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Richmond Hill Georgia Legal Blog

Georgia property division: Are you missing some money?

You recently went to the bank to make a deposit. You noticed that several withdrawals were on an account that has both your and your spouse's name on it. Maybe it's not the first time something like this has occurred in the past several months. If you and your spouse have been preparing for divorce, there might be more going on with your banking situation than meets the eye. Sadly, many spouses in Georgia and elsewhere attempt to hide assets in divorce.

Whether you've been married less than five years or more than 10 or 20, when you divorce, you'll need to resolve all property division issues. However, Georgia does not recognize community property guidelines. Like most states, it operates under equitable property rules, which means your marital property will be fairly, although not necessarily equally, divided in divorce.

Georgia field sobriety tests: Do you have to take them?

If you get pulled over by a Georgia patrol officer, you might be feeling nervous or worried right from the start, especially if you're unsure as to the reason for the traffic stop. In such situations, it's always best to remain calm and to co-operate as much as possible. You may be pleasantly surprised for the officer issues a warning to slow down or tells you that you have a brake light that's not functioning, then permits you to leave.

On the other hand, if the officer asks you to step out of the car, things may get a lot worse before they get better. Police often make this request when they think a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. He or she may then ask you to submit to a field sobriety test. This is why it's so important that you know your rights and how to protect them, especially if you wind up facing arrest for suspected drunk driving.

Do you even have an estate to plan for?

Some Georgia residents may not think that they need to create an estate plan. You, like many others, may not even think you have an estate or, if you do, it is not sizable enough for you to need to create a plan for what will happen to it. However, that line of thinking could cause complications for you and your family later on.

In fact, practically everyone has an estate. As a result, even if the estate is small, you would be wise to consider how you would like your estate handled after your passing. Like many people who consider it the main goal of estate planning, you could at least determine who you would like to receive certain assets.

Has a pending divorce thrown your life plan out the window?

You may have been one of the many people in Georgia and across the country who had a plan for your life. You may have decided where you would go to college, your major, when you would get married, when you would have kids and when numerous other details relating to your life would occur. Of course, you likely learned over the years that life does not always go according to plan.

Though you may have achieved some of your life milestones in accordance with your plan, you may not have anticipated going through a divorce. Unfortunately, that is the situation you now face. Your life may feel thrown upside down, and you may wonder what you can do.

What does it mean to share joint custody?

Parents want what is best for their kids after they divorce, which is why they often choose a joint custody plan. This type of custody order allows the kids to maintain strong relationships with both parents, but it requires a certain amount of mutual respect and cooperation to make this type of plan work well. If you are considering joint custody, you may want to learn as much as you can about this arrangement before moving forward. 

Every family is different, and every custody situation will be different as well. It may help to remember that you want to choose something that will work long-term, not just right now. Even if you opt for joint custody, you are able to make sure that the terms of your order suit your unique needs and the needs of your children, providing stability for every member of your Georgia family.

Are you intimidated by the idea of an irrevocable trust?

Estate plans can have different elements depending on the needs of each person. You and many other Georgia residents may be wary of using certain estate planning tools because you do not fully understand how they can be used or the details of their uses. Fortunately, having the right information could allow you to utilize beneficial tools that can help you create the most comprehensive plan possible.

For example, you may hear the term "irrevocable trust" and think it sounds intimidating. You may not think that you need any type of trust, let alone one that you cannot change. However, an irrevocable trust can have its uses, and you do not have to have substantial wealth to maximize its benefits.

Make sure your parenting plan makes sense for the future

Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally challenging process. It can be tempting during this process to allow your temporary feelings to dictate the choices you make, but this is not the best way to reach a final agreement that will make sense long-term. This is especially true for your child custody and visitation plans.

Georgia parents who are facing divorce know that their decisions will impact their children long-term. This is why you may consider crafting your own parenting plan and creating a post-divorce future that will make the most sense for your family. If you choose to make your own custody plans outside of the courtroom, it is helpful to keep your focus on the best interests and pressing needs of your children above all else.

Your family may appreciate your advance health care directive

You probably make health care decisions every day. If you have an ache or pain, you may take an aspirin. If you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, you may take prescriptions to maintain your health. Your food choices, activity level and moderation in all things are all decisions you make for your good health.

However, have you considered the kinds of medical intervention you expect if your health takes a turn for the worse? Do you have opinions about the treatments you would like doctors to administer or the point in an illness when you want no further medical intervention? While you may have thought about these matters, chances are you have not discussed them with your family. Unfortunately, it may be those family members who will be making those decisions for you.

Having difficulty deciding whether divorce is right for you?

When you got married, you made a major decision to move forward in life with your spouse. At the time, saying "I do" may have seemed like the easiest decision you ever made because you loved your spouse and envisioned a happy life together. Unfortunately, that vision did not come true.

You may have felt happy and fulfilled for a time, but you later began to feel as if something was missing from your relationship or as if your spouse no longer cared about you. As a result, those feelings led to thoughts of divorce. You may have felt shocked at yourself when the thought first entered your mind, but now, you are considering it more seriously.

What does paying child support mean for you?

Getting a divorce may have been one of the most difficult events in your life. Though you may have agreed that ending the marriage was the best option due to the unhappiness of the relationship, the fact that you would have to spend less time with your kids was likely gut-wrenching.

You may have thought that a joint custody arrangement would be the outcome, and you likely felt shocked when the court awarded the other parent sole physical custody. Now, you must adhere to a visitation schedule, and in addition to the custody order, the court likely handed down a child support order as well.

Tyler Lee Randolph, P.C.

2591 U.S. Highway 17, Suite 203, | Richmond Hill, GA 31324 | Phone: 912-756-6001 | Fax: 866-518-0489 | Map & Directions

617 Stephenson Avenue, Suite 102, | Savannah, GA 31405 | Phone: 912-662-5536 | Fax: 866-518-0489 |  Map & Directions