Carlton Gibson, Lawyer, PC
777 Gloucester Street
Brunswick, GA 31520
Tel: (912) 265-7753
Fax: (912) 265-7754
7 E. Congress Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Tel: (912) 238-2996
Fax: (912) 238-2997
The term family law applies to legal matters that relate to family relationships, rights, duties and finances. In addition to relationships between members within a family, family law rules also apply to the relationship between a family and society. Family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related treat each other. By definition, a family law attorney aids the creation or termination of family relationships. We can offer advice and assistance on many of the intricacies involved. Since you are dealing with a life-altering situation such as divorce, we want to assist in your understanding and resolve the matter to your satisfaction.
Just as every marriage is different, so is every divorce. Each case offers a unique set of circumstances with different legal issues to be addressed. Carlton Gibson is adept and experienced at handling the wide spectrum of cases, from the most straight forward, uncontested case with few challenges to the most complex cases, involving high assets, custody and property issues.
The definition of divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. That sounds simple but usually divorce involves the division of property between the parties, child custody, child support, visitation, family owned businesses, retirement benefits and a host of other issues.
Ideally, a divorce settlement will be reached without the intervention of the court. This is when the parties come to an agreement on their own or through mediation. The attorney will draft a Settlement Agreement stating in legal terms what has been agreed to, both parties will sign and then the attorney will file it with the court. If, however, consensus cannot be reached, we will aggressively represent our client in court to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Carlton Gibson has experience in assisting clients with child support issues and keeps abreast of changing laws in the state of
Although general guidelines are outlined in the law, many factors are examined before the court decides upon a “fair and reasonable” amount of child support. Educational costs, medical expenses, day care costs, shared physical custody and many other issues are considered. The incomes of both parents and of a new spouse (in the case of remarriage) as well as obligations to other households are all part of the equation.
The legitimation process is necessary to establish paternity when the parents are unmarried, even if the father is named on the birth certificate. However, the process is simpler if both parents agree who the father is. If the parents do not agree, then paternity must be established through DNA testing.
The agreed upon view in child custody law is that children benefit greatly from having both parents in their lives. Determining the custodial arrangement for physical or legal custody during a divorce can be quite difficult and confusing to the parties and the child. Carlton Gibson can help clients through the process to reach a harmonious arrangement.
The Georgia Child Support Guidelines are used in determining if a modification is appropriate, and if so, how much the amount can be changed. However, a judge can deviate from the child support guidelines if necessary. Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of the judge, who can accept or deny modifications.
The following are examples of contempt actions:
· If a parent has not been paying child support, a contempt action can result in that parent being jailed until he or she provides full payment of all amounts past due.
· If a spouse refuses to turn over an asset such as stock or other property subject to a settlement agreement, he or she can be found in contempt of court and jailed until the asset is relinquished.
· If a custodial parent refuses to allow visitation to the non-custodial parent, he or she can be found in contempt of the child custody order. Refusal to allow visitation can also be used as possible grounds for a modification in child custody.
· If a non-custodial parent refuses to return a child following a scheduled visit, he or she can be found in contempt.
· If a spouse refuses to pay temporary or permanent alimony as ordered by the court, he or she can be found in contempt.
There are defenses in contempt actions. For example, when a parent is falling behind significantly in child support payments, Mr. Gibson may be able to move the Court for a downward modification in the amount to be paid. He will work to resolve the issues before going to Court, or to negotiate a payment plan to avoid possible jail time. In
The child custody, visitation and support agreements appropriate at the time of divorce may not be appropriate years later if circumstances of either party or the child have changed. The following are examples of when a modification of a divorce agreement can be filed:
· If child support payments were calculated prior to January 1, 2007, a modification may be appropriate if payment or receipt of a different amount is indicated by the new guidelines.
· If the income of either parent has changed significantly, it could result in an increase or decrease in the amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent.
· If a child is not doing well at school or at home, child custody and visitation rights may be changed.
· If a custodial parent wishes to relocate, child custody and visitation may be changed. The custodial parent cannot move the child out-of-state without court approval.
· If a child is abused or neglected by a parent, that parent’s custody or visitation rights may be changed, taken away or made subject to court supervision.
Prenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements are becoming more common. For some engaged couples a prenuptial agreement is vital to protect previous assets such as an inheritance, trust fund, stock options, retirement accounts, and real estate.
We are committed to using our extensive knowledge and experience in family law to serve our clients. We understand the complexities and emotionality of family law cases. We are proud to have successfully handled complex and difficult cases involving millions of dollars in assets spread throughout the world. Each case presents different facts and legal issues, and we therefore develop an individual strategy for each client to make sure his or her goals are met or exceeded.
Our resources to be applied to your case, if necessary, include expert forensic accountants, psychologists, and experienced private investigators.