Divorce is one of the most challenging personal situations a person can experience. When it appears inevitable that a marriage will end there are several vital steps that must be taken right away so that the marriage may be dissolved in a way that protects your interests.
One of the first things any individual should do is consult with and retain a qualified divorce lawyer in Peachtree Corners, GA. Selecting the right divorce lawyer is particularly important if you are a high net worth individual or you have a complex case.
The primary issues to be settled during the divorce process are property distribution, division of assets and debts, alimony, child custody, parenting time and child support.
The divorce lawyers at Sauls Law Group, LLC are ready to aggressively defend your interests before the court to ensure you obtain the best possible settlement.
Georgia’s Grounds for Divorce
When you file for divorce in Peachtree Corners, GA you must provide the reasons, or grounds, for the divorce. Georgia recognizes thirteen grounds for divorce.
Most divorces in Georgia are processed as no fault divorces. This means that neither spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage and the marriage is irretrievably broken. No fault divorces that don’t have complex issues can be finalized thirty-one days after the date of filing.
Fault grounds assert that one spouse is responsible for the divorce action. Fault grounds in Georgia are:
- Wife pregnant by another man at the time of marriage, unknown to the husband
- Spouses are closely related by blood
- Spouse lacked mental capacity to consent to the marriage
- Consent to marry was obtained by force, duress or fraud
- Confinement due to incurable mental insanity
- Conviction or imprisonment for two or more years
- Wilful desertion
- Habitual drunkenness
- Drug addiction
- Cruel and inhuman treatment that endangers the spouse’s life
Fault grounds must be proven before the court. You can file for divorce on multiple grounds, if necessary.
Filing for Divorce in Peachtree Corners, GA
The individual seeking the divorce is called the petitioner or Plaintiff. The petitioning spouse must file a Complaint for Divorce with the Superior Court in the county where their spouse resides. You may be able to file in the county where you reside if your spouse has been living outside of the marital residence for less than six months. Your attorney can determine where jurisdiction is proper to ensure you are filing in the proper county. Failure to file in the proper county will result in your action being dismissed. If you live in Peachtree Corners, GA you will file your Complaint for Divorce in the Gwinnett County Superior Court.
The divorce petition will ask you for information about you and your spouse. This includes information about the grounds for the divorce, current living arrangements, marital property and children.
Once you complete all the required documents, a specially appointed process server or county sheriff will serve your spouse with a copy of the Summons, Complaint for Divorce, any relevant Standing Orders, and any other Motions filed prior to the date of service. Your spouse then has thirty days to file a written response to the complaint. Your spouse can also contest the grounds for the divorce or any claims in the complaint.
Divorce for Individuals with High Value Assets and Complex Cases
People with contested divorces and high value assets typically have more complex cases. Issues that could complicate your divorce include division of marital property, provision of spousal support, child custody and child support.
All property accumulated during the marriage must be equitably distributed between the spouses. The court will divide financial assets such as bank accounts, investment funds and retirement accounts between you and your spouse. Credit card debt and other liabilities will also be equitably distributed. The court will also divide physical property like houses and commercial real estate.
Bear in mind that equitable distribution is different from equal division. The court distributes marital property according to what it considers fair to both spouses. Therefore, it is crucial for you to be represented by an experienced divorce lawyer who will assertively represent your interests.
The court may require that one spouse provide alimony, or spousal support, to the other spouse as part of the divorce settlement. This may occur because one spouse is unable to support themselves or or sustain their current lifestyle following the divorce. Provisions for alimony can be set up in different ways and each one has its own tax implications.
If you and your spouse have children together, the judge presiding over your case will consider what is in the children’s best interests. This will determine which spouse has primary physical custody of the children and what the non-custodial parent’s parenting time schedule will be. The judge will also determine whether one or both parents have legal authority to make decisions for the children.
The care, health and education of the children remain the responsibility of both parents even after they divorce. The court will determine how much financial support is required based on both parties’ income and the needs of the children in accordance with the statutory Child Support Worksheet. Health insurance, child care and extracurricular activities for each child can all be factored into child support.
Property distribution, alimony, child custody and child support must each be carefully negotiated in order to obtain the most favorable settlement for you. Sauls Law Group, LLC has a team of expert divorce lawyers who are experienced in handling complex cases and protecting high value assets.
Contact Sauls Law Group, LLC at 855-982-1980 to schedule schedule a consultation.