North Georgia Collaborative Family Law Network

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Collaborative Divorce

Couples fear the emotional and financial turmoil anticipated in a traditional divorce. However, those who choose the collaborative divorce process are often amazed at the relaxed and non-confrontational nature of this approach when ending their marriage. When the parties are given the opportunity to express their needs and concerns in a non-litigation setting, the parties feel a greater sense of control over the final outcomes. The collaborative divorce setting allows the parties to effectively communicate through their team members and to create a post-divorce life that is more satisfying than if the case was litigated and attorneys and judges determined the parties’ future. Call today to set up a free in office consultation with one of our qualified and experienced divorce attorneys.


Child Custody Modifications

Often parties are facing inevitable changes to an original divorce and custody decree and are fearful of the expense and conflict that going back to court might mean to their lives. It is not uncommon for parties to experience changes from relocations, remarriages, age related elections by children, or other circumstances that make the original divorce decree unworkable for parties or their children. Parties frequently fail to create legally enforceable documents which would properly modify the terms of the divorce if the parties are unable to agree to all terms. They can either fail to protect themselves or their children from unforeseen conditions or they can unnecessarily complicate their lives by not defining expectations and responsibilities during the post-divorce period.


Our collaborative team which may include attorneys or other members as may be necessary can ease the parties’ concerns about making changes to the decree. The attorneys can properly prepare the appropriate paperwork which can be legally enforceable in the future. The parties are given an opportunity to jointly collaborate on the final outcome to ensure that the children and parties are each given an emotional and financial stake in any changes made to the agreement. The collaborative attorney may work with the mental health providers who can serve as a child specialist, to discuss a child’s issues as they mature and want assert more input in the legal process concerning custody issues. The goal of any collaborative process involving child custody is to ensure that the family’s emotional needs and parenting roles remain intact to best serve the needs of their children. Call to learn more about how a collaborative approach may serve the needs of your family.


Child Support Modifications

As child support calculations have become more and more complex, it has often been difficult for the parties to navigate how to make changes to their child support obligations or needs. Often there are job changes, additional expenses associated with the children, or a child may simply age-out of the traditional child support calculations. The parties are often left to guesstimate at the obligations that they both may have toward support of their children. Collaborative attorneys and financial neutrals can take the guess work out of modifying a child support award. They can provide the family with important and necessary information to ensure that the child’s needs are being provided for. In addition, they can assist the parents to ensure that one or both parents are not paying more than what is required by considering appropriate deviations and other parenting issues that often play a role in the child support calculation. Feel free to call and discuss your case with one of our collaborative attorneys or financial experts who can provide you with an analysis of your case.


Child Parenting Schedules

Often changes to the parties or children’s schedule can wreak havoc on the parties’ expectations and needs for certainty in their lives. Parties are often afraid to contact their prior divorce attorneys for fear of additional expense or conflict that might interfere in their post-divorce life. Sometimes parties can simply live without addressing outdated agreements, but for the protection of themselves or their children, it is usually advisable for the parties to revisit the enforceability of these agreements through a collaborative review process. It is not necessary for this process to be adversarial, but for a practical perspective, the custodial schedules and parenting time needs may change over time. Rather than the parties simply ignoring the legal implications of an outdated agreement, they should contact one of the collaborative professionals who can work with the other side to craft and update agreements which may work more effectively. Often, this can be done inexpensively and without significant time or conflict. Call one of the collaborative attorneys to have your divorce decree analyzed to determine whether there have been significant changes which would necessitate an updated agreement.


Pre-nuptial Agreements

Our team of collaborative professionals including attorneys, financial experts, and mental health professionals who can assist in executing a pre-nuptial agreement that can protect both parties’ financial and emotional interests. Many people choosing marriage after acquiring significant assets are apprehensive about the possibility of a divorce and may avoid entering into a marriage union altogether. As a collaborative team, we are dedicated to providing security to the family unit and encouraging communication that can often help the parties navigate these sensitive issues. A pre-nuptial agreement is a simple legal solution to properly set expectations and protect assets which might be vulnerable during a divorce proceeding. This can encourage the parties to enter into a marriage without worrying unnecessarily about how their lives can still prosper after an unfortunate event, such as a divorce. Call now for a consultation with one of our team of collaborative professionals.


Unmarried partners

Often there are unmarried couples who are searching for legal help to navigate the problems associated with co-mingling of assets and properties. This can be a difficult dilemma facing many unmarried couples or even same-sex couples in jurisdictions that do not recognize their marital relationship. The legal team of collaborative attorneys, financial experts, and mental health providers can assist these parties with understanding of their legal rights and an avenue for protecting their financial assets.


Mediations

A collaborative approach, by its very nature, involves mediation. An actual mediation is a short term negotiation process whereby the parties seek the services of a trained mediation professional to assist in settling their family law matter. Unfortunately, however, a mediation is often too short for the parties to properly address all of the necessary or underlying issues which are facing a family. Many feel pressured to settle the case and can often regret the outcomes. However, if done properly, a collaborative case is designed and structured similar to a long term mediation process. By using a collaborative approach, however, the parties have sufficient time to fully develop the issues which are complicating the divorce or modification process. The parties have the ability to involve mental health professionals, or coaches, who can assist parties to deal with emotional issues that may be preventing the case from being resolved. Most importantly, however, is the role of a financial neutral in a mediation process, can be an invaluable ally to helping the parties resolve the case to the best of their individual satisfaction. If the parties cannot resolve the case collaboratively, a mediator can often be employed by the parties to help finally resolve any issues that the parties ultimately have not been able to agree upon. All of our collaborative attorneys are fully trained and experienced in the mediation process and are available for consultation. Call for an appointment today.


Parenting Plans

Georgia law requires that all parties involved in a divorce, child custody or parenting schedule modification case to prepare and file a parenting plan. This is an important legal document that has important ramifications for the parties and their children. It is vital that a divorcing party seek professional advice from an attorney or mental health provider, or divorce coach, to properly prepare and consider the implications of the document. This requires the parties to properly identify and define a parent’s custodial rights and obligations, to set holiday and parenting time schedules, provide for relocation or transportation issues, set legal custodial rights for both parties, and creates a vital tone for the long term parenting responsibilities for both parties involved. No parent should sign a parenting plan without consulting with one of our  collaborative professionals to properly instruct you on your rights and obligations. Call now for a consultation.