Lithonia Family Law Attorney

A family walking together in the grass, big sister, little sister and Dad

When a family is in transition and faced with an uncertain future, it is crucial to have proper legal representation. The family law practice at E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC is dedicated to finding legal solutions when conflicts cannot be resolved in the home.

Our firm serves clients in Dekalb, Metro-Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia by helping to resolve the many complex issues related to divorce and its aftermath. We also work with clients to establish parental rights and responsibilities. While we encourage our clients to reach equitable agreements, we know our way around the courtroom when litigation becomes necessary. We routinely handle a wide range of family law issues including:

  • Divorce
  • Division of marital property
  • Child custody/visitation
  • Child support
  • Modification of custody/support orders
  • Collaborative divorce
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Legitimation and father’s rights

Divorce

While a divorce can become highly contentious, it is possible to minimize conflicts regarding issues such as the division of property, spousal support, child custody and visitation, and child support. We handle both contested and uncontested divorces and often help our clients navigate divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, as well as court proceedings. Knowing that a marital break-up is a painful experience, we will offer you trustworthy advice and support as you move on with your life.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, may be awarded to a divorcing spouse in the state of Georgia, but alimony payments are not guaranteed. Spousal support is generally awarded to an individual who has been in a long-term marriage (over 10 years), and only if the receiving spouse has limited means of earning an income.

Although there is no set formula for determining the amount of support, payments are based on the needs of one spouse and the other’s ability to pay. The best way to protect your interests is to consult E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC.

Child Custody/Visitation

We all want what’s best for our children, however disputes over child custody and visitation are unfortunately common in Georgia family law cases. The state’s child custody laws now consider it in the children’s best interest for both parents to play an active role in their upbringing. Before a divorce is granted, parenting plans for child custody and visitation must be approved by the court. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine custody and visitation rights.

If the court awards sole physical custody, then the noncustodial parent will be granted reasonable visitation rights. The court typically prefers to award joint physical custody — as long as the spouses can agree on a parenting plan. Moreover, children ages 14 and older can request which parent they prefer to live with, but the court’s determination is ultimately based on the child’s best interest. Finally, Georgia law also recognizes the visitation rights of grandparents.

Child Support

Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support to their children, whether they were married or not. In determining child support, the court follows specific guidelines that consider the income of both spouses, the number of children, as well as the costs associated with raising a child.

Modifications

After a divorce, circumstances may arise that render settlement agreements and court orders unworkable. Whether it’s a change in employment status, income, or a health issue, it is possible to obtain a modification to a spousal support or child support order/agreement.

Legitimation

When a child is born to unmarried parents in Georgia, the biological father does not have child custody or visitation rights. Legitimation is the legal process through which a biological father can establish a legal relationship with his child. Generally, there are two ways to legitimate a child — entering into an Acknowledgement of Legitimation with the child’s mother or filing a Petition for Legitimation with the court. Upon legitimation, the legal father will be responsible for the support of the child, and the court may also establish the father’s custody and visitation rights.

Prenuptial Agreements

No one goes into a marriage planning to divorce. Nonetheless, having a valid prenuptial agreement in place can clarify each future spouse’s property rights should they decide to  divorce. Ultimately, a well-conceived pre-nuptial agreement can help avoid court intervention division and reduce the conflict associated with divorce. Attorney Banks-Ware routinely negotiates and prepares prenuptial agreements that protect the rights of both parties and can also draft a postmarital agreement to address changes in your family or financial situation.

Contact Our Lithonia Family Law Attorney

At E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC, we work closely with families to resolve their most challenging and personal issues. Our objective insights can help you overcome the turbulence your family is experiencing and point you in the right direction. When you become our client, we will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the support you need. By getting through today, you may find a brighter tomorrow. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

E.N. Noreen Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC provides family law legal services to residents in Dekalb County including Lithonia, Atlanta, Decatur, Stone Mountain, and Dunwoody.