E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC discusses ways to prepare for divorce mediation in Georgia.

How to Prepare for Your Georgia Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional courtroom litigation. The primary goal of divorce mediation is the creation of a settlement agreement that both parties find acceptable. One of the benefits of divorce mediation is that it tends to be less adversarial than traditional divorce. If you are interested in pursuing a divorce in Georgia or need advice on preparing for an upcoming mediation, please review the information below and contact a Georgia divorce attorney as soon as possible. 

Keep an Open Mind

Divorce mediation is a collaborative process. Therefore, it is important to keep an open mind when entering negotiations. Of course, there are certain things that you will want to achieve by participating in divorce mediation. However, by keeping an open mind regarding the proceedings and potential outcome of your settlement agreement, you will receive the maximum benefit from the divorce mediation process. 

Get Your Paperwork in Order

You must be prepared when entering divorce mediation. Therefore, make sure you have all your paperwork in order before starting the process. In most cases, this consists primarily of financial documents, including evidence of your assets, accounts, investments, property, and loans. The better organized you are, the smoother the process will proceed. 

Keep Your Cool 

Divorce, whether undertaken through mediation or litigation, can be a trying process. Therefore, as you begin the mediation process, it’s important to keep your cool. Remember, the goal of mediation is a satisfactory settlement agreement. Losing your temper or being unreasonable will not help you meet this goal. 

Be Flexible and Cooperative

If you want your mediation to go smoothly, be flexible and cooperative. As noted above, mediation is a collaborative process that is intended to serve as an alternative to the adversarial litigation process. If you treat mediation like a courtroom battle, you might as well forgo the process altogether. Of course, cooperation is a two-way street, so your spouse must also be willing to compromise on certain issues. If you and your spouse enter mediation with a cooperative spirit, the odds of a successful resolution greatly increase. 

Hire an Experienced Lithonia Divorce Attorney 

Finally, there is no better way to prepare for divorce mediation in Georgia than by hiring an experienced Lithonia divorce attorney. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we will work diligently to help you achieve a positive outcome in your divorce mediation. Our experienced Georgia divorce attorney is equally adept at managing highly contested divorces and negotiating amicable settlements through the Georgia divorce mediation process. Also, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are always ready and willing to fight for you in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or anywhere else in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation with our experienced Georgia divorce attorney. 

E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC discusses what marriage abandonment means in Georgia.

What Is Marriage Abandonment in Georgia?

Marital abandonment, also called desertion, is a legal ground for divorce in Georgia. The willful and continued desertion by either spouse for a year or more is considered abandonment and constitutes a sufficient reason for the court to grant a total divorce. Marital abandonment usually involves a spouse’s purposeful, unilateral decision to physically desert or leave his or her spouse. If you have been abandoned or deserted by your spouse in Georgia and would like to pursue a divorce, please review the information below and contact a Georgia divorce attorney as soon as possible to begin the divorce process. 

The Consequences of Marriage Abandonment  

A spouse will sometimes abandon his or her husband or wife if the marital home becomes volatile or intolerable. Other times, however, a husband or wife will abandon his or her spouse for other reasons. Regardless of the reason for leaving, abandoning one’s spouse can have legal consequences in Georgia if the deserted spouse decides to pursue an abandonment divorce. Intentionally leaving one’s spouse is grounds for a divorce based on abandonment in Georgia, and this can place the spouse who abandons his or her significant other at a disadvantage in court. Specifically, when one spouse can prove that his or her husband or wife left intentionally for one year, then the deserting spouse can be viewed as responsible for the divorce by the court. And generally speaking, courts don’t seek to reward the party responsible for causing a divorce. Rather,  Georgia law allows judges and juries to punish the responsible party by denying him or her alimony or attorney’s fees. 

On the other hand, for the spouse that was deserted, not only is it possible that he or she will receive alimony, but the court may consider the desertion when determining the amount of spousal support awarded. So, regardless of whether you have been abandoned by your spouse or forced to leave home due to reasons beyond your control, you must hire an experienced divorce attorney to represent you in court. 

