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Cherokee County Divorce Law Blog

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.

Same-sex family law issues still arise despite marriage bans

Currently, Georgia does not allow same-sex marriages, but courts still must deal with legal issues surrounding these unions. Rulings made by courts in liberal regions sometimes pose challenges to existing bans or prohibitions on same-sex couples, as was illustrated by a case in another state that has a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

A court in Travis County in Texas, an area that is traditionally Democratic, issued a decision in 2010 that granted two women a divorce. They had originally married in 2004 in a state that allowed same-sex marriages. Eventually the state attorney general's office challenged the ruling. The state argued that a court could not dissolve a marriage that was not legally recognized by the state's law.

Wife of Chris Rock wants alimony

Georgia comedy fans may be interested to learn that it was reported on June 16 that Chris Rock's estranged wife was seeking a large amount of his net worth in their divorce proceedings. The report stated that this request was made because she wished to have the ability to maintain the lifestyle that she had grown accustomed to.

The couple met at the Essence Awards in 1996. His spouse claimed that she agreed to give up her career when their first child was born. Rock and his estranged wife have reportedly agreed that they would share custody of their two children. Additionally, both parties agreed that their prenuptial agreement had expired when Rock filed for divorce in December 2014.

Divorce and Social Security retirement benefits

Many Georgia entertainment fans may have heard that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are planning on ending their marriage. According to many media outlets, the power couple have in excess of $150 million in assets. Sources suggest that the couple seems on track to divorce before their 10th wedding anniversary, which means that they will be forfeiting some benefits they could have claimed in the future. From a retirement standpoint, waiting until after their 10th wedding anniversary might make sense to couples who, unlike the two stars, may have to rely on Social Security benefits in the future .

Couples often forget about matters like future retirement benefits when they are in the middle of making emotional decisions. Current Social Security rules allows spouses who have been married for at least 10 years to obtain certain benefits that others whose marriages ended before that anniversary are not entitled to.

Common financial issues to consider in a Georgia divorce

While ending a marriage is an emotional event for many couples, allowing emotions to cloud an individual's judgment could lead to major mistakes during divorce settlement negotiations. For instance, not putting everything into writing could cause one party to the divorce to renege on a verbal agreement. An example could be a parent failing to pass an asset to a child because he or she is under no legal obligation to do so.

Another potentially large mistake is to not have a good understanding of household finances. That could make it easier for one person to hide assets or cause one party to make concessions without having any basis to do so. Prior to a divorce, it may be worthwhile to ask to see a list of accounts or past tax returns to get a better idea of the couple's financial situation.

Jon Gosselin seeks custody of 1 of 8 children

Television viewers in Georgia who are fans of "Kate Plus 8" know that Jon and Kate Gosselin divorced in 2009. Their split did not happen on good terms, and the judge awarded Kate primary custody of 15-year-old twins Madelyn and Cara and 11-year-old sextuplets Joel, Collin, Hannah, Leah, Alexis and Aaden. Now Jon, 38, reportedly wants custody of Hannah because of her mother's allegedly cruelty to the daughter. According to tabloids, the girl was staying with her father in April when she told him that she did not want to go back to the family mansion because Kate is requiring her to be in new episodes of the series.

Siblings are typically kept together after their parents divorce, because studies have shown that doing so and maintaining as much of a family unit as possible is beneficial for them. The non-custodial parent becomes responsible for demonstrating that changes have occurred in order for a judge to modify the original order

International abductions and Georgia child custody

Georgia parents who have gone through a divorce are often not aware of the complex ramifications of international, federal and state laws when a noncustodial parent takes the child or children out of the United States in violation of a court orrder. While courts generally take action to promote the return of the children to their nation of origin and enforce the original child custody decree, a Georgia court's power may be restrained by a number of difficulties.

Many divorce and child custody decrees contain a relocation clause, which specifies under what conditions each parent may choose to relocate with the children and spells out the limitations on such relocation. However, when a parent takes a child, willingly or otherwise, across international lines, a simple custody agreement may become an international incident which strains relations between countries and limits what action courts at the state and local level may take.

Shared parenting better for kids, researchers say

Georgia parents who are contemplating a divorce may be interested to learn about a study that was recently conducted in Sweden. In the study, researchers looked at stress levels in children who were in shared parenting custodial arrangements versus those who primarily resided with one divorced parent while having infrequent visits with the other.

Researchers evaluated data from 150,000 12- and 15-year old children who either lived with both parents as part of a nuclear family, in shared parenting custodial arrangements or primarily with one divorced parent. When they compared those different types of arrangements with the children's self-reported psychosomatic illness levels, they found that the group having the highest stress level were those in the group that primarily resided with only one parent.

A look at how social media use can affect marriage and divorce

Georgia spouses may be interested in one way that their online behavior may have consequences in their relationship. Surveys are showing that as social media increases in popularity, its effect on marriage is starting to become more obvious.

A UK law firm conducted a survey of thousands of married British citizens and came away with some interesting findings. The data showed that one out of seven respondents had thought about divorcing their spouse due to social media-related incidents. These could include checking into a movie theater without their spouse or requesting a connection on Facebook with an ex. The firm discovered that over half of the spouses knew their partner's social media passwords.

Legal representation for property division disputes

When two people in Georgia are married, their financial lives are inevitably intertwined. If they subsequently divorce, all of the marital assets that belong to both spouses must be divided in a way that the court deems equitable. Although a court will do its best to divide property in a manner that it deems fair, there is a lot that could go wrong, and it is crucial for a spouse to have legal representation during this time.

The attorneys at our firm help to ensure that our clients' property division rights are asserted during divorce proceedings. If you are worried about your spouse being awarded a disproportionate amount of the assets, we may be able to assist you in the pursuit of your fair share of the marital property.

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