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Marietta Family Law Blog

Is financial abuse keeping you from seeking divorce?

Every marriage has its complexities, and yours is no exception. Unfortunately, what makes your marriage complex is the control your spouse has over you. If you are the victim of physical or emotional abuse from your spouse, you may also be the victim of financial abuse. Many spouses are not aware of the control their partners have over them financially until they try to leave the marriage.

One way in which a spouse can manage the actions of a partner is to prevent the partner from having any financial freedom within the marriage. Without access to money or earning power, a spouse has few alternatives for a future outside the relationship. If you find yourself in this situation and plan to divorce your controlling spouse, you would do well to seek experienced legal assistance.

A lower divorce rate does not mean marriages are happier

While many in Georgia who marry hope their bonds will last a lifetime, some believe it is more realistic to assume the marriage will end in divorce. After all, for decades couples have heard the discouraging statistics that half or more of all marriages do not survive.

This number may be grossly exaggerated, and more recent studies show the rate of divorce around 39 percent. Yes, it seems that more marriages are lasting than in past decades. However, even this statistic can be misleading, and it does not take into consideration many important factors about marriage and divorce.

Mediation could give you a better start to co-parenting

Raising children takes a lot of work under the best of circumstances. Each phase of their lives provides new challenges for parents. During the good times of your marriage, you had each other to lean on when times got tough.

Now that your relationship has deteriorated and you are contemplating divorce, you wonder whether you can continue to present a united front to the children, even though you no longer live together. Co-parenting after your divorce does not have to be fraught with contention and chaos. Instead, you could take steps to make sure that you have the best start possible.

Money conflicts place wealthy marriages at risk

You and your spouse probably had many plans for your future, and some of those plans may have included material success. You focused on your career, or you supported your spouse's business endeavors. You did well, and perhaps your friends envy your financial success.

Unfortunately, you now understand that money does not buy happiness. While most studies show that financial conflict is among the top reasons for couples to divorce, a lack of money doesn't always bring about these conflicts. More often, it is a mismatch of attitudes and values about earning, saving, spending and borrowing that breeds discontent and frustration between spouses.

Equitable division of assets takes time

If you and your spouse are preparing for your divorce, you may be having a difficult time focusing on the practical aspects of your breakup. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, you may be struggling to think about your future. Nevertheless, many of the decisions you make now could affect your future for years, so you want to be prudent and thoughtful, especially during property division.

Many Georgia spouses find it possible to work out an equitable agreement for dividing their belongings, but it is not as easy as dealing a hand of cards. For some assets, there are numerous factors to consider beyond the face value of the item.

Important financial considerations before your divorce

Divorce will inevitably bring significant financial changes to your life, and you may have concerns about what these changes will mean for your future. If you are facing the end of a marriage, you understand how important it is to pursue a strong post-divorce future. One way you can do this is to prepare carefully for the process ahead.

The decisions made during divorce will have a lasting impact for years to come for Georgia readers. When making choices regarding a financial settlement or division of assets, it is prudent to consider the long-term implications of each step you take. Knowing what to expect from the divorce process and understanding how you can protect yourself can allow you to pursue security and stability.

Regardless of net worth, all divorces follow a similar path

The particular circumstances of each couple are what make every divorce unique. You may have numerous pieces of real estate, an investment portfolio and a large retirement account, along with other assets, and no children. On the other hand, you may have fewer assets, are still working on building up your retirement account and raising minor children.

The fact is that it doesn't matter whether you have a significant amount of assets or if you have children, everyone must adhere to certain rules when it comes to getting a divorce here in Georgia.

What does your divorce mean for your family business?

Georgia business owners know firsthand how difficult it can be to start a business and work for success. It can take years of hard work, personal sacrifice and determination to make a small business profitable. Significant life changes, particularly divorce, can affect your company, and it is smart for you to take steps to protect yourself and the continued interests of your business. 

Divorce requires the division of all marital assets, which could include your business assets. You may have concerns regarding what this will mean for the company you built, but there are ways you can preserve the future of your operations after divorce. One way you can do this is by knowing what to expect and learning how to avoid common divorce pitfalls.

Did you commingle separate property during your marriage?

There's nothing wrong with sharing during your marriage. After all, you pledged to be together forever. That is, until you decided to divorce.

Now, you face dividing all of the assets you acquired during your marriage. Wait. What do you do about those assets that belonged to you prior to your marriage that you shared with your spouse? Are those assets still yours alone? Maybe not.

Is your spouse trying to pull a fast one regarding assets?

When you first filed for divorce in an East Cobb County court, you may have already started to worry about what types of obstacles your spouse might try to use to delay proceedings or simply to cause you stress as a way to get back at you. At best, you may be able to obtain a final decree with only a few minor snags along the way.

At worst, you could be tied up in an ongoing battle for months if the other party refuses to cooperate and chooses to act out of spite rather than fairness. This likely wouldn't make the situation any easier to bear for you or your children, if you're a parent. There's a big difference, however, between your soon-to-be ex starting arguments or procrastinating when it comes to signing documents or other divorce-related issues and committing illegal acts, such as hiding assets to keep them from being subject to property division.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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