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Temporary Restraining Orders in Georgia: What you need to know!

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Are you a working mom going through a divorce? We understand the stress of your situation and are here to help!

“Sometimes your happiness and the person you want, don’t go well together.”

Working moms have an immense amount of pressure and a divorce is often times an added stress and daunting endeavor. We’re in agreement with you; juggling the tasks of being a mother and advancing your career are stressful enough. Being served with divorce papers or knowing your relationship has come to an end is overwhelming to say the least! However, we are here to help encourage and educate all the working moms who find themselves trying to juggle all that life has thrown their way. 

A working mom going through a divorce might be worried about how a judge might perceive this “juggling act” of parenthood and career and how it may affect custody agreements. We understand these concerns and have years of experience in helping other working moms in your situation!

Below are a few helpful tips to know if considering a divorce in Atlanta. 

Consult an Attorney:

A divorce is the dissolving of a relationship, and it is now looked at as a business transaction, therefore it’s taxing on your time. Consulting a professional can help ensure you are on the right path as well as take away the time-consuming burden of trying to handle the landmines on your own. A family law firm, like the Edwards Law Group can help guide you on the necessary steps of a divorce. Additionally, when seeking a professional for your divorce, ask about their previous experience handling cases like yours. Doing your research and consulting others on which family law attorney is advised. See what others have had to say about the selected lawyer you are interviewing. Reading online reviews on your lawyer’s Google My Business page will also provide great insight as to what others have experienced with the lawyer.

Consider your workload:

Before and after beginning the divorce process, consider your workload as a professional and working mother. Try to be consistent in keeping a schedule with your children. Many parents fear that a divorce could affect the routine their children, and themselves, are accustomed to. This does not always have to be the case. Many parents find healthy and efficient ways to adjust to a new lifestyle and finding that adjustment can mean a less stressful transition.

Self-care matters:

Treat yourself! Going through a divorce and keeping the schedule of work and motherhood does not mean you dismiss your well-being and mental health. The stress from a divorce is immense and should not be taken lightly. Seek out counseling, groups, and other activities that might help you keep a positive outlook.

Contact Us Today.

At The Edwards Law Group, we take on the ugly in family law cases, so our clients don’t have to! Attorney V. Joy Edwards and her team have helped many women in your situation. In fact, we have made an informative video for someone like you. Someone who is trying their best to juggle all that life has thrown their way. Watch as Attorney Joy Edwards provides great insight into divorce and how to manage it all!  

If you’re a working mom considering divorce, contact us today. Our law firm has over 15 years of experience dealing with clients and their unique cases. We understand each situation, marriage, and family is unique and we strive to help everyone in the best ways possible! We serve our community in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. 

annulment marriage

What is an Annulment? Thinking of annulling a marriage in Georgia?

One of the questions our family law firm receives frequently has to do with the annulment of a marriage. “Can I annul my marriage?” “Is annulment better than divorce?” “Do both persons have to consent to annul a marriage?” Before going further, let’s break down what annulment means in Georgia. 

 

Both divorces and annulments make definitive legal decisions towards the fate of a marriage. Divorces usually involve a set legal process and the division of assets as well as determinations of child custody, child support payments, and alimony. Most divorces are civil terminations of a marriage that existed and was valid in front of the eyes of the law. This is where the major difference lies between annulments and divorces. Annulments of marriage are, in civil law, a declaration that a marriage was never truly valid, hence it never really existed

 

Now, you might be asking yourself, how can a marriage not have been valid? This is where the process of annulling a marriage can become complicated. In general, nationwide, annulments are harder to be successfully won than divorces. This is because annulment laws tend to be very well defined and might come with time limits. Georgia is a state with considerably stricter annulment laws than other states, like Nevada.

 

In Georgia there are a few acceptable grounds for annulment:

  • Bigamy: One or both spouses are legally married to a living person.
  • Incest: The spouses are closely related.
  • Incompetence to comply: At the time of the marriage, one or both spouses were not of sound mind.
  • Underage: At the time of the marriage, one or both spouses were underage and did not receive consent from their legal guardian(s) to be married
  • Coercion or Fraud: One or both spouses were coerced into the marriage and/or one or both spouses engaged in fraudulent behavior. 

