allowed to claim the child as a dependent. Since only one parent can claim a child, some parents negotiate an agreement that allows them to claim the child every other year. If the couple had more than one child, one parent may claim one child while the other parent may claim the other child. In some cases, the custodial parent may allow the non-custodial parent to claim the child. For every child that is claimed as a dependent, certain tax credits and exemptions may be available.

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