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Divorce and Family Law


Going through a divorce or separation can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. In a disputed separation, everything can be an ongoing battle, from child custody to property division to alimony. Protecting yourself with an experienced Atlanta family law attorney can help you through the process to make sure you are not taken advantage of and come to a successful conclusion so you can move forward with your life. If you have any family law questions, contact the Law Office of Natalie R. Rowland in Atlanta.

Atlanta Family Law Representation

Family law involves all aspects of child custody, support, divorce, marriage, and separation. A family lawyer can help you through a joyful process like adoption or help you handle complicated situations like securing spousal support or negotiating paternity disputes. At the Law Office of Natalie R. Rowland, we represent our clients and their families in all aspects of family law, including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Spousal Support/Alimony
  • Property Division
  • Child Custody Modifications
  • Adoption
  • Visitation
  • Restraining Orders
  • Separation Agreements
  • Paternity Disputes
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Collaborative Divorce

Atlanta Divorce Attorney

In order to file for divorce in Georgia, one party generally has to live in Georgia for six months before filing the complaint. Either or both spouses can be living in Georgia in order to file for divorce. Georgia is a “no-fault” state for divorce meaning that you do not have to prove fault of the other spouse, only that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” However, marital misconduct can be taken into consideration by the court when determining equitable distribution of property or alimony.

When going through a divorce, the couple has to decide how to divide their assets, debts, and responsibilities. This includes coming to an agreement regarding:

  • Child custody,
  • Alimony, and
  • Property division.

If the parties agree to the terms of the divorce, then the divorce can generally go through in a shorter time period, about a month or so. However, if there is any dispute between the separating couple, the divorce case may take much longer.

In a divorce dispute, the court may first refer the case to divorce mediation. This is a process where a third-party mediator facilitates an agreement between the parties. This also allows the spouses to come up with their own solution for the dispute instead of leaving it up to the court to decide. If mediation is not successful or the disputes continue, a family law judge may decide how to settle the dispute.

The benefits of having an experienced Atlanta family law attorney on your side include advising you of your rights, informing you of the divorce process, negotiating a settlement agreement, and if necessary, advocating for you in court to make sure you get what you are owed in a divorce. If you have any questions about divorce, legal separation, or other family law questions, contact the Law Office of Natalie R. Rowland in Atlanta.

Child Custody and Child Support

A divorce or separation can be tough on children, and as the parent, you will want to provide for the best interests of your child. When parents separate, they will generally have to come to an agreement on how to share custody of any children, including physical custody and legal custody.

If the parents cannot come to a child custody agreement, the court may determine custody. The court bases child custody determinations on what is in the best interests of the child. There are a number of factors that go into deciding what is in the child’s best interest, which include the following.

  • The love, affection, bonding, and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child, and the child with other siblings.
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to give the child love, affection, and guidance.
  • Each parent’s knowledge and familiarity of the child and the child’s needs.
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to provide the child with basic care and support.
  • The home environment.
  • The importance of continuity in the child’s life.
  • The stability of the family unit.
  • The mental and physical health of each parent.
  • Each parent’s involvement in the child’s educational, social, and extracurricular activities.
  • Employment schedule and the related flexibility or limitations.
  • The home, school, and community record and history of the child.
  • The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child.
  • Any evidence of family violence or sexual, mental, or physical child abuse or criminal history of either parent.
  • Any evidence of substance abuse by either parent.
  • Other relevant factors.

Child Support Guidelines

Child support is determined by the court and state guidelines. These guidelines factor in each parents’ income, the number of children, parenting time, health and childcare needs, and basic support obligations. In some cases, payments may be made through the Division of Child Support Services. Modifying a child support order generally requires a significant change of circumstances like the loss of a job before the court will modify a support order.

Property Division After Divorce

Property division after a divorce can also be an area for dispute. Property is divided as separate or marital property. Separate property generally remains the property of the individual spouse, and this includes property owned before marriage or an inheritance. Marital property generally includes any property gained or earned during the marriage, including marital debts.

Property division is generally based on “equitable distribution.” The court may consider a number of factors in determining what is fair, including the assets and financial situation of each spouse, the earning capacity of each spouse, future needs of the spouses, and any wrongful conduct of the spouses.

For example, if one spouse was trying to hide assets in an attempt to keep more money after the divorce, a judge would take that into consideration and likely penalize the spouse for attempting to mislead the court and the other spouse about assets.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a type of contract entered into before marriage. A postnuptial agreement is similar but entered into after the couple has already married. A prenuptial agreement can provide for how certain assets are treated upon divorce, including alimony amounts, property division, and business assets.

Generally, the court will uphold the validity of a prenuptial agreement unless there has been some fraud or the contract was not entered into voluntarily. Contact your Atlanta family law attorney with any questions about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Georgia.

Atlanta Family Law Attorney

Natalie R. Rowland is a family law attorney who serves clients and families throughout the Atlanta area. Contact her online or call the Law Office of Natalie R. Rowland at 770-952-5000 to schedule a consultation so that you can make an informed decision about how to move forward after a divorce or separation.

We serve all of Metro Atlanta

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