Contact a Lithonia Divorce Attorney Today

If you want a divorce in Georgia, you need an experienced Lithonia divorce attorney. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we will work diligently to ensure that you achieve the results you desire in your Georgia divorce. Our experienced Georgia divorce attorney, who is equally adept at managing highly contested divorces and negotiating amicable settlements, will be with you every step of the way as you begin this new chapter in your life. Also, when a satisfactory divorce settlement cannot be reached, we will aggressively pursue your interests in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or anywhere else in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation with our experienced Georgia divorce attorney. 

Adultery can affect the divorce in Georgia.

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Georgia?

Adultery can have a major effect on divorce proceedings in Georgia. To put it simply, if adultery can be proved, then the cheating spouse is at a significant disadvantage. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, making the subject of adultery and divorce in Georgia a complicated issue. If you plan on filing for divorce in Georgia and either you or your spouse alleges that adultery is the cause of the separation, you should review the information below and contact an experienced Georgia divorce attorney to discuss your options. 

How to prove adultery 

In Georgia, a person may either file for a no-fault divorce or file under one of 12 statutory grounds. Adultery by either spouse is one of these grounds. However, in order to prove adultery, the accusing spouse must present substantial and corroborating evidence to the court. And even if the spouse accused of adultery confesses to the behavior, corroborating evidence is still required. In other words, a confession alone is not enough to prove adultery.  

How adultery affects divorce 

If the court determines that adultery is the cause, then the spouse who committed adultery will not be entitled to alimony. However, in order for alimony to be denied, it must be proved that adultery was the actual cause of the breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, if one spouse committed adultery, but the actual reason for divorce was some other behavior, then the adulterous spouse may still be entitled to receive alimony.

When adultery isn’t a grounds for divorce

In Georgia, a judge will not grant a divorce based on adultery under these circumstances:

  • One spouse engaged in adultery in collusion with the other spouse to cause the divorce. 
  • The spouse who filed for divorce on grounds of adultery consented to the other spouse’s adulterous behavior. 
  • Both spouses committed adultery during the marriage. 
  • The spouse filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery previously condoned or forgave the other spouse’s adulterous behavior.

Contact our Lithonia divorce attorney

If your spouse has committed adultery and you are considering a divorce, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we will work diligently to help you achieve a positive outcome in your divorce case. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces involving allegations of adultery, our primary concern is ensuring that we protect your legal rights. Even when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to court. If you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Divorce is challenging for both parents and children. In fact, a divorce or child custody case is one of the most challenging experiences a person can face. However, parents sometimes make the process even more difficult. One way in which some parents increase the difficulty of divorce is through a process known as parental alienation. Unfortunately, parental alienation is common, and it ultimately harms the children of divorced parents. Below is an overview of the behaviors that constitute parental alienation and the ways that it affects the children of divorce.

Parental alienation defined with examples

Parental alienation is a process by which one parent psychologically manipulates his or her child into showing unwarranted hostility, fear, or disrespect towards the other parent. And although Georgia has no specific laws addressing parental alienation, evidence of this behavior by a parent may be used by the other parent to support his or her claim for parenting time, custody, or supervised visitations. There are several common behaviors that constitute parental alienation, and an offending parent will often utilize several of them to inflict maximum damage on the relationship between his or her child and the other parent. Examples of parental alienation include:

  • Speaking badly about the other parent in front of the child
  • Manipulating the child into believing the other parent is hurting his or her feelings
  • Limiting contact between the child and the other parent
  • Convincing the child that the other parent doesn’t care for him or her
  • Telling the child to choose one parent over the other
  • Going to extremes to win the child’s love
  • Forcing the child to say bad things about the other parent

Effects of parental alienation on children

Parental alienation is extremely harmful to children. However, parents who use such tactics rarely consider the effects that they have on their children. And while those who witness such behavior may disapprove, people rarely take the time to report it, as many people don’t believe parental alienation rises to the level of abuse. Make no mistake about it, though, parental alienation is abusive to children, and it can lead to mood disorders, self-loathing, low self-image, and even substance abuse in a child’s later years.

