Family Law

• Family law is a branch of civil litigation. A good family law practitioner must be familiar with the laws contained within the Civil Practice Act and rules of evidence.

• Divorce involves the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court order. Divorce cases can also involve issues of child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, division of property, and possibly other civil issues.

• Legal separation can award the same relief (custody, child support, alimony, division or property, etc.) as is available in a divorce case, except that the parties stay married. Sometimes people choose this route due to religious or financial reasons, such as health insurance.

• Child custody cases involve the rights and obligations of parents (or in some cases a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling) during a divorce or legal separation, in a modification action after a divorce or legal separation, pursuant to a paternity/legitimation case, and can sometimes even involve one or more of the following person(s) seeking custody: grandparent; aunt; uncle; or sibling. Grandparent visitation may also sometimes be obtained when parents are not married or living together.

• Child support belongs to the child under Georgia law. A parent cannot waive child support on a child’s behalf. Child support can be awarded in many different cases involving custody and/or visitation.

• Protective/restraining orders are available in certain family situations. Such orders are also available under other areas of the law for people not living together and/or past/current family members.