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Gwinnett County family Law Blog

Student loans are subject to property division principles

Student loans and other debts are an issue for many married couples. When a couple divorces, the common question is whether both spouses will be liable for such debts or whether they are the responsibility of the party acquiring them.

A recent article highlights certain misconceptions regarding debt division during a divorce, specifically concerning student loans. According to the article, many people may have the misunderstanding that student loan debt incurred prior to a marriage becomes marital property after the marriage. This is typically not the case, as the party bringing in the debt will remain solely liable for it absent a contractual agreement. If the student loan is taken out during the marriage, however, the circumstances may be different. It may be treated as marital property or treated as separate property for the party taking it out depending on the laws of the state and the financial situation of each party after the divorce.

Man taken to Georgia for hiding assets, not paying child support

Child support is not a way to punish a non-custodial parent by taking away assets from them, but rather as a means to allow a child to be supported by both parents and for the parents to share in any related costs. A man was recently brought back to Georgia court from another state based on allegations that he lied to authorities and hid assets in his divorce case. The man fled the state during the divorce from his wife and failed to show up for the final hearing in the case. The court granted the wife full custody of the couple's son and did not grant the man any visitation rights as he was viewed as a danger to his wife and child. A warrant for the man's arrest alleged that he attempted to hide $500k in investment accounts during the divorce and claimed he only had $1,000 available. He is also reportedly $300k behind in child support payments to his former wife. The court used the concealed accounts to provide his former wife with a lump-sum alimony payment as well.

Child support is the payment from the assets of the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to allow both parents to share in the costs of raising a child, rather than making the custodial parent responsible for a greater portion of any necessary payments. Additionally, a child has the right to be financially supported by both parents.

Bode Miller child custody case stretches on

Every instance of a child custody dispute can be a heartbreaking and very difficult affair. Georgia parents understandably want the best for their children, and having a decision declared that sometimes goes against what one parent feels is right can throw a family into chaos. However, when the couple in question includes a celebrity, the usually intimate child custody situation gets thrust into the public eye.

Olympic skier Bode Miller and his ex-girlfriend Sara McKenna have yet to reach an agreement in the child custody case involving their 13-month-old son, Sam. During the case, McKenna's attorney claimed that Miller had not paid any child support. Miller's attorney countered that a separate case involving child support was ongoing in California - the child custody case is based in New York where McKenna currently resides. If the couple does not come to an agreement by April 7, a case referee said she would hold a hearing where witness would be potentially be called to testify. In the meantime, the child will stay with McKenna.

Cohabitation may end need for alimony payments

Georgia residents may have a general idea of what alimony is. Alimony is applied when there is a large discrepancy in the incomes of divorcing spouses, but the receiving party should not abuse its application.

When a permanent alimony obligation has been imposed, the payor spouse is required to pay unless a specific event occurs. Such an event may include a court order, the death of one of the parties, the remarriage of the receiving spouse or, possibly, cohabitation. Cohabitation is when a couple lives together in a marriage like situation with financial and social interdependencies. The payor spouse may feel that such a relationship negates the need for the payee spouse to continue to receive alimony payments as they are being financially assisted by their partner. The payee spouse will likely deny that such a relationship requires the end of alimony payments and could prove so with bank statements and other documentation.

Kordell Stewart finalizes divorce with reality star wife

Property division can be complex and heated, especially when significant assets are involved. Spouses should be aware of their rights and obligations when going through the property division process.

The Georgia divorce between reality TV star Porsha Williams and former NFL player Kordell Stewart has been finalized. In the divorce agreement, Porsha will not receive alimony from her former husband, nor will she receive any of his retirement assets or homes. Additionally, she will be responsible for paying off her own credit card debts. Kordell, on the other hand, keeps both of his homes, in addition to vehicles, benefits and full interest in his businesses. According to reports, Porsha lost her previous home before the marriage because of a failure to pay taxes. Her name was therefore not put on any of the couple's assets and they were to be considered separate property.

Ludacris ordered to pay child support for his daughter

When parents divorce, the typical custody arrangement is that a child will live primarily with one parent, while the other parent has visitation rights. In such situations, it may be appropriate for the non-custodial parent to provide a portion of his or her income as child support so he or she can share child care costs equally with the custodial parent.

Georgia-raised rap artist Ludacris was recently ordered by a court to pay $7,000 per month for support of his recently born daughter. The mother of his daughter filed an action to receive the child support, initially requesting $15,000 per month. Ludacris sought to have the amount maximized at $1,800 per month, claiming that he was unable to afford anymore. He told the court that he only earned $55,000 total last year, and that his cash flow is limited due to the stalled production of the new Fast and Furious movie, in which Ludacris will be acting. The court instead ordered the $7,000 per month award temporarily until it is able to better assess the finances in question.

Father's rights: fathers fighting for shared custody

The awarding of child custody in Georgia should be based on numerous factors that indicate what is best for the children involved. None of these factors take into account the gender of the parents or grant them an advantage because of their gender.

Over the years, fathers have begun spending more and more time with their children, but when a divorce occurs, women still tend be granted primary custody more often. States all over the country are attempting to change that by creating laws that make joint and shared custody orders more common. Opponents of such measures claim that such arrangements are difficult for parents to coordinate logistically and it is a difficult situation when the parents are unable to cooperate with each other. Those in favor of the laws state that they provide incentive for parents to get along with each other and do what is best for their children.

Rapper Big Boi does not want to pay alimony to wife

Spousal support is a means to keep spouses on similar financial footing after a divorce and to prevent putting a lower income spouse at a disadvantage simply because he or she gave up career advances during the marriage in order to take care of the family. A court has many factors to consider in making the decision whether or not to award alimony.

Rapper Big Boi, from the group Outkast, is currently going through divorce proceedings with his wife of twelve years. In her filing, his wife requests sole custody of their minor son as well as child support and alimony. Big Boi has responded, disputing the request for sole custody and instead asking for joint physical custody. Though he intends to pay whatever amount of child support is ordered based on the guidelines of the state of Georgia, he does not feel he should be required to pay alimony, as he has described his wife as in good health and well educated.

Avoiding common mistakes in divorce may help fathers

Fathers have traditionally been at a disadvantage in the awarding of custody. In the past they have often received visitation rights and legal custody. Avoiding mistakes during a divorce, however, may increase their chances of receiving the custody arrangement they request.

A recent article has highlighted some of the more common mistakes made by fathers during divorce proceedings. One such mistake is unnecessarily increasing legal costs by engaging in unreasonable behavior and frivolously dragging on the case. Additionally, many fathers don't understand the increase in cost of living that they will experience after a divorce due to separate households and additional financial obligations such as child support. Many fathers decline to fight for more custody time even though they may be entitled to it in the interests of not upsetting their former spouse. If they have more available time, they should request it.

The difficulties of a long-distance custody agreement

Atlanta can be a great place to live, but sometimes people want or need to move away, for a job offer, an educational opportunity, a new love or just for a change of scenery. For many people, moving requires little more than packing and renting a truck. For parents who are sharing custody of a child, things are a lot harder.

When one parent moves a long distance away, it can wreak havoc with a child custody arrangement. If the child is moving along with the parent, it may place a great burden on the other parent's rights to visitation. If the parents have a shared custody arrangement in which the child alternates living with each parent part of the time, then one parent's relocation can destroy that arrangement.

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