Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Does a Judge Determine Custody?

Georgia child custody law revolves around the best interest of your child. "In determining the best interests of the child, the judge may consider any relevant factor." O.C.G.A. 19-9-3. An inclusive list of factors a Judge can consider can be found at O.C.G.A. 19-9-3(a)(3).

"If either parent has a history of domestic violence, judges must consider this as well in some states. However, if one parent falsely accuses the other of violence, this false accusation can work against the parent who makes it."

The court determines both legal and physical custody of your child. Legal custody provides that parent with the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s welfare. Physical custody is just what it sounds like; it is where the child will stay. Parents can have joint legal and/or joint physical child custody where they share these responsibilities evenly.

Upon divorce where children are involved, Georgia child custody law requires a parenting plan. This plan sets out in great detail what will happen with child custody, visitation, and decision-making authority. This plan ensures not only that the best interests of your child are met, but also allows both parents to have access to a close relationship with their child. Georgia child custody law allows children over the age of 14 to choose which parent to live with, but all of this is subject to approval by the Court.
Read more about child custody here:

Contact the Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC to discuss your child custody issues. 770.466.2700

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are generally looked upon negatively. They are believed to be for people with exceptional amounts of money or when someone believes their marriage is likely to end in divorce - this is simply not true.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two willing parties who are interested in protecting their interests after marriage. A prenuptial agreement starts with an open discussion between two people who are interested in moving into a successful marriage and are not planning for divorce, but rather, are having an honest conversation about what happens if something goes wrong.

A prenuptial agreement allows a marrying couple to clarify what will happen to their personal and financial items in the event of divorce. Having these decisions about personal property decided ahead of time may potentially avoid a delayed and expensive divorce later.

For those who did not enter into a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement between married couples can serve the same purpose.

Read more about prenuptial agreements here:

Contact the Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC to discuss your prenup. 770.466.2700

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What is an Advance Directive for Health Care?

There are some times in our lives when we are too ill to make decisions about our own healthcare. These times can range from going into simple surgery to end of life care. A living will, or advance directive for health care (ADHC), is a legal document that you set-up before you are too ill to make your own decisions. It allows you to set-up guidelines for your healthcare and how you would like these decisions to be made for you when you can't make them yourself.

"You have the right to control all aspects of your personal care and medical treatment, including the right to insist upon medical treatment or direct that medical treatment be withheld or withdrawn. If you cannot (or do not want to) communicate your health care decisions for yourself, you have the right to choose someone to make health care decisions for you. You also have the right to state your treatment preferences if you have a terminal condition or are in a state of permanent unconsciousness.The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care Act gives you an opportunity to choose someone to make health care decisions on your behalf and to make a clear expression of your decisions regarding health care if you are in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness by executing an advance directive for health care."

Read more about adavance directives here:

Contact the Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC to discuss your advance directive for healthcare.  770.466.2700