Prohibition of annulment:

  • Georgia law explicitly prohibits annulments when a spouse is pregnant or if the marriage includes children. 

 

Common questions regarding annulment in Georgia

In Georgia, an annulment follows very similar procedures to that of a divorce. Just like divorces, annulments can be messy situations, legally and socially. Similar to divorce an annulment can usually take three routes. First, both spouses can collaboratively agree to the annulment. This can make the process streamlined and quick. If a spouse files for annulment and the other partner does not respond within the court’s allotted time frame then a judge can void the marriage directly. But, if a spouse rejects the proposal, then this legal process can go all the way to trial. 

 

Experienced Georgia Family Law Firm

For some, an annulment might be the right option in ending a marriage. Divorce can carry heavy pressure and social stigma for certain individuals, so an annulment could be an easier decision to make. Whether you are considering annulling a marriage or weighing your options in considering divorce, we highly recommend choosing the right attorney, especially one with experience in family law and divorce. The Edwards Law Group has over a decade of experience in this field. Joy Edwards and her team dedicate their time and resources towards defending their clients and fighting on their behalf. If you have any questions regarding divorce or family law matters, contact us.

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Vaccines, COVID-19, and Child Custody

The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone profoundly. The world shut down, jobs were lost, and unfortunately, many families separated, both physically and emotionally. An unforeseen consequence of the pandemic and its quarantine was that many couples, many parents, and many marriages saw the need for separation.

The Edwards Law Group has years of experience dealing with family law. We have practiced family law in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for over a decade. This legal practice area can be seen as being extremely messy, after all, divorces can be full of emotions. Our practice prides itself in taking the “ugly” out of family law, we help steer our clients through this sometimes turbulent process by giving them calm and expert advice, as well as representation in court. While preparing for a divorce and or child support/custody case; many questions arise. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, one question has recently gained attention. What happens if one parent does not want their child to be vaccinated? 

In this blog, we want to help answer this question!

How does custody work? 

In Georgia custody can be separated into four categories. There is joint legal and physical custody, where both parents share the rights to make decisions for their child(ren) and have physical custody. There can be variations as well. One parent can have both legal and physical custody of their child. The courts decide custody based on the best interest of the child. The courts consider both parent’s lifestyles, history, and relationship with the child or children. The idea that a single parent, for example, the mother, is favored as the sole physical guardian is an outdated concept. Courts have been moving towards joint custody for many years. Yet, this raises the question of legal custody. If parents share legal custody of their child and they object to medical treatment, like vaccines, being administered to their child, for moral, religious, or health reasons, what are the repercussions? 

Vaccination and Child Custody

A recent study showed that parental attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine are about 60-40. Meaning, about 40% of parents are unsure of whether to have their children vaccinated. This is an understandable predicament, regardless of their beliefs towards vaccines in general. But, what if the parents are separated or divorced? Can a whole custody agreement change due to a parent’s insistence on vaccinating their child, say for COVID-19?

While the pandemic has slowed down, legal cases for this specific issue are occurring more and more with some schools mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for children to return to “in-person” learning . Only time can tell what the courts will decide. However, looking back at past cases in some states, there is some precedent. For example, a case in New Jersey, where a joint-legal custody agreement was forged during a separation, dealt with parents disagreeing over the vaccination of their child. One parent claimed their child was immunocompromised and thus should not be receiving vaccines. The parents took the case to family court and ultimately due to the circumstances, the court awarded medical custody to the parent who wanted their child vaccinated. Since states have different laws regarding their family law cases, ultimately this topic will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis and by individual judges.

Contact Us

Do you have a family law case; deciding on child custody, child support, or getting a divorce? Contact The Edwards Law Group. We are based in Atlanta, Georgia, and practice throughout Georgia. We have years of experience and results in these matters. Contact us for a consultation.

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What can a father do during a divorce? 

Divorce in the United States is a hot topic. It is highly probable that amongst a group of people, someone has gone through or is going through a divorce. It is prevalent enough that almost half of all marriages will end in divorce. 

Culturally divorce is looked at through a narrow lens. People might recognize that divorce has evolved historically and with the advent of “No-Fault” Divorce laws the rates of divorce have increased. Women, who in the past had little say in divorce matters, now have greater input. 

