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Family Law


Family law involves matters related to marriage and parenting, including adoption, divorce, paternity, spousal support, child custody, and child support. If you need help with one of these areas, such as filing for divorce or modifying a child support order, family law attorney Thomas C. Rowsey can assist you. Based in Atlanta, he has over 20 years of experience helping clients in Marietta, Milton, Johns Creek, and other locations in and around DeKalb, Fulton, and Cobb Counties.


To file for divorce in Georgia, at least one of the spouses must have resided in Georgia continuously for six months. Georgia allows both no-fault divorce as well as divorces based on fault, for causes such as adultery, desertion, abuse, and drug addiction.

Alimony is an award of support payments from one spouse to another for a period of time, until one of the spouses dies, or the recipient spouse remarries. It is based on the idea that the higher-earning spouse has a duty to support the other spouse, at least until that spouse can become financially independent. Alimony is not always awarded, particularly if a marriage is of short duration, and it can be adjusted depending upon the division of assets. Separate maintenance is similar to alimony for couples who live separately without divorcing.

In Georgia, marital property is divided between divorcing spouses equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. The allocation may vary depending upon such things as which parent retains custody of the children, whether there were fault grounds for the divorce, and so on. Property that belongs to each spouse separately, such as items received as gifts, inherited property, or insurance proceeds, is not included in the allocation.

Recognizing the importance to children of having strong relationships with both parents, Georgia law favors joint custody. This system may refer not only to shared time with the children but the allocation of parental obligations and rights, such as making decisions regarding schooling and medical care. However, the court may give one parent sole or primary custody and limit the other parent’s parental rights in circumstances involving abuse or addiction.

Georgia law requires divorcing couples with children to formulate a parenting plan that governs all matters related to the raising of their minor children, including how much time the children will spend with each parent, which parent has responsibility for making major decisions regarding the children, and whether the parents have any support obligations when the children become adults. The purpose of this agreement is for both parents to clearly understand their rights and obligations beforehand, preventing future disputes.

Child support payments from one spouse to another are intended to make sure that the needs of the children are met by both parents, according to their relative resources. These obligations are determined by a somewhat complicated calculation, and the family court provides a worksheet that evaluates the resources of each parent, taking into account issues including medical insurance and childcare costs.


We know how difficult it can be to deal with the questions and problems that may arise in family law matters. Capable divorce lawyer Thomas C. Rowsey takes pride in serving clients in Roswell and surrounding areas with sensitivity. We aim to help you meet your goals with a minimum of expense and without creating needless additional stress. For a free consultation, contact us by phone at 770-993-5317 or through the online form on this website.