Divorce is never easy, but it can be especially difficult if you and your spouse do not agree on the details of your marriage dissolution. A contested divorce might take a long time to settle and could get expensive.

A competent attorney can be an invaluable ally during a difficult divorce. A Cumming contested divorce lawyer can help you come to a fair agreement with your soon-to-be ex while ensuring that you do not compromise your children’s wellbeing or your financial security in the long-run.

Four Issues to Resolve

The Forsyth County Superior Court Judge in Cumming must ensure that a divorce resolves issues pertaining to child custody, child support, alimony, and division of property. Tension and high emotions might prevent a couple from finding common ground in their divorce. The judge must decide any issue you and your ex cannot resolve on your own.

Divorce Could be Contested Even if Parties Agree

Even when a couple agrees that their marriage is irretrievably broken, if they do not agree on every aspect of their divorce, their case is considered contested.

Child Custody

A divorce document must include which parent has physical custody of the child (i.e., whose home the child will live in most of the time), as well as who has legal custody, which is the right to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, extracurricular activities, and religion. When parents share joint legal custody, one of them will be given final decision-making authority, meaning they will have the final say in disagreements. The divorce documents must include a parenting plan that addresses these factors and which includes a visitation schedule ensuring both parents can continue their relationships with the children.

When there is a dispute about these issues, or if there are allegations that one or both parents are unfit, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to impartially represent the child’s interests. The GAL is an attorney, social worker, or other trained professional who will investigate the circumstances and recommend the custody arrangement that they believe will serve the child’s best interests. Parents in a contested divorce in Cumming should fully cooperate with the GAL’s investigation and consider their recommendations.

Property Division

Georgia law requires that each spouse leave a marriage with an equitable share of marital property, but “equitable” is not the same as equal. Many factors determine what is equitable in a specific situation, and dividing property between a couple can be a difficult task.

Deciding which property belongs to an individual and which is considered marital property may seem straightforward, but there are often disputes around this issue. There could be disagreement about the value of certain property, whether one spouse is hiding assets from another, and how certain assets like pensions benefits and retirement plans should be distributed.

Spouses who cannot agree on how to divide property leave those decisions and determinations in the judge’s hands. The services of a competent attorney serving the Cumming area may therefore be necessary to ensuring that you receive a fair share of the marital property and retain control over your individual property after the contested divorce is finalized.

Alimony

In some cases, one spouse will pay alimony or spousal maintenance to the other. Courts typically award alimony when one spouse needs time to acquire skills to make themselves more competitive in the job market or if a disability or other impairment prevents a spouse from being self-supporting post-divorce. Unlike child support, couples can agree to waive alimony, but many contested divorces require court to examine the couple’s circumstances and decide whether to award alimony, how much, and for how long.

Trust a Cumming Family Attorney to Handle Your Divorce

Divorce causes enormous emotional turmoil, even when both spouses agree that the marriage is broken. Those intense emotions could get in the way of reaching an agreement with your spouse that makes sense for both of you.

A Cumming contested divorce lawyer knows the pitfalls of divorce negotiations and can help you retain control over the process. Talk to a capable legal advocate as soon as you make the decision to divorce to improve your chances of obtaining a positive case outcome.

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