One issue many men go through in divorce, and especially father’s, is their role in the divorce proceeding. It is no surprise that over 90% of child custody cases go in favor of the mother of the children. Societal expectations and notions dictate that the mother is the preferred caregiver. That does not mean however that father’s have no role in a custody proceeding. Quite the opposite. 

Here are a few things to consider as a father going through divorce.

3 things fathers should do as they navigate a divorce that involves children: 

  • Create a plan:

    • Planning creates stability. Stability can go a long way when a radical change happens in a household. It can help children of parents going through separation but it can also help the parents. Plans help ease potential tension between the parents and between the children and parents. Establishing a clear plan is something that mediation can help with. 
  • Help your children cope

    • Any event which uproots a child’s normal routine can have short and long-term effects on their wellbeing. Helping a child cope with what can seem like a sudden and drastic change is essential for the your child’s well-being. Without a healthy coping mechanism kids can develop unhealthy behaviors as they mature.
  • Stay nearby (if possible)

    • Maintaining a healthy relationship often involves proximity. Although this might be difficult given your situation, staying nearby should be a priority when the divorce is final.  

3 things fathers can avoid as they navigate a divorce that involves children: 

  • Refusing to pay child support

    • Refusing to pay child support can cause more harm than good. Having good representation helps with navigating the details of child support. Judges understand changing circumstances like losing or changing jobs. Failing to notify the court of such a change and thus refusing to pay the amount can negatively affect the father’s standing.
  • Violating custody

    • Deviating from the established custody plan can be detrimental to the dynamic and relationship with the court. 
  • Leaving too soon

    • One of the toughest things to consider is when to move out of the family home. Staying in the family home is a good precedent to set while going through divorce proceedings. Although the thought of staying might be difficult to consider due to the tension at home, it can help with the custody proceedings.

Let us help you!

It is highly recommended to consult an experienced family law attorney if you are considering or if you are in the process of a divorce. Attorneys with experience in this field can help alleviate the tension that divorces may cause. Even the smoothest of divorces can be fraught with stress and anxiety. 

Divorces can be a crucial moment in a family. You should not expect your divorce to have to go through a lengthy battle and trial. An experienced firm like The Edwards Law Group believes mediation to be a key component in the proceedings. 

If you are going through a separation, contact us today.

Four-Rights-of-Children-in-Divorce

Four Rights of Children in Divorce

Four-Rights-of-Children-in-Divorce

Divorce can be particularly hard on children. When parents divorce, children can become confused, depressed and angry. The reality is that children can experience a full range of emotions when parents divorce.

Divorcing parents need to recognize the various emotional responses of their children. Moreover, parents must ensure that their children understand that they have the right to feel as they do when their parents’ marriage is coming to an end. Here some specific emotional rights of children in divorce that must be recognized and affirmed by parents.

Right to Own Feelings

Above all else, when it comes to emotional rights of children in a divorce case, they have the absolute right to their own feelings. What this means is that children cannot be chided or criticized for feeling one way or another about their parents ending a marriage.

Parents must reach out to their children and affirm that whatever these young people feel about a divorce is acceptable. This includes anger, relief, confusion, frustration and other different types of reactions children may have to a divorce.

Right to be Heard

In addition to the right to have their own feelings, children have a companion right to be heard. In other words, parents need to make sure they take the time to listen to their children before, during and after a divorce case. Not only must children be heard, parents must endeavor to ensure that they understand what their children are saying.

Right to Express

As part of experiencing emotions and being heard, children have the right to express what they feel. It is one thing to experience emotions and something to be heard. But, feeling and being heard must be accompanied by the right to express what is on the minds of children during divorce. This may include children expressing things in anger, a process that much be accepted and understood by parents in a divorce case.

Right to Ask Questions

Included in the spectrum of rights enjoyed by children in divorce cases is the right to ask questions. The reality is that children in divorce cases typically have a wide range of questions. Many of these questions may actually focus on concerns they have for their own futures in the aftermath of a divorce case.

In addition to asking questions, children have the right to honest responses. Special attention must be made to ensure that responses to questions are age appropriate.

By recognizing and honoring these rights of children in divorce, the process of ending a marriage can be less confusing for children. Ensuring these rights works to ensure that children exist a divorce case in a sounder, more stable condition.