Contact Our Lithonia Divorce Attorney  

If you are considering a divorce, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC works to help clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce proceedings. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces or negotiating settlements, our primary concern is protecting your interests and the well-being of your children. In addition, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.

An Overview of Your Rights as a Divorcing Father

If you are a father who is facing divorce in Georgia, it’s important that you understand your rights. One way to understand your rights as a divorcing father is to hire an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer. A Georgia divorce attorney will assist you throughout the divorce process, and she will ensure that you are given every legal opportunity to remain an active part of your child’s life. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Georgia, please review the information below, and contact a Lithonia County divorce lawyer as soon as possible for assistance.

Your rights as a father

As a divorcing father, you have child custody rights equal to that of your child’s mother. Some of these rights include:

  1. The right to provide for your child financially
  2. The right to retain emotional ties with your child
  3. The right to provide your child with a stable environment
  4. The right to remove your child from an abusive situation

How to improve your chances for child custody

In most cases, divorcing parents each seek custody during the divorce process. Therefore, if both you and your wife wish to obtain custody of your child, you need to take certain steps to improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Above all, you must demonstrate to the court that you are a loving and capable parent. Ways to do this include:

  1. Ensure that your relationship with your child is strong – Courts favor fathers who have good relationships with their children. Therefore, continue to strengthen your relationship with your child during the divorce process.
  2. Remain active in your child’s life – Related to the point above, remaining active in your child’s life both increases your chances of a favorable result in court and is great for the child. Staying involved in your child’s education, sporting events, and general upbringing is vital during the divorce process.
  3. Make sure your child is comfortable at your home – You should make every effort to ensure that your child is comfortable in your new home. Courts examine this factor when making custody decisions.
  4. Respect your ex – By being respectful towards your ex, you demonstrate to the court that you are mature and capable of cooperating for the sake of your child.

Contact Our Lithonia Divorce Attorney

If you are a father who is considering a divorce in Georgia, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we work to help clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce proceedings. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces or negotiating settlements, our primary concern is protecting your interests and the well-being of your children. In addition, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court. Therefore, if you are a father who is considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.

What Will Happen to My Kids After My Georgia Divorce?

If you have children and are considering a divorce in Georgia, you’re probably concerned about issues like custody and visitation rights. In Georgia, these issues are decided based on several factors. In order to understand how courts make decisions regarding children in Georgia divorce cases, please review the information below, and contact an experienced Georgia divorce attorney as soon as possible.

How courts make custody decisions

When making custody decisions in Georgia, courts attempt to determine what is in the best interest of the child. Judges make this determination based on an examination of several factors, including:

  • Each parent’s work schedule and routine
  • Each parent’s mental, physical, and emotional health
  • Each parent’s education level
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child
  • The custody motives of each parent
  • Each parent’s willingness to have a meaningful relationship with the child

Types of custody in Georgia

In Georgia, there are four types of custody: (1) sole physical custody, (2) joint physical custody, (3) sole legal custody, and 4) joint legal custody.

Sole physical custody is a situation in which a child lives with only one parent. Joint physical custody, however, allows a child to spend time living with both parents. Courts generally prefer joint custody unless it isn’t in the best interests of the child. Sole legal custody grants one parent the ability to make decisions for his or her child, such as educational or medical decisions. Joint legal custody, on the other hand, permits both parents to make such decisions for their child. It is uncommon for one parent with sole physical custody to lack legal custody. However, it is common for both parents to have an equal say in the lives of their child unless other factors prohibit such an arrangement. In addition, it is common for one parent to have final decision-making authority if both parents can’t make a joint decision. This type of final decision-making authority is sometimes split for certain categories of decisions affecting a child. Finally, even if equal joint physical custody is determined to be unattainable in a particular situation, the other parent is almost always permitted to visit his or her child.

Contact Our Lithonia Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we work to help clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce proceedings. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces or negotiating settlements, our primary concern is protecting your interests and the well-being of your children. In addition, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.