Note: I believe the following websites may prove helpful to people who are considering family mediation or already participating in mediation. Please keep in mind that I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in these websites, nor do I control their privacy policies. Internet resources inevitably are general in nature, and they are not a substitute for the specific guidance given by an attorney, CPA, psychotherapist, pastor or other appropriate professional who meets with you and responds to your individual situation.
If you have children one of the most important issues you must resolve is how you and their other parent will provide for their needs. In Georgia the Legislature has set up child support guidelines that the Courts use to calculate the amount of child support that is necessary. It is based on the respective incomes of the spouses and the number of children. The State employs economists who publish a table stating the “Basic Child Support Obligation” for each income bracket and number of children. This figure is then adjusted to consider such factors as children’s health insurance, day care expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, etc. The whole program is administered by the Georgia Child Support Commission. They have published Excel electronic worksheets to guide you through the calculation. These can be rather complicated. I have received special training in the proper way to make the calculations and can assist both parents develop an accurate calculation that can be approved by a Court. The worksheets and other information are published on the website of the Georgia Child Support at: www.georgiacourts.org/csc/
Cases involving divorce, separation and similar issues are handled by the Superior Court of the county in which the defendant (the party not filing the action) resides. Each court has a website that can provide helpful information about filing fees, forms and other matters that might be helpful to you, especially if you are filing a divorce action yourself, and not through an attorney. You can find the websites of the various courts in the metro Atlanta area by clicking on the following link.
Dekalb County (click here)
Cobb County (click here)
Gwinnett County (click here)
Forsyth County (click here)
Clayton County (click here)
The following government websites might be useful in calculating benefits of federal employees and addressing tax matters.
Benefits for Federal Government Employees
www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/hod.htm Pension information for federal employees: CSRS and FERS Handbook
www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp Life insurance information for federal employees: FEGLI – Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program
www.tsp.gov/planparticipation/planParticipation.shtml Retirement accounts for federal employees: Thrift Savings Plan
www.ssa.gov Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration
www.bls.gov/cpi/home.htm Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf IRS Publication 504: “Divorced or Separated Individuals” for use in preparing returns
College Financial Aid and Funding
www.ed.gov/finaid/landing.jhtml?src=rt Financial aid programs of the U.S. Department of Education
www.fafsa.ed.gov FAFSA student aid program of the U.S. Department of Education
www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education
Other Useful Websites
www.divorcecare.org/ Divorce Care support groups for people experiencing divorce
www.hebcal.com Jewish calendar
www.kbb.com Kelly Blue Book –Car prices
www.edmunds.com Edmunds –Car prices
godr.org/ Rules for mediators
The Co-Parent Toolbox: tools for remodeling your co-parent relationship after divorce or separation by Diane Dierks, LMFT. Experienced Atlanta counselor Diane Dierks discusses what divorcing or separating parents need to know about effective co-parenting. Available on Amazon.