678-545-2118
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Family Law Services for Divorcing Parents

Here at Family Matters Law Group, we believe family comes first. Founded in 2012 by Edidiong Essienumoh Aaron, Family Matters Law makes a difference in the lives of its clients by fighting for people whose children, assets and money are under attack.

We don’t accept every case that walks through our door. For the clients we do accept, we offer our unyielding expertise and passion in our belief for that client’s cause. It is our belief that children benefit from both parents being active in their lives, so we won’t settle for “standard” family law outcomes. We fight for more quality parenting time and fair child support payments. We fight for successful co-parenting and fair visitation. We fight for father’s rights and grandparents’ rights.

We’re dedicated when it comes to conflict resolution and finding lasting, practical agreements during divorce proceedings — and most importantly, child custody. Divorce can be emotionally charged for even the most level-headed among us, so it’s important to find an impartial facilitator on your side.

As far as divorce goes, we believe in a father’s natural right to be included in his children’s lives. In Georgia, it’s often thought a mother’s rights are paramount, with the father’s coming in second. We humbly disagree. The father is just as important, and he deserves to have his interests supported.

Our aim is to arm divorcing parents with the knowledge to make the best decisions available to them. We aren’t here to tell you what you want to hear. We’re responsible for managing your expectations with the reality of the law.

That’s the kind of dedication you need when you’re in the middle of a heated divorce. We’re unbiased family law attorneys, here to serve the needs of our community.

We can help you navigate your divorce or annulment, child support payments, spousal support or alimony, child custody and visitation rights, and father’s rights.

Family Law

Family Law book

Your rights, duties, and liabilities as a spouse and as a parent are never more apparent than they are during a divorce. You are held to a higher standard during this stressful time, so it’s important to be on your best behavior, no matter how your ex behaves. Family law is usually broken up into four different categories:

  •  Custody
  • Legitimation
  • Paternity
  • Grandparent Visitation                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

While it’s great to see a couple amicably work out their differences in the best interests of their children, too often they lock horns, resulting in an ugly custody battle. This can become complicated if the paternity of the father in question is in dispute, or the process of legitimation has been especially grueling. Tensions run high, resulting in heated exchanges and hurt feelings.In cases like this, you may wonder if the grandparents have a right to interfere or even to be involved. Luckily, the court recognizes that the relationship between children and grandparents can be significant. That’s why grandparents in Georgia can file a motion for visitation and even intervene on pending legal action between divorcing parents.

Divorce

Divorce decree

Divorce is extremely emotional, due to its very nature, and has a way of bringing out the worst in people. It’s important to keep your head and not allow your emotions to get the best of you. Plus, the impact divorce can have on children cannot be understated. They’re especially vulnerable during this process, and it could have consequences on their developmental stages, communication skills or emotional health.

Keeping your cool is not only important for you, but for them as well. Setting a good example during difficult times not only makes you a good role model for your children, but it provides stability in a broken home. This stability is something the court will want to see.

During your divorce and life afterward, you need to develop a strong co-parenting relationship. This may not always be possible, especially if you are in a high-conflict divorce. Your ex likely knows all your buttons and exactly how to rile you up. Despite this, it is important for you to remain in control of your emotions at all costs.

Divorcing parents must come to an agreeable solution in good faith communications if they want to avoid a potentially messy outcome or a lengthy process. If they can’t do that, the court must step in. When it comes to divorcing with children, learning to abide by a few simple golden rules will go a long way to ensure a favorable outcome.

If you or your ex cannot abide by these rules, an attorney can help you manage your feelings and expectations. It’s important to be completely honest with your attorney, especially when it comes to angry or hurt feelings. They can guide you on how to navigate difficult situations with your ex and with your children.

You might think spousal support, or alimony, is only awarded to the mother. This is a common misconception and isn’t always true. In bygone days, alimony was typically awarded to the mother because she was usually a housewife. She was at an economic disadvantage, so she needed the support in order to take care of herself and the children. These days, alimony is only awarded if deemed necessary, and fathers can also fight for it. We can help you with Georgia alimony law and see if you’re eligible to receive support from your ex, no matter the circumstances.

You may also wonder how child support is calculated in the state of Georgia. You may assume that if you make more, you will pay more. This, again, is a common misconception and isn’t necessarily true. This is something Family Matters Law Group has a lot of experience in:

The income of both parents will be calculated. This is called an “Income Shares” model, which estimates the amount of money each parent pays into the overall financial needs of the children. Based on these incomes, one parent will usually supplement the income of the other parent, typically the primary custodial parent.

Other factors included in this decision process include childcare expenses, medical expenses or previous child support orders.The most important thing to remember about child support is that it is no longer decided by a simple percentage. As experienced family law attorneys, we know how to balance the needs of the children, the expectations of the parents and the cold, hard facts of the law. We can even help you decide who gets the pets. We’ll do our best not only to be fair, but to ensure everyone’s needs and wants are balanced.

Custody

Child Custody

Legal custody isn’t just about having access to your children. As a parent, you have to think about what school they’ll go to, treatment options when they’re sick and disciplinary measures when they act out. Without custody of your children, you cannot legally make any of these decisions for them as their parent. This is extremely important to keep in mind, especially when deciding who gets the children and when they get the children.When it comes to custody, several factors are involved in a judge making a decision:

  • Physical and emotional needs of the child.
  •  Age of the child.
  •  Which parent has a stronger relationship with the child.
  • The age and job status of the parents.
  • Any history of abuse.

