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Augusta Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

Dividing IRAs in a divorce: From your options to tax consequences

If your marriage is heading toward divorce, it's critical to make a list of your assets and debts. Retirement accounts are often among the most valuable assets, thus making them a sticking point in your divorce.

Knowing how to divide IRAs in a divorce can help you make informed decisions that protect your financial interests now and in the future.

Parental separation can create child custody conflicts

When most people consider child custody issues, they often think of custody conflicts during a divorce, or between unmarried parents who choose to end their relationship. However, child custody issues can also arise when married parents choose to separate, whether or not their separation ends in divorce. In some cases, separating for a period of time to work on conflicts helps parents identify the underlying issues and can lead to a stronger marriage and stronger family overall.

If a separation lasts for an extended period of time, it is useful to consider a child custody arrangement to ensure that both parents continue to spend time with their children, particularly if the children are still young or if the separation is longer than a few weeks. If you find yourself facing separation from your spouse, working out a fair custody arrangement helps both you and your spouse keep your child's best interests protected while keeping your own parental rights secure.

Defending your parenting time rights

The time that a parent spends with their child is irreplaceable, both for the parent and the child. For parents who raise their children separately after divorce, sharing this time can lead to serious conflicts that affect the whole family. This is particularly true when one or both parents undermine each other's authority and rights to spend their parenting time the way they choose.

When one parent takes away another's time with their child, or when a parent's behavior manipulates their child against the other parent, this may qualify as parenting time interference. Courts take parenting time rights seriously, and may punish a parent who violates parenting time guidelines with loss of parenting privileges, mandatory make-up days for lost parenting time, and even criminal charges, in some cases.

Could virtual visitation work for you and your children?

If you don't have physical custody of your children, there's a good chance you have visitation rights.

While face-to-face visits are extremely important to maintaining a healthy relationship with your children, there may be a few challenges standing in your way. For example, if you travel a lot for business, it may be difficult to carve out time in your schedule to spend time with your children.

Do you have rights as a grandparent to visitation time?

As social norms change, the laws that guide critical decisions change as well. Grandparents' rights were legally non-existent in most places just a few decades ago. With the increasing risk of the opioid epidemic and other familial issues giving rise to grandparents raising their grandchildren, more grandparents are eager to protect their relationship with their grandchildren through legal means.

Some states have taken steps to legally enshrine the rights of grandparents. Others analyze situations on a case-by-case basis, focusing on the situation instead of any statute. Grandparents in Georgia or South Carolina may want to establish legal rights to their grandchildren or protect an existing relationship. Learning a little more about how the courts handle these situations can help you make better decisions about your family.

Co-parenting with a virtual stranger can be challenging

When married couples with children divorce, they have their previous relationship to look back on when plotting their new co-parenting roles. While that can be both good and bad, it, at least, provides a familiar framework upon which a co-parenting relationship can be built.

But not all co-parenting relationships arise from failed marriages or even relationships. Some babies are born as a result of one-night stands or other fleeting and nebulous relationships between the parents. These situations can pose many dilemmas because, in reality, the parents may hardly know one another.

4 ways to deal with the stress of divorce

For many people, divorce can be absolutely devastating. It often elicits a roller coaster of emotions that can be mentally and physically taxing. When you experience these kinds of overwhelming emotions, they can take over and you might feel like your life is spinning out of control. This is not uncommon for either men or women going through a divorce. But, if left unchecked, the emotional effects of divorce can have long-term negative consequences.

When going through a divorce, it is important to focus on what you need to be healthy and happy. This will alleviate a great deal of the stress that typically comes hand-in-hand with the divorce process. Here are a few ways you can combat the negative aspects of ending a marriage.

How can I make the adoption process go smoothly?

Making the decision to adopt a child is one of the biggest choices you will make in your life. You will be transforming not only your own life but the life of a child in need of a loving home.

The adoption process can often be stressful and overwhelming. If you want to ensure that you minimize complications in the adoption process, it's important to plan ahead. Staying organized throughout the adoption process is key, but managing the expectations of your family is also important so that disappointments are avoided. The following are some helpful tips in ensuring a smooth adoption process.

Facing drug charges? You can challenge the evidence

Drug possession charges are serious matters, and in the wrong circumstances can lead to months or even years of jail time. No matter what kind of possession charges you face, you should begin building a defense to protect your rights and your future opportunities as soon as you can.

Many defendants feel hopeless and believe that the evidence against them is simply too strong, and they give up before they even consider all their options. This is dangerously foolish, especially considering that drug charges are often not as air-tight as they may seem at first.

Your kids aren't messengers: There are other options

Children are sensitive to divorce and changes in their lives. The last thing any parent should do is put them in the middle of a conflict. Unfortunately, some parents do this by having their children inform their other parent about activities or thoughts that they have.

Even if it's something as simple as, "Mom told me to tell you she can't pick me up next week," it's a problem. Children should never be the messenger in divorce, especially with situations where it could negatively affect or frustrate the other parent.