Divorce Law in Georgia
How to Find a Georgia Divorce Attorney
Ray Charles. Holly Hunter. Ludacris. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Sometimes when you're going through a huge life change, it can feel like you're alone or that you're the only one who has known that particular pain.
All of these people named, and many more, are both from Georgia and have had known the pain of relationship difficulties. In fact, tens of thousands of Georgians are divorced each year.
If you are considering divorce and need advice on how to move forward, we wrote this article for you. We'll chat about:
- Georgia specific divorce law requirements;
- What you need to know about divorce, in general;
- Whether it's in your best interest to hire a Georgia divorce attorney;
- How to find and select a qualified lawyer; and
- How to prepare to work with your lawyer.
Georgia Divorce Law Specifics
- Either you or your spouse must have lived in Georgia for at least 6 months, immediately prior to the divorce filing. There are different rules if you're military.
Georgia law requires that divorce filings state the grounds for divorce as either "no-fault" or "fault".
- No fault means that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Fault means that the marriage was improper because you and your spouse are too closely related by blood or there was:
- Impotence at the time of marriage
- Force or duress to get married
- Drunkenness or drug addiction
- Cruelty and abuse
- Incurable mental illness
- Imprisonment for a crime of moral turpitude for 2 years or more
- Divorce filings are made in the Superior County Court.
- Property distribution will be equitable, which means, "fair", not necessarily equal.
- Spousal support (i.e. alimony) may be awarded in some cases and child support in based upon the Percentage of Income formula.
What You Need to Know About Divorce in a Nutshell
Though each family situation is unique, there are some commonalities and you can benefit from the lessons learned from those who have preceded you through divorce.
- Hire an expert divorce attorney and get good advice.
- Be sure that attorney works collaboratively with your spouse's attorney and encourages you to do the same.
- Know that you don't have to go to court if you and your spouse can work out a marital settlement agreement. You can negotiate through your attorneys, if you prefer.
- Cooperation, compromise, and following your attorney's direction, will always benefit you in the long run.
Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with a Georgia Divorce Lawyer?
Yes, it is likely in your best interests to work with a Georgia divorce attorney.
Why? The process and the law are complicated and one mistake could cost you an enormous amount of money, marital rights, and time with your children.
Trying to save money by eliminating legal fees is likely shortsighted; however, you can save significantly on legal fees by following our advice in the section, How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney, below.
How to Find and Select a Georgia Divorce Attorney
The fastest and easiest way to find a divorce lawyer is to do an online search for "How to Find a Georgia Divorce Attorney". You can also ask loved ones for referrals, if you don't mind "going public".
To make your selection, consider whether:
- The attorney is licensed in Georgia and limits his or her practice to divorce and family law.
- The attorney is overly aggressive and will pick fights or is professional and will work cooperatively with your spouse and his or her attorney.
- The attorney will help you keep your legal fees and stress level to a minimum.
- You feel comfortable working with and communicating with your attorney.
How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney
The more prepared you are and the better you work with your attorney, the faster the divorce process can be finished, the lower your stress level, and the lower your legal fees. It may not feel like it, but you have a tremendous amount of control over how your divorce and life proceed.
The divorce process will be easier and less expensive for you if:
- You're really sure your marriage is irretrievably broken. Divorce will always be an option; if you're not sure, it's okay to wait.
- Consult with a therapist to deal with the anger, disappointment, sadness, and loss of divorce.
- Follow the "4 C" approach to divorce: cooperation, communication, collaboration, and compromise are the paths to reducing stress, starting fresh, protecting your children, and not wasting all of your money on legal fees and anger.
- Gather financial documents showing all income, expenses, debts, and assets and produce all information requested from your lawyer or your spouse's lawyer in a timely manner.
- Make a list of what's really important to you in the divorce. Mark which items are ultra important and which ones would be nice, but aren't as important.
- Jot down a list of questions to address with your lawyer at your next telephone conference. Contacting your lawyer only once a week will keep your fees down and allow the process to move forward.
Burt Reynolds. Little Richard. Julia Roberts. Clarence Thomas. Travis Tritt.