When you are facing the prospect of divorce, you should never have to do so alone. In addition to the emotional difficulties that an individual may face, there are complex legal issues that are a part of any divorce, and a single misstep during the process could cause long-lasting consequences.
You deserve legal counsel that will serve as your advocate during the divorce process. An Atlanta, GA divorce lawyer can advise you on your options and ensure your rights are protected. Discuss your case with a skilled family attorney from our firm before attempting to resolve it on your own.
Not everyone qualifies for a divorce in Georgia. This is because of the residency requirements that are built into state divorce statutes. To dissolve your marriage, you must meet the minimum requirements outlined in the Official Code of Georgia § 19-5-2. This includes requiring a spouse to live in the state for at least six months before either spouse files a divorce petition. Only one spouse must meet this requirement, and it does not have to be the one filing the petition.
When both spouses have been Georgia residents for six months or longer, the person filing for divorce must do so in the Superior Court of the county where the other spouse lives. There are also special considerations for couples who are in the military or where one spouse lives out of state.
Residency requirements are only one of the hurdles you must jump through to dissolve your marriage. The good news is that you do not have to face this process alone. An Atlanta divorce attorney could assist you every step of the way and ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities.
The amount of time your divorce case takes to resolve will vary and depends largely on the type of divorce you are pursuing. If you and your spouse have agreed on all relevant issues, including child support, custody, property division, and alimony, you may be seeking an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces are often finalized in relatively short order. The only limitation is the minimum waiting period that applies to every divorce case. For no-fault, uncontested divorces, this is 31 days. The waiting period is 46 days for a fault-based or contested divorce.
Contested divorces can take much longer to finalize. This is because disputed issues must be resolved before the judge approves a final decree. When spouses cannot agree on important issues in their divorce, litigation becomes necessary. Some divorce cases can last for years when they are contested. Mediation is often a powerful tool for minimizing the length, cost, and overall hardship of contested issues. In either circumstance, a trusted Atlanta attorney can help protect a spouse’s best interests when they are facing a divorce.
A major issue in many divorce cases is the division of marital property. Like many jurisdictions, the judges in Georgia are required by law to divide property on an equitable basis. With “equitable division,” the court approaches this process with the intention of divvying up the property fairly—even if that means one spouse gets more than the other. This is different from some states that require a 50-50 split.
The process of dividing marital property—or simply determining what property is owned jointly by the spouses—can be complex. Couples can rely on the guidance of skilled Atlanta, GA attorneys to help them ensure they are treated fairly when marital property is divided.
Divorce is rarely easy, but it often leads to a brighter future for those involved. You deserve to move forward in life with your rights protected throughout the divorce process.
You could benefit from discussing your options with an Atlanta, GA divorce lawyer. Reach out right away for your confidential consultation with one of our experienced team members.