Georgia family law since 2001.
January 31, 2018
How are judges supposed to decide custody? Please see this page for an explanation of the process and a list of the legally required factors for judges to consider.
December 2, 2017:
Flowchart for determining which state courts have the right to decide a child's custody. (Initial orders under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act)
October 6, 2017:
September 20, 2016:
In Georgia, "alimony" often means "alimony and child support?"
Did you know that in Georgia, "alimony" often means "alimony and child support?"
In the 1978 case of Varn v. Varn, the Georgia Supreme Court provided standard language that has become common in many divorce agreements: "The parties hereby waive their statutory right to future modifications, up or down, of the alimony payments provided for herein, based upon a change in the income or financial status of either party." Notice the word “alimony.” Without some additional wording, this could very well mean that child support is also set in stone.
If a parent gets sick or loses their job, the child support can't be reduced.
In a recent case, this firm succeeded with the argument that child support could be modified, when an agreement said alimony was to be paid “for the support and maintenance of Wife...” This was possible under the case of Jones v. Jones (1996). In Jones, the Court explained that an agreement is different when it says it applies to alimony “for Wife," and “thus expressly excluded alimony for the support of any child or children of the parties.”
Without specific language, Georgia sees “alimony” as meaning both support for a former spouse and child support.
The take home message is that everyone going through a divorce should have a lawyer look over their agreement before signing it. It is much easier to prevent problems from happening than to clean up afterwards.