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Atlanta Family Law Blog

New legislation to address Georgia's adoption system

For those looking to adopt, it may be good news that the state representative is beginning to look into changing Georgia's adoption practices. Adoptions can take many months or years, and there are some practices that are out of date. By updating them, it makes the process move more quickly, helping children and families come together faster.

Adoption laws in Georgia have not been updated in over 30 years. Without revisions or updates with the changing times, this has caused the state to fall behind others. Since Georgia is so far behind, it has a more complicated adoption process that is harder to go through.

Adoption: What you need to know as a potential parent

The adoption process is relatively straightforward, although it can be complicated. Adoption is a legal process in which you may adopt a child into your family. The adoption gives a child the same rights as a child born naturally into your family.

There are many different factors that play a role in a person's decision to adopt. Some may decide not to adopt because they believe they are unable. The truth is that the qualifications to adopt are not as stiff as you may believe. In Georgia, you must be 25 or older. You should also be 10 years older than a child you wish to have placed in your home. If you are married and living with your spouse, you still must be at least 10 years older than the child to be adopted.

Alimony in Georgia: Both temporary and permanent rules apply

Georgia, like other states, has alimony laws that can help those who need additional support financially following a divorce. Although most states do have alimony laws, no two states have laws that are exactly the same. In Georgia, both permanent and temporary alimony are recognized, which could be different from other states.

There are a number of factors that are considered when the judge determines if a person should be awarded alimony of any kind. First, he or she must look at the standard of living that was established during the marriage. If the couple is living a rich life, leaving one spouse without a job or support would likely be extremely unfair. However, in cases where both parties have similar incomes, alimony might not be necessary at all.

Why should parents use mediation for child custody concerns?

Your child is the most important person in the world to you, and it's likely your spouse feels the same. This is why so many people struggle during divorce; how can you split time with your child with a person you're no longer in love with and may not even like?

Child custody isn't just about you. You need to consider your child's best interests and find a way to compromise on a parenting plan that works for each person involved. Many people choose to go through child custody mediation sessions, because they help reduce and address conflicts, so you can move forward with a divorce.

New amendment could change how you adopt privately in Georgia

Adoption gives you the chance to add a new child to your family. It's an experience many people wait years for, and they take considerable time and effort in pursuing the adoption. In the majority of cases, your religion, age and other factors don't play much of a role in the adoption as long as you meet the state or private agency's criteria.

That could change. A new adoption law update has been waiting for a final vote in the General Assembly. The law could grant "religious freedom" to private adoption agencies, making it easier for them to deny couples or individuals the right to adopt based on their religious preferences.

New law in Georgia could lead to discrimination during adoptions

Adoption opens the door to people who want to have children and can't or who want to expand their families for other reasons. Adoption is a joy to these individuals; they get to have a family that grows and raise a child of their own. Additionally, children who had been displaced are able to grow up with a family who loves them. A new bill in Georgia has some on edge, though, because of the risk of discrimination.

According to the March 17 report, the change to a previous bill modernizes the state's adoption laws, allowing private adoption and foster agencies to refuse their services based on their personal policies. This is a problem for some, especially the director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, who believes this bill violates federal law.

Can you avoid paying monthly alimony payments?

One thing that people going through a divorce may be concerned about is the impact of long-term alimony payments on their finances. If your husband or wife did not work for a significant amount of time and you were the sole breadwinner, it's not unreasonable for your spouse to ask for alimony. Should it be permanent, though? How much is enough? These are common questions that you deserve answers to.

How much is enough is based on your specific case. If your spouse is working, then you may pay alimony to make up a difference in your earnings, for example. Or, if he or she is not working, then you may need to pay alimony to help support your spouse until he or she is back in the workforce.

Georgia bill aims to change adoption laws

Adoption laws in Georgia have been the same for around 27 years, but a new bill may change that. A 100-page bill was introduced, according to a Mar. 4 report, that would modernize adoptions within the state and when involving other states or international agencies.

None of the changes seem like a massive change, but what they do take into account is the length of time it takes to adopt. The bill aims to streamline the process. House bill 159 is primarily made up of minor changes on the whole, though.

This is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce

You've decided to separate from your spouse, and now you have to figure out if your case will be contested or uncontested. What's the real difference, and how can it affect you?

Contested divorces are contested by one person in the relationship. That person disputes the terms of the divorce, and anyone can choose to contest a divorce for any reason. It could be something like wanting certain assets or fighting over who will have custody of your children, or it could be as simple as disagreeing with getting a divorce at all. Contested divorces take longer than uncontested divorces, and you may need to spend time in mediation or arbitration sessions to work through the issues with your spouse. In particularly volatile situations, you may actually struggle to communicate with your spouse or to serve him or her papers at all.

What are the benefits of adoption?

Adoption is an exciting way to add a new family member to your life while giving a child a chance at living with a loving family. U.S. adoption rates are lower than they were in the 70's, even though it's an accessible way to bring a child into your home.

There are many reasons to consider adoption for your family. Some are good for the environment, while others are good for a growing family. For instance, with the number of people on the planet, adoption can do some good. Bringing a child into your home when he or she has no one else supports that child while reducing population growth.

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