Serving North Georgia Including Forsyth, Gwinnett and Hall Counties
Disagreements and issues that arise in families affect us all. While we can resolve most disputes within our family, the resolution of some family issues requires legal action. Georgia laws that govern family law issues span from birth to death and affect almost every area of our lives.
Family law matters involve a lot of emotion and history. Whether you’re going through a divorce, or you’re involved in a child custody or paternity issue, going through the process can be particularly unpleasant. At Carter/Pilgrim, we understand that family law matters can be difficult. Our lawyers have the extensive courtroom experience necessary to advocate fiercely on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
Common Family Law Issues We Handle
You do not need to go through your divorce feeling alone. Our clients rest easier, knowing that they have an assertive and experienced lawyer fighting in their corner. Founding Carter/Pilgrim attorney Amy Carter has a broad knowledge of all aspects of family law. She is one of only a few lawyers in North Georgia to receive an invitation to the Amicable Divorce Network. Whether your divorce is amicable and uncontested or contentious, the legal team at Carter/Pilgrim will be there for you throughout the entire process.
Are you considering filing for divorce? If so, we can walk you through the requirements to file for divorce. At least one spouse must have residency in Georgia for the six months before filing for divorce. Under Georgia family law, there are thirteen grounds for divorce, including adultery, addiction to drugs, habitual intoxication, and cruel treatment or violence. Georgia also recognizes no-fault divorce on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Georgia judges can finalize a divorce as soon as 30 days after one spouse serves the other spouse with the Summons and Complaint. In reality, divorce often takes several months or even over a year. When both spouses cannot agree on child custody issues, property division, or alimony, litigation is often necessary. At Carter/Pilgrim, we are skilled negotiators and mediators. We also fight hard for our clients during divorce litigation.
Alimony is another important family law issue. Georgia courts have the authority to require one spouse to pay alimony to a former spouse. Alimony can constitute a lump sum of money or periodic monthly payments for a specific period. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all of the significant issues involved in a divorce, including alimony. The spouses might decide that no alimony is necessary, or on the amount of alimony one spouse should give to the other spouse. When spouses cannot agree on the issue of alimony, a Georgia family law judge will decide for them. Georgia judges consider several factors when they decide whether one spouse owes alimony to the other spouse, including the following:
- The financial assets of both spouses
- The ability of the spouse seeking alimony to obtain employment or obtain an education
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The age and emotional condition of the spouse who is seeking alimony
- Any marital misconduct that caused the breakdown of the marriage
- Any other factors that the court deems proper and equitable
Can a spouse request a modification of alimony? Yes, a person can petition the court to modify the alimony, unless both spouses agreed, in writing, that neither would ask for a modification of alimony in the future. At Carter/Pilgrim, our lawyers have helped many Georgia residents successfully petition the court to modify their alimony agreements.
Child Custody, Child Support, and Visitation
At Carter/Pilgrim, our family law attorneys understand how important child custody issues are for parents. The thought of losing custody or visitation rights can be incredibly scary. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of parents. We bring our in-depth understanding of Georgia family law to represent our clients.
The intent behind Georgia’s child custody laws is to keep the child’s best interest in mind. Courts can award parents joint legal custody, joint physical custody, sole legal custody, or sole physical custody. After reviewing your case, we can help you determine a legal strategy, and what type of custody will be best for you.
Georgia family court judges look at the facts presented by both parents to determine the child’s best interest. At Carter/Pilgrim, we work hard to give evidence during divorce litigation that shows that your interests and your child’s best interests are aligned.
Georgia judges enjoy a significant degree of discretion while it comes to child custody, support, and visitation issues. In some cases, judges make child custody determinations that need to be changed. At Carter/Pilgrim, our family law attorneys also help parents petition the court for a modification of their child support, child custody, or visitation agreement.
Protective Orders in Family Law
Family law includes family violence protection orders. A protective order is a legal order that protects individuals from assault, stalking, battery, vandalism, trespassing, unlawful restraint, and other felonious conduct. Family violence protective orders protect individuals from spouses, ex-spouses, roommates, and any other person who lives with the individual seeking the protective order. Once a Georgia court issues a family protective order, the person specified cannot contact the petitioner who sought the order.
Ignoring a family protective order can result in severe consequences. A person who violates a family protective order could be charged with a felony and face up to a year or more in jail. If you are the subject of a Georgia family violence protection order, or you need to file an order,
Carter/Pilgrim can help.
Contact Our Experienced Family Law Team Today
Are you facing a family law matter in Georgia? If so, the sooner you speak to an experienced lawyer, the better. Family law matters are often strenuous and challenging, but you do not need to go through them alone. At Carter/Pilgrim, we offer our family law clients experienced and assertive legal representation. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.