Divorce Attorney with Offices in Roswell & Alpharetta
You’ve Decided to End Your Marriage. Now What?
You knew the odds going in — 50% of all marriages end in divorce; yet you never thought this statistic would apply to you.
Ending a marriage can be an incredibly stressful time that can wreak havoc on your well-being. You’re probably experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, everything from sadness and anger to bitterness and confusion.
If you have children, you’re worried about who will get custody and who will pay child support. Then there’s the issue of alimony.
With all of these issues hanging in the balance, you don’t know where to even begin.
Get the Closure You Need and Deserve
The stakes don’t get any higher than when your children’s welfare and your financial security are on the line — that’s why you need a qualified divorce attorney by your side, someone who will help you navigate the court system and fight for your rights.
With nearly 20 years of practicing family law under my belt, I have built a solid reputation as a strong negotiator and litigator who works tirelessly to achieve favorable and just outcomes for my clients.
I know this is a very challenging time for you and your family. I’m sure all you want is to put this entire thing behind you so you can move on with your life. I can help make this transition a little easier by helping you get the closure you need as quickly as possible, so you can focus on what really matters: your future.
Give me a call at (678) 566-6770 for a free consultation today.
Filing for Divorce
If you are the one filing for a divorce you will need to file a petition or “complaint” in the Superior court of the county in which your spouse lives. If your spouse no longer lives in Georgia, you can file in the county where you live.
The complaint will ask you to provide information regarding your:
In Georgia, there are 13 sanctioned grounds for divorce, ranging from:
- willful desertion or abandonment
- cruel treatment
- endangering life
If you do not wish to claim any wrongdoing or assign fault, you would pursue a “no-fault” divorce, which states that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
A copy of the complaint will be hand delivered by a county sheriff to your estranged spouse. He/she will have 30 days to file a written answer to your complaint.
What is Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce?
If your spouse does not file a response to your complaint, the divorce is considered to
This means that you and your spouse mutually agree on all relevant issues, including:
- division of marital property/assets
- debt allocation
- child custody arrangements
- child support
A hearing will be held 40 days after the complaint was filed. An uncontested divorce can
be finalized in as little as 30 to 60 days.
When this is the case, the only way to reach resolution is to have attorneys on both sides negotiate in discovery or by letting a judge or jury decide.
A hearing will be held 40 days after the complaint was filed, but this will be considered a temporary hearing which will address temporary solutions, on such issues as:
- interim child support
- temporary custody/visitation
- who lives in the marital residence
Building Your Case
“Discovery” is the period of time in a divorce between the initial filing of the complaint and subsequent pre-trial or trial. It is a chance for each side to gather his/her evidence for the case ahead.
During this process, both parties can ask one another questions pertaining to:
- division of property
- finances and debt
- child custody and visitation
- and more.
Documents may be requested including:
- tax returns
- pay stubs
- bank statements
- medical records
- pension plans
- credit card bills
If there are any doubts or inaccuracies suspected, experts will be brought in to assist.
Common experts include:
- custody evaluators to determine parenting plans and schedules
- financial planners to determine future economic circumstances
- business evaluators to value businesses
- real estate appraisers to value real estate
- personal property appraiser to value furnishings and other assets
- vocational evaluator to determine earning capacity
- psychologists to testify to mental health issues
During this period of time, either side can conduct depositions or sworn statements of possible witnesses before going to trial.
Discovery generally last six months but can be extended to allow for all relevant documents to be obtained and all relevant witnesses to be interviewed.
It may be further delayed if additional motions are filed, or if certain matters like child support, custody, or alimony are still in dispute.
Mediation: An Alternative to Trial
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral, unbiased third party or mediator attempts to facilitate settlement discussions in an effort to amicably end the marriage.
The mediator encourages the couple to openly discuss unresolved issues and come up with creative solutions to solve them. The hope is that through negotiation and compromise, a settlement can be reached.
Mediation is a confidential process, so in the event of a trial, the mediator would not be called to court to testify.
Going to Trial
When you and your spouse have exhausted all methods to resolve your differences, the final option is going to trial.
The trial may last more than one day and will be set several months into the future. Most divorce cases are heard before a judge only, but Georgia Law does permit either party to request a jury trial.
A jury can rule on property division and alimony, but not child custody, visitation, and support.
When you call our office today you will receive a free consultation. We’ll immediately start to discuss your options and strategies, and carefully decide how to proceed with your case.
Get in touch soon so we can begin working on bringing this challenging chapter of your life to a close.