The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a unique set of circumstances for us all, and especially for those who are co-parenting. In the midst of quarantining and Shelter-In-Place orders, it is important to understand how co-parenting is affected. It is COMPLETELY normal for co-parents to have questions and concerns about how to handle exchanging children and addressing parenting time during these unprecedented times.
Yu Family Law is here to help! We are addressing many of the common questions surrounding co-parenting through the COVID-19 pandemic and are available via phone or email to answer any additional questions you may have! (more…)
It’s time for the Yu Family Law 12 Tips of Christmas! The holidays are such a stressful time no matter what your family looks like. Those who are navigating co-parenting relationships or experiencing their first holiday as a separated or divorced family during the holidays inevitably face an additional type of holiday stress and sometimes grief. All 12 tips are designed to help alleviate some of that holiday stress and help everyone focus on all the joy that this holiday brings!
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation GAL benefit was fantastic! I got an opportunity to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and meet new friends all in the name of promoting Guardian Ad Litem work. It was a wonderful evening contributing to our community and supporting nonprofits – and all while on the beautiful rooftop of Ponce City Market! (more…)
Many families discuss having one parent stay-at-home while the other parent goes to work a job outside the home. There are many factors to consider when contemplating this decision for your family. From a Family Law perspective, Factor #3 (Can you return to your career later?) is important to think about as it relates to the issue of alimony during a divorce. Although all Judges differ, Courts are more likely to Order what is called “rehabilitative alimony” which is alimony paid to a spouse to help them bet back into the workforce. The type of career a parent is giving up, what it will take to get back into that career, and if that’s possible after taking time away, are other important factors to consider.
Click here to read a Forbes article that discusses these and other important factors when determining whether having a parent stay-at-home is right for your family.
This too, shall pass.
Happy Monday, everyone! Change can be hard and frustrating but the truth is change is the only thing that is constant. With that being said, it is important that children experience change, learn to accept it, and continue to thrive. This article reminds all of us, especially parents and parents going through life changes like a divorce or separation, that whatever the current stresses are in your life, “this too, shall pass.”
For those going through a family law issue or who believe they are headed into one, keep this mantra — and Yu Family Law — in mind!
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With the increasing publicity related to celebrities and their custody disputes (Usher, T.O., Mindy McCready and other artists we have posted about), an interesting question arises as to how judges in Georgia handle child support obligations when one parent makes a significantly higher income than the other parent. The purpose of child support is to provide the minor child with a lifestyle that reflects the income of both parents. What do you do when one parent makes ten times, twenty times, or even one hundred times more?
I recently attended a seminar where a panel of judges discussed this issue. A Gwinnett County judge indicated that lump sum child support might be appropriate. Lump sum child support is usually one large payment that, once paid, would completely resolve the parent’s obligation to pay child support in the future. The benefit to lump sum child support would be ensuring that the entire child support obligation until the minor child turns eighteen would have already been paid even if the high-income parent were to lose his or her job later. However, if the high income earning parent were to lose his or her job later, an argument could be made that the lump sum child support was inappropriate because that parent would have had to pay a lower child support payment if his or her income were lower.
A Cobb County judge suggested that another way to determine child support in high-income cases is to use percentages. By way of example, if the child support payment should be 15% of the parent’s net income, then it should not matter whether the 15% is applied to an income of $40,000.00 or $400,000.00 or $4,000,000.00. A Fulton County judge stated that her main concern in such cases is that the money is put to good use and be used for the minor child rather than going to the living expenses of the other parent. This Fulton County judge stated that, depending on the case, it maybe in the best interest of the child to require that a certain sum be set for the minor child and defer accessibility to that fund so the custodial parent does not waste it. Another judge stated,however, that just because one parent earns a significantly higher income than the other does not mean that the child support obligation should be significantly higher as well. This judge wanted to prevent the situation where the custodial parent was essentially “winning the lottery” through child support and stated that a downward deviation is appropriate.
