In simple terms, divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. In reality, however, divorce is rarely simple. There are many emotional and legal issues that may arise in the divorce process—and which a dedicated family attorney could help you with. If you are contemplating a divorce in Georgia, consider consulting a Marietta divorce lawyer to find out what to expect from the divorce process and how best to cope with this difficult time going forward. A capable family law attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.
A Marietta divorce is initiated when one party files a petition with the court that sets out why they are seeking a divorce and outlines their desires for property division, custody, and other issues. The other party is then served with the complaint and a summons.
At this point, the spouse who received the petition has the opportunity to submit an answer indicates how they would like to see the issues settled. If this party fails to answer the petition, the court will assume they agree with everything in the petition. A local divorce attorney can help an individual file their petition.
In some cases, a couple can agree on all the legal issues involved in the divorce and submit a settlement agreement to the court. Mediation is a process that may help couples in reaching an agreement. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on these issues, though, the case will go to trial, where the judge will decide any unresolved issues.
The amount of time a divorce takes can vary greatly depending on the parties’ ability to agree on issues and the complexity of the issues involved. A well-versed attorney may be able to guide potential clients through the process and help them achieve an optimal outcome for their situation.
The purpose of divorce is to legally end a marriage. The divorce decree, however, must also address several issues that need to be resolved when dissolving the bonds of marriage. Some issues commonly addressed in a divorce decree include:
Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that property will be divided based on what is fair and just rather than just split 50/50. The division of marital property may be affected by who has custody of children and whether or not a premarital or post-marital agreement is in place.
Child custody includes both legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions about the child’s life such healthcare, religion, and education, while physical custody refers to who the child lives with most of the time.
The party who does not have physical custody is usually granted visitation or parenting time. Child custody and visitation schedules can be agreed to by the involved parties, or the courts will make a decision by applying setoff factors that promote the best interests of the child.
Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child. A non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help with the cost of raising the child or children. A parent’s financial obligation is calculated based on both parties’ incomes, the needs of the child, and the child’s standard of living prior to the divorce.
The purpose of spousal support is to limit the unfair economic effects of a divorce on one party. Spousal maintenance may be ordered if one party has very little income or earning ability and is unable to provide for themselves after the divorce.
When it comes to issues involved in a divorce, you should not risk going without the legal guidance you need. Contact our intake take today to discuss your situation and find out how a skilled Marietta divorce lawyer may be able to help you resolve your issues.