Life can be full of big life decisions like marriage, prenuptial agreements, divorce and child visitation negotiations. Georgia’s family laws enforce and protect your rights and provide a legal foundation for life events that are typically highly emotional.
Whether you are considering a prenuptial agreement, looking to adopt, or need help deciding who should get what property in a divorce, a Georgia family law attorney can help keep things civil.
If you have a family law case in Albany, Decatur, Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, LawInfo is your source for information and legal help. LawInfo’s Georgia Family Law section includes legal overviews, summaries of state laws and other resources to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. Georgia family law attorneys can assist you with any of the following topics (and many more).
When planning your wedding day, one of the most important things to remember is to apply for a marriage license before getting married. (See Georgia Code §19-3-30.) A marriage license guarantees you and your spouse’s legal rights to certain benefits like tax breaks and family insurance.
Unlike in most states, Georgia doesn’t impose waiting periods or expiration dates for marriage licenses, meaning that you could apply and receive your license anytime before your wedding ceremony. There are also no residency requirements for applying for a license. However, out-of-state couples wishing to marry in Georgia must apply for their license in the county where they will have their ceremony.
To qualify for a marriage license, couples must meet these requirements:
Marriages can end in divorce for many reasons but only a select few are legally permissible in Georgia. (See Georgia Code Title 19, Chapter 5.) Additionally, divorcing couples must meet a state residency requirement. One or both spouses must have been a Georgia resident at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
To qualify for a divorce, one spouse must prove one or more of the following grounds:
In Georgia, a “no-fault” divorce may be granted if both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken at no fault to either spouse. No-fault divorces can result in a faster and less expensive divorce.
Who will get what when a couple divorces? A 50/50 marital property split (known as “community property” law) occurs in a few states, but not in Georgia.
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, in a divorce. Assets (property and income) and liabilities (debts) acquired during the marriage are available for division and distribution. Separate property acquired before the marriage or from inheritances or gifts from other parties during the marriage typically remain with the original owners.
The fair and equitable distribution of property is considered by the court on a case-by-case basis. Divorce fault grounds are taken into consideration along with each spouse’s financial and health needs, among other factors.