Cara Sprouse Rowe, Attorney at Law - Augusta Family Law and Divorce Attorney
When You Need Someone Who Knows the System

FAQ

When should a person hire an attorney?

Always consult an attorney before signing any legal documents. Even if you just have an attorney review the paperwork and have the attorney advise you. Always hire an attorney that is experienced in that particular field.

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How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

It depends how complex or simple your case presents. My price varies on a case by case basis as every case is unique.
However, attorneys usually bill at an hourly rate.

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How much is the filing fee for my case?

If it is in Superior Court, the filling fee varies per county with an average cost of $210.00

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How do I get custody of my children?

Custody cases are very complex and an individual seeking custody should always seek assistance from an experienced attorney.

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What age can my child decide which parent they want to live with?

At age 14 a child can make a parental selection but the Final decision is decided by a Judge for what is in the child's best interest.

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Do I have an Alimony case?

Alimony is based on many factors such as employment, gross income, grounds for divorce, and many other factors such as marital division of assets and debts and the amount of child support ordered. I would evaluate your case to see if alimony is appropriate and if so in what amount.

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How long does alimony last?

Alimony varies by each case to amount and duration based on the ages of the parties and the length of marriage.

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Can I get the home in the divorce?

It is usually a marital asset and it also depends on who can afford to stay in the home and be able to refinance into their name solely.

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Can I keep my pre-marital assets?

Yes, pre-marital assets belong to the person who brought them into the marriage; however, whenever an asset is co-mingled with joint assets sometimes it is converted to a marital asset. For example, you purchased a car prior to marriage, it is not a marital asset unless marital funds were used to make the car payments.

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Do I have to appear in Court?

If it is an uncontested divorce, most times you will not need to appear in Court if represented by an attorney. Also in contested cases, you normally have to appear but we can request the appearance be waived by the assigned Judge based on out of state residency, medical issues, etc.

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How long does an uncontested divorce take?

Usually six to seven weeks after both parties have signed the documents.

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How long does a contested divorce or custody case continue?

It varies on a case by case basis. If you e-mail me the facts of your case, I can estimate the length of time it may take. However, in our jurisdiction the Judge will set deadlines on when the attorneys should have a case finalized.

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Can I get custody of my children?

This depends on the evidence presented in this matter and also varies case by case. The Judge uses what is in the best interest of the children standard and there is no longer a gender bias.

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What happens if my spouse won't sign the papers?

In that case, we would legally serve your spouse with the Petition and set the matter down for a hearing. If one person wants a divorce then we can make it happen.

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Another attorney drew up my paperwork, will you review it and render a professional opinion?

Yes, for a small fee, the attorney will review your paperwork to give you an opinion.

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What is an Uncontested Divorce?

It is where the parties have come to an agreement on all issues and are ready to put the agreement into a legally binding contract.

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If it is an Uncontested Divorce do we both need to have separate attorneys?

Mrs. Rowe can only represent one party and the non-represented party can seek the advice of another attorney but it is not required.

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The father signed the birth certificate but we were never married, does the father have any rights to visitation?

In Georgia, no, the father must petition the Court for Legitimation and or visitation/custody.

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What does it mean to legitimate?

It means to acknowledge paternity and the child has a right to inherit from the father as if the parties were married at the time of the child's birth.

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Does paying child support go hand in hand with visitation?

No, if there is a parenting plan for visitation, you cannot deny visitation because that person is not paying child support.

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What do I do if child support is not being paid?

You hire an attorney and file for Contempt of Court for failure to pay child support.

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What is a Contempt Petition?

It is a pleading by which the other person is not paying child support, not paid the award of 401k, not turned over marital property, not refinanced a loan, or denies visitation. It is a procedure to make the other person comply with the Court Order.

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How long does an adoption take?

Mrs. Rowe handles Step-parent adoption as well as Grandparent adoption. The process takes about eight months to complete depending on how soon we can serve the non-custodial parent(s).

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Can I get custody of my grandchildren?

If both parents are not able to provide a stable environment for the children to thrive you should contact Mrs. Rowe about a custody action.

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Can I get grandparent visitation?

If one parent has been denied visitation by a Court or otherwise doesn't have visitation then grandparent visitation is available.

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Can I modify my child support?

Once every two years Court Ordered child support can be re-addressed or at anytime either party's income has substantially increased or decreased.

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Can I increase the amount of child support I receive when the non-custodial parent rarely exercises visitation?

Yes, as of July 1, 2017 if one parent is substantially caring for the children, you can obtain, at the Judge's discretion, an upward deviation in child support if the non-custodial parent is not exercising parenting time appropriately.

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How can I pay for legal services?

You can pay by check, debit, or credit cards. Payment plans can be discussed with the Attorney.

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Can I bring a friend or family member to the appointment with the Attorney?

Of course you may bring someone but don't bring the children as they don't need to hear about their parent's issues unless the child wishes to speak to the attorney.

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What do I need to bring to the appointment?

Bring all paperwork that has been served or filed, any calendars or journals where records were kept, printed e-mails or texts, and all previous Orders between the parties at issue.

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Cara Sprouse Rowe Cara Sprouse Rowe

Cara Sprouse Rowe, Former State Prosecutor

Cara Sprouse Rowe has focused her career in the areas of family law and criminal defense. She is one of the few attorneys that have worked in thousands of civil, criminal, motion hearings, jury trials and bench trials. Her experience in both sides of the system, prosecution and defense, has allowed her to get the best results for her clients... {Read More}