In part one of this three-part series about divorce in Georgia, we covered questions concerning marital fault, residence requirements, asset division, and if hiring a divorce attorney is necessary. This blog will cover additional subject matters such as spousal support questions, when you can file for a divorce in Georgia, how long your case will take, and other frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in:
The main factor contributing to the cost of the divorce is if it is contested or uncontested.
An uncontested divorce means you and your spouse have put together a good skeletal agreement but now you need an attorney to make sure the agreement is within the parameters of the law and checks all the boxes necessary. There is also protective language that a lay person might not know about or think to include. We draft the documents and walk you through the steps so that it is quick, easy, and hopefully lessens the disruption in your life. It is always advisable to have an attorney, even in an uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce is more demanding on the client, the attorney, the paralegal, and the court system. The contested divorce demands more time, innovative routes, and most likely presenting your case in front of a judge or jury, sometimes on multiple occasions. It is common for expert witnesses, private investigators and other third parties to be involved in the contested divorce.
The length of time it takes to finalize a divorce depends on if it is uncontested or contested. If there are several important matters upon which the two parties cannot agree, it’s likely that the parties will have to present their case to a judge or jury. If the divorce is uncontested and details can be agreed upon quickly, the divorce can be finalized 31 days after the filing of the acknowledgement of service and other required documents.
Spousal support is a tough subject. A lot of factors play into spousal support such as length of marriage, income disparity, education, work history, employability and wrong doing. Many parties are awarded spousal support if they can prove that their income disparity is linked to their marriage or family life. For example, a husband and wife who decide that the wife will be a stay-at-home mom and housewife instead of seeking an education and becoming a career woman may be granted spousal support. Your attorney can request temporary or permanent funds, so your way of life is not turned upside down.
In Georgia, the court is authorized to grant the divorce to the petitioner regardless of the other party’s wishes if it meets the legal requirements. As long as your spouse is served the divorce papers properly, alerting your spouse of your wishes, the divorce case will proceed.
All issues between a husband and wife must be addressed either by an agreement or a final hearing before the Court may grant the divorce; those issues are child custody, child support, division of all marital property and alimony. Prior to a consultation it is best to make a list of topics like alimony, investment accounts, bank accounts, debts, real property, automobiles, large personal property items, the children, and child support to consult with an attorney. An experienced divorce attorney can help you reach the best possible outcome.