Arriving at the decision to end a marriage is a painful experience for anyone. However, the decision is only the beginning of the process of bringing closure to the relationship. There are a number of steps that must be taken to properly dissolve a marriage. Each step must be carried out carefully in order to ensure your interests are protected.
Selecting the right divorce lawyer in Lawrenceville, GA is one crucial step in the process. This is particularly true if you have a high net worth or complicated issues in your divorce case.
Some of the issues that must be resolved as part of the divorce process include distribution of property, child custody, child support and alimony. How these issues are negotiated will have a significant impact on your net worth following the divorce.
The divorce lawyers at Sauls Law Group, LLC are dedicated to aggressively protecting your assets by either negotiating the best attainable settlement, or by zealously advocating for you at trial.
Filing for Divorce in Lawrenceville, GA
If you are the spouse seeking the divorce, you must file a petition in the county where your spouse lives. If your spouse has not been living with you for less than six months, you can file in the county where you live. If you reside in Lawrenceville, GA, you file for divorce at Gwinnett County Superior Court.
Your petition must provide the reason for the divorce. The state of Georgia recognizes thirteen grounds for divorce.
The no fault ground is most commonly cited for divorce. This ground asserts that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The no fault ground does not hold either party liable for the failure of the marriage. No fault divorces without complex issues to negotiate can be settled in 31 days from the date of filing.
The other twelve grounds for divorce claim that one spouse is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. These grounds are:
- Adultery by either spouse after marriage
- Cruel treatment or willful infliction of pain
- Force, menace or fraud in obtaining the marriage
- Impotency at the time of marriage
- Pregnancy by a man other than the husband, unknown to the husband at the time of marriage
- Desertion of at least one year
- Conviction of a crime with a prison term of two years or more
- Intermarriage between related parties
- Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual intoxication
- Habitual drug addiction
These grounds must be proven through the litigation process.
Once the divorce complaint is filed with the court, your spouse (the defendant) will be served a copy by the county sheriff or an appointed officer of the court. The defendant then has thirty days to provide a written response. Your spouse can contest the grounds for divorce or claims in the petition.
Complex Divorce Issues for High Asset Individuals
High net worth individuals often have complex issues to resolve as part of the divorce process. These issues include division of marital property, alimony, child custody and child support.
Property acquired during the marriage must be equitably distributed between the parties per Georgia law. Marital property can be financial (bank accounts, investment portfolios, retirement plans) or physical (residential homes, commercial property). Debt accumulated by both spouses is also equitably distributed during divorce.
Many people confuse equitable distribution with equal distribution. These are not the same and many factors are considered by the court in distributing property. This makes retaining an experienced divorce lawyer critical to protecting your assets.
Alimony, or spousal support, is a court ordered requirement that one spouse provides financial support for the other spouse after the end of a marriage. Alimony can be negotiated by a divorce lawyer based on the financial resources of each spouse. There are several types of alimony payments and each one has different implications for filing taxes.
When a divorcing couple has children, the court considers what is in the best interests of the children. This includes awarding physical custody and establishing visitation by the noncustodial parent.
Physical custody establishes the children’s legal place of residence and which parent is responsible daily supervision.There is also legal custody which establishes which parent makes decisions affecting the children.
Both parents are legally responsible to provide for their children’s material needs until they are adults. The court decides the level of financial support to be provided for the children based on the resources available to each parent.
Successfully navigating the divorce process when high value assets are at stake requires expert counsel and legal strategy. Sauls Law Group, LLC has a team of experienced divorce lawyers ready to aggressively defend your interests before the court.