Divorce & Family Law

Family law is one of the most contentious yet important areas of the law that our attorneys encounter. Resolving legal issues related to your family can be a difficult process. The Law Office of Gregory A. Hicks will guide you through the process with compassion and expertise.

Laws relating to the family are increasing and changing rapidly. New laws are enacted almost yearly requiring action by the parties before you file documents with the court and changing the rights or obligations of parents or spouses.  It is crucial to have an attorney who understands these changes to assist you.

Our office handles various legal issues related to the family including:

  • contested divorce
  • uncontested divorce
  • modification of child support
  • modification of child custody
  • pre-nuptial agreements
  • adoptions
  • paternity or legitimation
  • domestic violence
  • contempt or failure to comply with court orders

When a dispute arises regarding your family, client’s often have a lot of uncertainty and questions. Below are just a few of the questions which often come up in family law. No matter what your questions may be, our experienced family law attorney are here to assist you and to answer those qustions.

 

What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?

A contested divorce is one in which the husband and wife cannot agree and must have a court decide division of the property, child support, child custody and any other unresolved issues. As the divorce proceedings progress, couples are often able to resolve their differences and ultimately reach an agreement on at least some issues. If the parties can not agree, then a court hearing is necessary and a judge decides the remaining unresolved issues between the parties.

How long will it take for my divorce to be final?

An uncontested divorce can be finalized in as little as thirty one days after the case is filed with the court. A contested divorce can take anywhere from months to years to finalize depending on the issues between the parties and the availability of court dates.

What issues are addressed in a divorce?

A divorce is the dissolution or ending a marriage by a court order (“Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce”). A divorce proceeding resolves all issues between the parties including splitting of marital assets and marital debts, payment of alimony, attorneys fees, and issues related to the children of the parties, including who will have custody and who will have visitation with the children, which parent will pay child support and what amount, who will pay for the insurance of the children, etc.

Will I have to pay alimony?

A court is authorized, but not required, to award alimony to one spouse in a divorce proceeding. A court can award alimony if the needs of one spouse and the ability of another spouse to pay are in favor of such award. To determine if alimony is appropriate, a court considers several factors, including but not limited to adultery of either party, education and employment history of both spouses, standard of living during the marriage and financial resources of each party.

Will I have to pay child support?

The parent who does not have primary custody of a child will most likely pay child support. In Georgia, child support is determined using a “Child Support Calculator” which considers the income of both parents coupled with the expenses and needs of the children. Child support can be increased or decreased based upon certain deviations allowed under Georgia law.