It’s also important to know that joint custody is not the same as joint physical custody. Physical and joint legal custody are two separate matters. In the state of Georgia, there are actually four separate categories of custody law:

  • Sole custody.
  • Joint custody.
  • Joint physical custody.
  • Joint legal custody.
  •  

While these differences can be confusing, we’re here to help you determine the best scenario for you and your children, and what you can expect.

Parenting time is especially important in divorce proceedings. It’s one of the more significant rulings in a custody case. You might think you and your ex will get a 50/50 split. That’s only fair, right? The truth is, custody schedules are often more complex than that.

You won’t just decide where the children go during the week and on the weekends. Holidays, summer breaks and annual vacations will need to be divided as well. This can be an especially emotional event during divorce proceedings, because who wants to decide who does and does not get to spend time with the children on special days?

We’ve said it a lot, but this is one of those times where a successful co-parenting relationship is important. Rather than fighting over the children, you can peacefully co-manage their time, so everyone gets a piece of the pie. But if you can’t do that with your ex, we can help.When it comes to parental visitation or parenting time, children benefit from consistent schedules and structure in both households. The best interests of the children are the top priority, so both parents must come to an agreement as to how the children will be raised in separate households.

We know the complexities of custody can be confusing, and sometimes a peaceful co-parenting relationship can be difficult. That’s why representing yourself is not something we advise. It’s easy to get emotional, and the law is very nuanced. We will be the voice and expertise you need in court, while we give you necessary advice when working out disagreements.

Father’s Rights

father pushing children on tire swing

Father’s rights are cut and dried in Georgia; if you’re married, you and your spouse have equal visitation and custody rights. If you’re not married, only the mother has automatic rights to visitation and custody. Even for partners in a relationship for years, the law remains clear: Fathers are not automatically entitled to the same rights mothers are.

For this reason and for many others, it’s easy to believe the children will live primarily with their mother with the father visiting when she allows it. In actuality, the law is gender-neutral. It actually directs the court to award primary custody to the most capable parent, regardless of gender. With this in mind, it’s very important to keep hope alive during this process. We know most fathers want to be active in their children’s lives, and why shouldn’t they be?

This part of divorce is extremely delicate and needs an experienced hand guiding it. Luckily, this is also something Family Matters Law Group has a lot of experience in.

Father’s rights are boiled down to paternity, legitimation and visitation. These three categories are related but distinct.Paternity can be established in one of three ways:

  •  Be married to the mother.
  • Undergo genetic (DNA) testing.
  • Sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form.
  •  

When it comes to legitimation, you are automatically considered the legal father to a child if you are married to the mother. If you’re not married, you are required to go through a process called legitimation. Unfortunately, a DNA test alone will not prove legitimacy. It will be enough to make you pay child support, however.

In order to prove you’re the child’s legitimate father, you need proof of paternity. Proof of paternity is established in one of two ways — by marrying the mother, or by filing a Petition of Legitimacy. If the mother consents to this petition, you can expect the process to proceed quickly. If not, this process can be lengthy. When you establish proof of paternity, you also tell the court you have a vested interest in having a relationship with your child.

It’s commonly believed that the mother will be awarded sole physical custody. In most cases, the court will award joint custody to the divorcing parents, splitting authority between them. Sole custody is usually only awarded in extreme circumstances. If you behave poorly during divorce proceedings, no matter the circumstances, it could tell the court that you’re not the most stable parent.

Many fathers don’t expect to win any custody rights, so they don’t ask for them during divorce proceedings. Established paternity and a request for custody rights means you have a chance to win them in court. Don’t get discouraged and miss out on the opportunity to share custody with the mother. Studies have shown that when fathers participate in their children’s lives, they are happier and more well-adjusted than those without fathers. We know you want to be involved, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!

If you’re awarded joint legal custody, you may wonder what your rights are. As previously stated, in the state of Georgia, custody has four separate categories of custody law. The law will usually side with the primary custodial parent, which is another reason why a functional co-parenting relationship is so important. This is especially true if your children have difficulties in school or other activities. If you and your ex have a disagreement on raising the children, it may not work out in favor of the non-custodial parent. If tensions are high and no one can come to an agreement, the judge may have to make a decision.

It’s easy to think you can do this on your own. But the laws of fathers’ rights in Georgia are complicated, and you will need legal counsel throughout this process. The process is long, and establishing fatherhood immediately makes you legally responsible for your children. Having someone at your side who knows how to help will make all the difference in the world.We know the kind of evidence needed for these cases and have helped numerous fathers with legitimation and proof of paternity. We have a proven track record of presenting clear and fact-based evidence to the court to ensure the father remains a part of his children’s lives. If you’re a father, and you believe you have a case for primary custody, contact Family Matters Law Group and let us advocate for you.

Family Matters Law Group

Edi

If you are in Henry, Clayton or Fayette counties, as well as the greater Atlanta metro area, we’d love to sit down in a consultation and hear your story. Plus, if you know anyone in need of an experienced family attorney, please refer them to us. Setting up an appointment is easy. Just call the number below or use our convenient online contact form.

When you call, text, or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation with Family Matters Law Group, you’ll receive detailed information on what to expect. Our consultations are comprehensive and specific to each client’s unique case and needs. Your consultation will be one hour at a reduced rate of $100, paid up front.

This is your time; bring everything you need to make your case, and we’ll let you know if we will take it or not. We don’t accept every case presented to us, which allows us to focus 110% of our time and attention on those cases we truly believe in.

We don’t just pride ourselves on our knowledge of the law. Part of our job is to balance your desires and your expectations, while educating you about your options with Georgia family law. We’re the Family Matters Law Group, and we’d be happy to hear your case.

Phone: 678-545-2118

Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
info@thefamilymatterslaw.com
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