The decision to end a marriage is a difficult one for both spouses. When all possibilities of reconciliation are exhausted there are several things that must be done in order to protect your interests during the divorce process.
It can be difficult to work through all the details that lead to a well-crafted divorce settlement during this emotionally stressful time. Choosing the right divorce lawyer in John’s Creek, GA is essential for spouses with high value assets and complex situations.
The divorce process includes several items that must be settled before a final divorce decree is issued. These include division of assets and debts and a determination of whether alimony is necessary. If there are children from the marriage, child custody, parenting time for the non-custodial parent, and child support must be negotiated as well.
The divorce lawyers at Sauls Law Group, LLC are dedicated to aggressively representing your interests before the court and negotiating the most favorable divorce settlement for you.
Steps in the Divorce Process
The first step in the process of divorce is filing a petition with the appropriate court. The spouse who is seeking the divorce is the petitioner or Plaintiff and the Complaint for Divorce divorce is filed in the county where the other spouse resides. If your spouse has been living outside your home for less than six months, you may be able file in your county of residence. If you live in John’s Creek, GA, then your Complaint for Divorce would be filed with the Family Division of the Superior Court of Fulton County.
The divorce petition must include the reason why you are seeking to end the marriage. There are thirteen grounds for divorce in Georgia. Twelve are “fault” grounds that hold one party responsible for causing the breakdown of the marriage.
The twelve fault grounds are:
- Pregnancy at the time of marriage by a man who is not the husband, unknown to the husband
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
- Fraud, duress or force in obtaining the marriage
- Intermarriage by people who are related to one another
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual intoxication
- Habitual drug addiction
- Intentional and continued desertion
- Imprisonment for a sentence of two years or more
The final ground for divorce asserts that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no possibility of reconciliation. Also known as the “no fault” ground, this ground does not hold either party responsible for causing the marriage to end. A vast majority of divorces are filed under this no fault ground for divorce.
If your divorce does not have any complex issues that need to be settled, no fault divorces can be processed in as little as thirty-one days from the date the petition is filed.
Divorce for High Net Worth Individuals or Complex Situations
Marital assets are equitably distributed by the court as part of the divorce settlement. Keep in mind that equitable distribution and equal distribution are not the same thing. The court has discretion to decide what is equitable, or fair, given the assets and debts to be divided while also taking into account the parties’ circumstances. Many factors are considered so it is imperative that you have experienced legal counsel advocating on your behalf.
Marital assets include property, businesses, bank accounts, investment portfolios and retirement funds that have been acquired during the marriage.
Debt accumulated during the marriage is also equitably distributed to both spouses as part of the divorce settlement.
Each of these financial issues requires that you have proper representation by an experienced divorce lawyer. This will ensure your interests are protected during negotiations and the final divorce settlement is expertly crafted.
Alimony is continuing support provided by one spouse to the other by court order. The level of alimony depends on the current lifestyle enjoyed by your spouse and their ability to sustain themselves after divorce. Alimony can be paid in several ways and each method has different tax implications. There is no “formula” for determining the amount or duration of alimony to be paid. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf.
The court awards child custody based on what it considers to be the best interests of the child. Custody is divided into physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines the child’s primary residence. Legal custody designates which parent has the authority to make certain decisions for the child and who may have access to medical and educational records. The court will also determine parenting time and set a parenting time schedule for the non-custodial parent.
Even though the parents are ending their marriage they are both responsible for continuing to provide financial support for their children. The judge will decide the amount of money a spouse must regularly provide based on formulas established in state law and the financial resources of each parent using the Child Support Worksheet.\
Each part of the divorce process has implications for your future. Therefore, it is imperative that you are represented by a divorce lawyer who will provide sound legal guidance and deploy expert negotiating skills on your behalf. The divorce lawyers at Sauls Law Group, LLC stand ready to aggressively defend your interests to protect your high value assets.
Contact Sauls Law Group, LLC at 855-982-1980 to schedule a consultation today.