The court can hold someone in “contempt” if they violate a court order. If someone is found in contempt, they may end up facing fines or even jail time. Violating, visitation or parenting schedules, refusing to let the other parent communicate with their child, or failing to pay child support can also result in a contempt order. Individuals can be found in contempt for violating both temporary and final orders of the court.
When a divorce decree is entered, there are very few things that you can modify after the fact. However, when matters involve children, modification is more likely to be an option. Modification is permitted for child support, parenting time, and child custody. To modify, you must prove that there has been a material change in your circumstances since the date that the original order was entered.
TPO stands for “temporary protective order.” These are used in Georgia to assist those who are concerned for their or their child’s health and safety, particularly in situations that involve domestic abuse. To get a protective order, you must prove that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage, will result if the order is not entered. A TPO will last up to 12 months.
Changing your name in Georgia requires filing a Petition for Name Change. You must show proof of your current name, address, and a variety of other information. People often want to change their name after a divorce. You can often build a name change into the divorce decree so that you do not have to go through this separate process.
A guardian is an adult that cares for a child or individual with a disability. The guardian often has the same powers that the parent would have. But they are not legally considered a “parent,” and they have not adopted the child. The biological parent often still has rights, including visitation, if the child has a guardian.
Guardian Ad Litem
A Guardian Ad Litem (or GAL) is an individual who is appointed by the court. He or she advocates for the child’s best interests in legal proceedings. This person is not technically an attorney for the child, but he or she will offer witness testimony to the court. This testimony helps the court make an informed decision that will benefit the child. Often, they are only appointed in situations where there is significant conflict or other significant issues, such as child abuse or substance abuse.
Mediation plays a big role in family law issues. Instead of going to court, having a mediator work with everyone to develop a compromise can be very helpful. A mediator is a neutral third party that helps create solutions to difficult problems. He or she will listen to both sides of the argument and use their experience and knowledge to develop a solution. Mediation is not an option for every case, but it can work very well in most cases.