Georgia does not recognize legal separations, but it does enable you and your spouse to settle certain family law issues while you live apart. Unlike a formal divorce, a legal separation does not end the marriage in the eyes of the government. Instead, it can be a way for you and your spouse to take a break to decompress or a stepping stone towards getting a formal divorce if and when you are ready.
Sorting out child support, child custody, and alimony can be points of contention for many couples who are separating. An Atlanta, GA, legal separation lawyer acts as a buffer and an advocate, communicating with your spouse or their attorney on your behalf. Let our experienced family attorneys provide you with the legal guidance and support you need during what can often be a complicated time in your life.
Technically, Georgia law does not have a distinct legal separation process, but it does allow spouses who are living apart or are not having marital relations to decide issues concerning the marriage, such as child custody and alimony. In this way, people can obtain the space they need while still providing for themselves and their children in a healthy and legally compliant manner. Without having these agreements settled, parties risk miscommunicating and inadvertently hurting feelings or causing problems, potentially leading to complicated legal battles.
Deciding on child custody and support matters outside of a formal divorce can be psychologically draining, especially for those without legal support. An attorney in Atlanta who handles legal separations can unravel and explain Georgia’s child support calculation paradigm. Further, they can help write a parenting plan that makes sense for the parties’ situation.
As with a divorce, separating parties can file paperwork to ask the family court to establish who gets physical custody of the children and how much the parties are to pay to support the children financially. To determine the best child custody or parenting time arrangement, Georgia courts usually follow the best interests of the child standard, which requires them to consider factors such as:
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-9-1 includes a list of additional factors that parenting plans must consider. Legal separation attorneys who practice in Atlanta, GA, are familiar with how to draft parenting plans and calculate child support under all applicable guidelines and understand how these regulations will apply in a variety of arrangements. Our team can utilize this knowledge to help parents who are separating ensure they cover all important bases for their family’s best interests.
Separating from your spouse can be a challenging but necessary step when you are considering divorce. You and your spouse can settle child support and custody matters without going through the formal divorce process. You or your spouse may also be eligible for alimony payments even if you are not divorced as long as you continue to live apart or abstain from marital relations.
Going through the legal separation process is manageable with an attorney’s help. An Atlanta, GA legal separation lawyer understands your concerns and has robust knowledge at their disposal to help advocate for you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a qualified member of our team.