Extra-marital relationships that occur during your divorce proceedings can have a huge impact on your divorce case in Georgia. I recently read a book called the Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Whether you are married, single, trying to figure out how to save your marriage, or figuring out why you are getting divorced, this is a highly recommended book that discusses the different ways people perceive and feel love as well as the different ways that people express love to their significant other (or future significant others as the case may be). Dr. Chapman discusses the “in love” feeling that couples experience. The “in love” period is one in which your significant other can do no wrong and one in which every day and every action revolves around your significant other. Decisions are made to best allow you and your significant other to be together. Waiting to see your significant other again can feel like an eternity. Many of us remember this feeling and can relate to the feeling and belief that “our love is unstoppable!”
As an Atlanta Divorce Attorney, I want to discuss this “in love” feeling you may have for someone other than your soon-to-be-ex. Clients who have found themselves in an extramarital relationship or very much looking forward to engaging in one will often hear our Atlanta Divorce Attorneys recommend that they not date until the divorce is final. We advise our clients this way for a number of reasons in addition to the obvious moral implications.
First, engaging in an extramarital relationship can have an adverse impact on your impending divorce case. If you are a spouse seeking alimony, adultery can bar your claim for alimony.Additionally, it can sometimes effect equitable division.
Second, we recommend that clients do not make decisions pertaining to your divorce while in the “in love” period. Too often clients feel so overly confident about their new relationship that they forget to think about the possibility that the new relationship may not last. The decisions made at this time tend to assume that the new significant other will be around to provide in the event that something does not go as planned in their divorce. For example, clients may not seek as much alimony thinking that they will marry their new significant other and will not need the alimony. Clients may also walk away from more of the marital estate than they should have to simply get the divorce over as quickly as possible so they can re-marry their new love. It is important not to let the “in-love” feeling cloud your judgment during the pendency of your divorce case.
Third, the difference between a less expensive divorce and a very expensive divorce tends to boil down to one thing: emotion. Infidelity, the idea of infidelity, even the possibility or appearance of infidelity is often enough to turn a relatively inexpensive divorce into a very expensive, highly contested case.
My last bit of advice is for this upcoming Valentine’s Day, please be mindful of these issues and use common sense when deciding whether to go out to dinner, send flowers, or send gifts to a new significant other if you are still married. Credit card statements and bank account statements can be subpoenaed. It is possible that you are being taped, recorded, or otherwise followed by a Private Investigator. If you have a new significant other and are currently in the middle of a divorce case, this Atlanta Divorce Attorney recommends that the celebration of your new love wait until after a Judge has signed your Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce!
In Georgia, as well as around the world, conceiving a child with the use of assisted reproductive technologies can bring up and/or complicate custody issues in a divorce or other family law case.With the ongoing developments in medicine and the reproductive sciences, more couples turn to assisted reproductive technologies to conceive children. Medical and technical advances are providing new ways to become parents which have never been imagined by previous generations. As people turn to options like intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, or freezing sperm,eggs, or embryos for future use, a host of legal questions arise as to ownership, possession and control. For example, does frozen sperm remain the property of the Father or, because it has been frozen and has an intended purpose, is the sperm transformed into property of the Father and Mother?
It is very important to have a written and detailed agreement documenting each party’s intentions prior to entering into any third-party assisted reproduction arrangement. While a couple may enter the process with intentions to stay married or to raise their children together, it is hard to predict whether a couple may separate or be divorced in the future. An agreement should contemplate what would occur in the event the couple separates or gets a divorce. Will someone keep the frozen embryos? Who will be responsible for the costs associated with storing the embryos until future use? For how long will they be stored?
This is just the beginning when it comes to the questions and scenarios that parties must consider prior to entering a third-party assisted reproduction arrangement. If you are considering assisted reproductive technologies or have already used assisted reproductive technologies and are now contemplating a divorce, please contact one of our AtlantaDivorce Attorneys.