770-408-0477 | What You Need to Know About Divorce in Georgia

Georgia Divorce Attorneys.  Read below, and call 770-408-0477 if you have additional questions about your case.

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  • At least one spouse must have been living in the state of Georgia for at least six (6) months to file a divorce case in the state.
  • The spouses need not be living separately when they file for divorce, but must be considered separated by not living in the same room and/or having a sexual relationship.
  • Most county Superior Courts have a Standing Order that will go into effect as soon as a divorce case is filed. Taking action that violates the standing order may result in being found in contempt of court.
  • You do not need an attorney to file for divorce; however, it is highly advisable that you hire an attorney who will be able to represent your best interests. It is very difficult for an untrained person to navigate the legal system in a manner that will benefit them ultimately and efficiently, especially in a contested or complicated case or one that involves minor children.
  • You should not take advice from your spouse’s attorney as an attorney can only ethically represent one client at a time.
  • While child support is calculated using a specific formula, alimony is determined on a case by case basis and is at the discretion of the judge.
  • No two divorce cases are the same – each has specific circumstances that will be taken into account as the case is making its way through the courts.
  • If the case is uncontested and you are a legal resident of the state of Georgia, your divorce can be finalized in as little as thirty-one (31) days and may not require a visit to court.
  • If your case is contested, it may require a substantial amount of time spent in court and a substantial amount of money spent on attorney’s fees; however, depending on your circumstances, one party may be awarded support for attorney’s fees as a part of alimony.
  • Child custody and support will be determined on a temporary basis at the initial hearing for the duration of the divorce process and will then be decided again on a permanent basis, with possibility of appeal, depending on the case.
  • If you have children and are filing for divorce, you will usually be required to complete a parenting class. If your spouse refuses to take this class, it can delay the process.
  • If you are served with divorce you have thirty (30) days to respond by filing an answer with the court. You should not hesitate to do so and should consult an attorney once you have been served a Complaint for Divorce.
  • One of the documents you will need to complete as a part of the divorce case is the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. It is important to be as complete and accurate with this information as possible.
  • Even if you will not have an uncontested divorce case, the more you and your spouse can agree upon, the more quickly (and less costly!) the case will be resolved.
  • If you think that you and your spouse will not be able to agree upon most of the issues, divorce mediation may be a viable solution. Divorce mediation works so well that over 80 percent of couples are able to reach an agreement and file an uncontested case. Due to this reason, some courts will not hear a trial until mediation has been attempted. The attorneys at Coleman Legal Group, LLC have mediated numerous cases and aided the parties in swiftly and effectively reaching a decision that benefits their specific case.
  • You do not need to file for divorce under one of Georgia’s twelve fault grounds. Instead, you can file for a “no-fault” divorce.
  • A Legal Separation occurs when the court rules on the division of property, child support and custody, visitation, and alimony, but does not grant a divorce. This may be appropriate for parties who wish to avoid a divorce for religious or personal reasons.

Child Support in Georgia

In Georgia there are statutory guidelines that the court applied in deciding how much child support is to be awarded in a case. However, Superior Court Judges that decided divorce cases have much discretion as to how much weight to give to the evidence presented by both sides in case in deciding the final child support award. Georgia’s child support laws the use of a Child Support Worksheet – which is a series of calculations and mathematical formulas designed to give the parties, attorneys and judges guidance in determining how much child support is appropriate in a case. The calculations can become quite complex depending on the number of children, the parties and children’s needs, and the parties competing interests in how much child support should be paid. In Georgia, child support is usually paid till the minor child turns the age of eighteen (18) unless the child is still in high school. If the child is still in high school, child support is usually paid up to the age of twenty (20) or when the child graduates from high school.

Child Custody and Visitation in Georgia

Child custody can often be the most contested issue in a divorce case. Fortunately, more Georgia courts have been granting joint physical custody – which allow the children to spend approximately even equal time with both parents. However, the court decides custody and visitation arrangements based on what is in the best interest of the children. Therefore, it is only logical to presume that if the parents of a minor child live too far apart for the child to attend their school when one parent – this is not a case suited for joint physical custody. Likewise, if you are asking for joint physical custody – you will need to show the court that your living arrangements for the children can provide ample sleeping arrangements for the children. For example, living in a studio apartment will not go over well in court if you have more than one child you are seeking joint custody of. Note: Only a Superior Court Judge can decide Child Custody and Visitation in Georgia; these cannot be decided by a jury.

Alimony / Spousal Support in Georgia

In Georgia, alimony is based on the paying spouse’s ability to pay and the receiving spouses actual needs – and not their “wants”. Within this very broad framework, the particular facts developed in each case will determine the exact amount of alimony awarded – if any. However, as times have changed and now many couples have two spouses that are educated and employable in the workforce – Georgia courts have moved away from “lifetime” alimony. Another way of putting it is that the days of the “marriage pension” are probably over for many people seeking alimony. It is important to note that Georgia’s alimony laws are gender neutral, and a wife can be obliged to pay alimony to the husband.

Equitable Division of Marital Property in Georgia

Marital property includes anything of value that was acquired during the marriage – other than gifts or inheritance received by only one of the spouses. This includes tangible property, including but not limited to: real estate, automobiles, business equipment, cash holdings and jewelry. Marital property also includes intangible property which includes, but is not limited to: patents, trademarks, goodwill in a parties’ business, stock holdings, bank accounts, investment accounts, pensions, future interests in real estate and retirement accounts. Marital property is divided equably based on the behavior of the parties and what is fair given the facts in the case. Marital property is not always divided equally; although this does occur. Non-marital property is awarded to the spouse who was originally given the property by way of inheritance or gift, unless the non-marital property was mixed in with marital property.

Non-Marital Property in Georgia

Non-marital property, frequently referred to as “separate estate” is any property that was acquired before the marriage or any inheritance or gift to only one of the spouses – regardless of when the inheritance was acquired. To preserve the status of non-marital property – a person must be very careful not to commingle or mix non-marital property with marital property. For example, taking an inheritance and depositing it into a joint account can destroy the status of the inheritance as non-marital property and cause it to become marital property. One must seriously consider the short-term and long-term consequences of any thing they do with their non-marital property – as these decision can be very costly in the event of a divorce to the spouse with the non-marital property.

Georgia Areas our Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Serve

Coleman Legal Group, LLC team of divorce and family law attorneys handles cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Suwanee, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainseville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Inman Park, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Old Fourth Ward, Sugar Hill and Smyrna.

Our dedicated team of divorce and family law attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Sports and Entertainment Law, Immigration and Business Law. We have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Suite 52
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Dunwoody / Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Road, Bldg 600
Northpark Town Center
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map
Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map
Johns Creek / Duluth Georgia
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map
Duluth Georgia
Sugarloaf
2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map
Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Lawrenceville
Huntcrest
1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Copyright © 2016 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All Rights Reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC • 5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 52 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 • 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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