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Cherokee County Divorce Law Blog

Divorce and the appreciation and division of stocks

One of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is the division of property. This can be particularly complicated for couples who have significant or complex financial assets--such as stock portfolios, vacation properties and retirement plans. In any case, it is critical that property and assets are divided appropriately in order to protect the financial interests of the parties involved.

In order to divide property as part of a divorce in Georgia, it needs to be determined which assets are separate property and which are part of the marital estate. Under state law, marital property must be divided fairly and equitably. Separate or premarital property is not subject to division, however in some cases a piece of premarital property increases in value during the marriage--and it may be determined that the amount of appreciation, but not the property itself, is marital property.

Coursework is available to aid divorcing parents in Georgia

Many people in Georgia put off divorce because they are worried about the effect it will have on their children. The truth is that divorce does affect children--whether they are young or whether they are all grown up. However, being sensitive to children's emotions and offering them the support they need is often the key to parenting well during divorce. Unfortunately, many parents are engulfed by the stress and trauma of divorce themselves, and their children's needs wind up on the back burner.

In order to help parents best serve their children during the difficult process of divorce, many organizations offer parenting seminars on this topic. In fact, a number of states mandate such classes for all divorcing parents. Here in Georgia, the offerings and requirements of divorce-related parenting classes vary from county to county.

Custody battle brewing for Atlanta-based hip hop star

Another celebrity child custody battle has made the news in Atlanta. Rapper Big Boi, of the Grammy award-winning duo Outkast, has recently made headlines for filing for joint custody of his 12-year-old son in Georgia. The rapper and his wife of 11 years are in the midst of a divorce, and his wife had sought full custody of the child, as well as child support.

While few details of that case have been reported, joint custody is one of the most common types of custody arrangements in Georgia, though joint custody does not always mean a 50/50 split of parenting time.

Georgia lawmakers may consider tougher domestic violence law

Georgia lawmakers may soon consider a significant change to the state's domestic violence laws. A Georgia prosecutor along with domestic violence advocates in Athens wants the offense of strangulation to be charged as a felony. As it stands, strangulation or choking typically amounts to a simple battery charge.

A conviction for simple battery can result in up to one year in confinement.

Grandparents play increasingly important roles in Georgia families

Many grandparents in Georgia play a very active role in the lives of their grandchildren. In fact, a number of grandparents even live with their grandchildren in multi-generational homes or raise their grandchildren, acting as their primary caregivers. It was recently reported that one in 10 American children live in households with their grandparents, and about 2.6 million American children are being raised primarily by their grandparents.

While grandparents are playing increasingly critical roles in childrearing across the country, here in Georgia grandparents' rights remain very complicated.

Georgia woman sues fiancé for breaking engagement

Many people in Cherokee County heard the news story last month about a woman who sued her fiancé for breaking their engagement to marry. The Georgia man has now been ordered by a state appeals court to pay his ex-fiancée $50,000. So, does this mean that any Georgia resident can sue an ex for calling off a wedding? Not exactly.

This case involved a couple that had been involved in a relationship for about 10 years, and they had a child together. In 2004, the man proposed and the woman accepted. She moved into a home that he purchased, and she quit her job to stay home and raise their child and a child from an earlier relationship.

Do you need a prenuptial agreement? The answer may surprise you

Many people who marry in Cobb County never think about entering into a prenuptial agreement. It never even crosses their minds. This is because a lot of people mistakenly assume that prenups are only for the rich and famous. However, prenuptial agreements can be very helpful for people of more ordinary means as well.

Prenuptial agreements allow individuals to protect their children, their real estate, their family or personal businesses, and potential inheritances, among other things. A prenuptial agreement is a necessity for anyone who wishes to pre-determine the division of property and assets should the marriage come to an end.

Will Georgia be the next state to legalize gay marriage?

In recent years, the public opinion of same-sex marriage has shifted rapidly and many states now allow same-sex marriage. And, this summer the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling on gay marriage, striking down a key element of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In the aftermath of that ruling, the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages. With these sweeping changes, many people are wondering whether Georgia will soon change its tune on same-sex marriage.

Last week, the University of Georgia held a panel on the topic, and one of the panelists predicted that half of the states will move toward legalizing gay marriage by 2020, but Georgia will not be among them.

Woman accuses her ex of hiding assets during divorce

Unfortunately, when a divorce becomes contentious, particularly a high-asset divorce, it is not uncommon for a spouse to hide assets. Many Marietta residents think that their soon-to-be exes would never do such a thing, but divorce can bring out the worst in people. In order for the property and asset division process to be fair, it is critical for all assets to be accounted for and properly valuated.

A woman has recently filed a lawsuit against her ex-husband, accusing him of purposely providing an undervaluation of business assets during their divorce. In addition to this, she claims that her ex paid her divorce attorney to settle the divorce quickly, in order for the asset division to fall greatly in his favor.

More Georgia men might consider requesting alimony

People here in Georgia often associate alimony with an image of a wealthy man paying spousal support to his unemployed ex-wife. This traditional vision, however, is nothing but a stereotype. In fact, in many cases both the payer and payee of alimony work, but there is a substantial difference between their incomes or between their abilities to earn an income. Additionally, in this day and age, it is becoming more common for women to be the payers of alimony. According to the Pew Research Center, the woman is actually the higher income earner in about 37 percent of married couples with children.

Actress Eliza Coupe, who most recently appeared on the television series "Happy Endings," was recently subjected to an alimony request from her husband. Her husband, acting coach and teacher Randall Whittinghill, filed for divorce last month and requested spousal support.

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