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Separation of Marital Assets in Georgia

Posted on: May 24th, 2013

One of the most important questions in a Georgia divorce is “who gets what?” Splitting property can be just as traumatic as splitting the relationship. Because so much is at stake, below you will find important information, but if you are dealing with the separation of marital assets during a divorce we strongly recommend you contact a divorce lawyer who can help you navigate your divorce and property settlement.

According to Georgia’s family law rules, the courts are to “equitably distribute” marital property. This begs two questions. What is equitable, and what is marital property? Neither question is what it first appears.

Equitable distribution is best described as what is fair, rather than what is equal. So if the court decides that a 60-40 split is more fair than a 50-50 split of the property, than that is what the court will do. The court can base its reasoning on any number of factors, including how much each spouse contributed to the purchase of the property, each spouse’s occupation, if the divorce was “for cause,” if there are children, who has primary custody of the children, etc. In short, the court can consider almost any factor which would help it arrive at a fair or equitable distribution of the Georgia marital property.

Georgia marital property is, in layman’s terms, property acquired during and as a part of the marriage. The most common example is a house jointly bought by a husband and wife. Property owned individually before the marriage, such as bank accounts, is not considered marital property. Further, property acquired individually during the marriage is often not considered marital property. For example, if the husband receives a gift of golf clubs from a friend as a birthday present, or the wife inherits some family heirlooms from her parents while they are married, the property is often considered to be separate. Individual property can become marital property, however, if one is not careful. For example, if the husband buys himself a car with his own money, but allows his wife to use the car for family errands, it might be “converted” into marital property by the court.

As you can see, the division of property upon divorce can become very complicated, very quickly. The facts of each case often make or break the separation of marital assets settlement, and we recommend that you have one of our GA divorce attorneys on your side to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of.

Taking The First Step

As can be seen above, issues regarding the separation of marital property can be confusing and sometimes murky, and the help of an experienced attorney to help ensure that your interests are well protected will be invaluable. If you are dealing with a GA divorce, we advise you to speak with one of our divorce lawyers sooner rather than later. Please note that for a typical divorce, our law firm retainer begins at $2,500.00. If you would like to talk with one of our family law attorneys about representing you, either fill out the brief form to your left or give us a call.

Drafting a Last Will and Testament for Gay Couples in Georgia

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

Most people don’t like to think about drafting a Last Will & Testament because they don’t like to think about dying. After all, death is never a pleasant subject, especially when it’s your own death! Yet anybody who owns property, has money or investments, or has children, should have a Will. Especially after a divorce, drafting a Will is a necessity (as well as changing the beneficiary of any life insurance policies you may own).

The reason that everyone should have a Will is simple: If you don’t have a Will the courts will decide what happens to your money, property and children after your death.

In most cases the court will take the easy way out and give your money and property to your closest living relative. This means that somebody you don’t like or trust could end up with your house, your bank accounts, your valuables and everything else you have.

If you want one particular person who is not related to you to have something of yours, or inherit everything, you will have to have a Will. If there is no Will that individual could be left with nothing. Especially in the case of domestic partnerships in Georgia, since same-sex couples are not legally allowed to marry in Georgia, gay couples must be especially vigilant about maintaining a Will and should speak with one of our family law attorneys about protecting the legal rights of their partners.

Creating a Last Will and Testament in Georgia:

Fortunately, the average Georgia Will doesn’t have to be that complex. If you don’t have that much money or property, a basic Will should suffice. Our attorneys will maintain a hard copy of the Will, and make sure it is legally signed and notarized.

Your heir should have a copy of the Will. Always make sure your heirs are aware of the Will and know where to find it. If you have more than one heir make sure each of them has a copy of it. In some cases it might be a good idea to have a copy of the Will placed with a business manager or friend you trust. This would be an excellent idea if the heir is a child or teenager or lives in another country.

The 3 Most Baffling Things About Georgia Child Visitation

Posted on: May 18th, 2013

Understanding Georgia child visitation is a full time job. Luckily our Georgia child visitation attorneys are knowledgeable about all the ins and outs, so you don’t have to be. Here’s a list of the top 3 most baffling things about Georgia child visitation that you should know, even though you don’t have to be an expert. You can leave that to us.

“The Best Interests of the Child”. This is the phrase that dominates discussion around child visitation laws in Georgia. Considering that it is the standard used by the court to determine Georgia child visitation, you’d think it would be very clear cut as to what that phrase actually means. However, as with most things concerning the law, it tends to be the opposite of clear cut. Many factors are weighed and considered when it comes to determining the best interests of the child. This is why it’s so crucial to have an experienced Georgia child visitation attorney on your side, to make sure that what you have to bring to the table in terms of protecting and ensuring “the best interests of the child” in question are fairly represented.

Child support/Alimony not factors. You would think that there would be a tight inter-relationship between child support, alimony, and child visitation in Georgia. But the baffling thing is that it isn’t. In Georgia, child visitation does not hinge upon either alimony or child support payments. Though it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, a custodial parent can’t legally withhold child visitation in Georgia simply because the non-custodial parent has not paid up all of the child support and/or alimony they should. This baffling area of Georgia child visitation law alone requires the assistance of a practiced lawyer.

The importance of the parenting plan. Georgia child visitation places a great amount of importance on a parenting plan, which is a document detailing the particulars of child visitation. It often includes details such as travel arrangements, when visitation will take place, and if supervision is necessary. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Except when one or both parties deviate from the plan. Then it’s not so clear whether “the best interests of the child” are still front and center.

To navigate the rough and confusing waters of Georgia child visitation, simply contact one of our experienced attorneys for a consultation. Fill out the form on this page, call us at 404-844-2856, or send us an email at

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Terminating parental rights is a serious step and it isn’t done easily, as Atlanta family lawyer Jeff Cleghorn explains. Get an overview of the process and how attorneys work to figure out whether terminating parental rights is what’s best for a child.

Georgia Divorce Law: Serving Divorce Papers

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Are you serving divorce papers or have you been serviced with divorce papers? What happens next? Learn from Atlanta divorce attorney Jeff Cleghorn what happens next according to Georgia divorce law and how the best divorce attorneys in Atlanta can ensure you get fair treatment.

Protecting LGBT Families

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Though gay and lesbian couples can’t legally marry in Georgia, there are many legal steps they can take to protect their families and assets. Atlanta attorney Jeff Cleghorn is an expert in LGBT family law and can guide you and your family toward solid legal decisions concerning wills, medical directives and more.

Grounds for Divorce Under Georgia Law

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Considering getting a divorce in Georgia? Watch this and learn whether you have grounds for divorce based on the details of your case. Atlanta divorce attorney Jeff Cleghorn explains the typical causes for splits and how Georgia divorce law views each.

KNC On Giving Back to the Community

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Giving back to the community is a key goal of Kitchens, New & Cleghorn. Here divorce attorney Jeff Cleghorn describes the firm’s work supporting at-risk youths, LGBT families and more.

Divorce Mediation Pros and Cons

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Georgia divorce law allows for divorce mediation – a process that can work both for and against you as Atlanta divorce attorney Joyce Kitchens explains here. Don’t take chances with your divorce – get information on Georgia divorce law and the best divorce attorneys.

Child Support in Georgia

Posted on: January 7th, 2013
Understanding how child support in Georgia works is vital to ensuring you receive a fair shake after a divorce. Get an overview of child support in Georgia from Atlanta divorce attorney Jeffery Cleghorn and learn more about his experience with this sensitive element of divorce law.