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Family Law


Divorce

Ending a marriage is undeniably an emotional, stressful process. Although Georgia courts do not require individuals to be represented by an attorney in order to get divorced, obtaining a divorce can be a complex process and often involves more than simply dissolving a marriage between spouses. The divorce process also involves division of property and debts; spousal support; and custody and child support if you have children. Many counties have different processes and requirements. Attorney Jessica Chapman is an experienced attorney who will guide you through the divorce process, inform you of what you can expect, and represent you during mediation and court hearings. Some divorce cases resolve quickly; others take quite awhile to resolve. Either way, it is important to have an effective and skilled attorney in your corner to help your case resolve as efficiently as possible. Contact us today to explore how we can meet your needs.

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Child Custody

Child custody cases usually come before the Courts due to a party desiring to modify an existing custody Order, unwed parents seeking to obtain an Order from the Court specifying the custody and visitation arrangements, or Grandparents or other relatives seeking to obtain custody of children. Whether your circumstances mirror one of the above examples, or whether your needs for an attorney to help you with a child custody issue are different, contact us for a consultation to explore how we may meet your needs.

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Child Support

Child support is determined in Georgia using a specific formula that considers the gross income of each parent. However, the issue of child support is rarely black and white. Many other factors besides a parent’s gross income may be considered when calculating a parent’s child support obligation. Whether you need representation for a child support issue as a result of a pending divorce, because you are not married to the other parent of the child, or because you have an existing child support order that you need to have modified, attorney Jessica Chapman will work with you to achieve your desired outcome.

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Adoption

The addition of a new child to your family is a very exciting time. If you are considering adopting a child, it is important to have an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with the adoption process in order to ensure that the adoption goes smoothly. The adoption process can be complex, and Georgia courts require specific documents to be filed and the completion of specific items before they will grant an adoption. Sometimes the adoption process also must involve terminating the parental rights of the birth parents if they have not voluntarily surrendered their rights. Because every family and set of circumstances surrounding an adoption are different, attorney Jessica Chapman takes the time with each client to thoroughly explain the legal process and how it will apply to the client’s individual circumstances. Whether the adoption you are seeking is a stepparent adoption, private adoption, or agency adoption, we can help.

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Legitimation & Paternity

Many unwed couples think that if the biological father’s name is listed on a child’s birth certificate as the father of the child, he is considered the legal father of the child. This is a common misconception. When parents of a child are not married and the biological father has not signed an “Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, the father is not the legal father of the child and does not have any rights to the child. Once a paternity test has confirmed that a man is the biological father of a child, the biological father can file a petition to legitimate the child with the Courts to become the legal father of the child. Through the legitimation action, the Court will establish and resolve issues pertaining to custody, visitation, and child support. Legitimation is not only for men who have separated from the mother of their child. If you are still in a relationship with the mother of your child, legitimation is an important step to take in order to protect your rights and to establish your legal relationship to the child. If you wait too long to file a petition to become the legal father of the child, the Courts may find that you have abandoned your opportunity to become the legal father of your child.

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Grandparent Rights

Sometimes grandparents find themselves in situations in which they are prevented from having a relationship with their grandchildren due to a divorce or the death of their own son or daughter. In other situations, a grandparent may be worried for the safety and well-being of their grandchildren while they are in the custody of their parents. In still other situations, some grandparents are already raising their grandchildren after the children’s parents abandoned them. Whether a grandparent is seeking court-ordered visitation or legal custody of their grandchildren, we can help grandparents explore their options and pursue the appropriate course of action to achieve their goals.

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