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Cherokee County Divorce Law Blog

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.

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

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