Family law is perhaps one of the most difficult areas of the law in that this area of the law often deals with emotionally charged issues – the breaking up of marriages, dealing with custody of children, addressing parenting time with children, financial support for the children and/or spouse, division of assets, division of debts, and post divorce contempt and modification actions to name a few.
At Koehler and Riddick, LLC, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge to aid our clients in navigating these troubled waters of life. You are not just a name to us, but a person whom we are committed to helping from the day you walk in our office to the day you leave and move on to the next stage of your life.
While it is impossible to cover each and every area of family law that we cover, as this is a vast and growing area of the law, here are a few of the areas we handle:
Dissolution of Marriage
Divorce is a term that no one likes to hear but one that is becoming increasingly more common in our society. Literature suggests that over 50% of first marriages in the United States will end in divorce at some point. The numbers get worse if there is a second or third marriage; about 85% of second and 92% of third marriages fail. If you are contemplating or find yourself in the midst of a divorce then it is critical that you select an experienced attorney. In this difficult time with so many things to consider, it is essential that you choose a Georgia Divorce Attorney who can help you to navigate the divorce process successfully. Mr. Riddick can help you avoid mistakes that can literally make your life miserable for a very long time.
A marriage may be dissolved at the request of either party, regardless of fault or whether any fault exists. If you are the major breadwinner you will likely be ordered to vacate your home and to support the household financially. You may be ordered to pay all or partial legal expenses for both yourself and your spouse including; attorneys for yourself and your spouse, mediators, psychologists, evaluations, court appointed attorneys for children and more. You may be required to attend and pay for classes in anger management, child-related classes and more.
As difficult as a divorce is by itself, the situation is made even more complex by the presence of children. The process can be very traumatic and confusing for everyone involved as the family structure is disrupted. Child support, visitation, and custody are often issues that are contested between divorcing spouses. An experienced attorney can assure that any child support payment or custody agreement reached is fair to you and to your children.
Upon dissolution of a marriage each party may be entitled to a share of marital property. The division of property may not be anywhere near equal. Marital property can include but not limited to all tangible personal property, cars, real estate, securities, bonds and investments acquired individually or collectively, whether received through purchase or gift during the marriage, and the amount of increase in value of any property that is not marital, such as a car that was purchased before the marriage by either party, an inheritance, or a retirement account acquired before a marriage. All debts incurred by either or both during the marriage can become the liability of both spouses divided in any manner, or one of the spouses may be forced to assume all the debt.
Alimony could be awarded in an amount that will allow your ex-spouse to live in the lifestyle he/she have been accustomed to. Alimony could be paid for the duration of the ex-spouse to live in the lifestyle he/she have been accustomed to. Alimony could be paid for the duration for the ex-spouse’s life even if the ex-spouse is working, has an education, has a career or remarries. Financial misfortunes you may encounter may not be sufficent reason for you to ever get the amount of alimony modified.
Once separated or divorced you may be obligated to provide monetary support and maintenance for your spouse and any child(ren) born during the marriage. This support may be based on the lifestyle your spouse has become accustomed to. This can happen regardless of fault ny either party. You may be ordered to pay for housing, alimony, child support, utility bills, car payments, your spouse’s legal expenses, debt and more.
A court may issue an order for the non-custodial parent to pay the custodial parent child support. The amount ordered may not have anything to do with the actual cost associated with raising child(ren) and shall become a legal obligation which may not be released by bankruptcy. Child support may be in effect until the child is as much as 20 years old, and possibly even older. There is no requirement for the receiver of child support money to account for how the money is spent. Child support for one child may be approximately 17-23% of your gross (before tax) income from all sources including wages, tips, bonuses, workman’s compensation, lottery winnings, investment income, interest and any other income. This income is tax-free. Who gets the tax deduction for the child? The custodial parent!
Failure or refusal to support your spouse and/or child(ren) once a court order is issued may result in a loss of freedoms and liberties, to include but not limited to loss of drivers and professional licenses. Incarceration for failure to pay child support is also a common reality. Enforcement of a support order may result in your property being seized without notice, your bank accounts confiscated, your tax refunds intercepted, liens placed on your vehicles or other property, and your wages being garnished. Legal remedies may adversely affect your credit rating. Attorney fees and court costs may be assessed to you, regardless of fault.
If you lose your job, you may not be able to get a court hearing for modification of child support for many months, and possibly more than a year. You will still owe any money you have not paid regardless of the reason you have not paid. You may be instructed to sell your car or any other possessions or liquidate any assets you may have, such as a retirement fund, to pay back child support. If you can’t pay, you may find yourself in jail until you can come up with the entire amount. The result of being in jail could cost you your job or possibly even your career.