Considering a Divorce or Ready to File?
THE GENTRY LAW FIRM WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU.
With our compassionate approach, background in high net-worth, high-asset divorces, and 35+ years of experience, there is little our Marietta family law attorneys haven’t seen before. Our team knows how Georgia courts approach the various and often stressful aspects of a divorce. And we use this insight and every available legal tool to develop strategies that benefit you and protect your children.
Whether it involves dividing property, ensuring equitable child custody, divorce mediation, or otherwise getting you to the next chapter of life with confidence and security – the experienced Marietta divorce attorneys at Gentry Law Firm are ready to help.
Our Marietta Divorce Lawyers Offer:
- A Free, 30-Minute Consult
- Respected Representation
- Clear Communication
- Calls Returned Within 24 Hours
- Skilled Negotiators Focused on Your Interests
- Experienced and Compassionate Paralegals and Support Staff
- Courtroom-Tested Litigators Advocating for You
Georgia Divorce Laws
AT THE GENTRY LAW FIRM, YOU’LL ALWAYS BE WELL INFORMED & TAKEN CARE OF.
Based in Marietta, GA, our experienced divorce attorneys assist people across Metro Atlanta and the surrounding counties of Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton, and others with every aspect of their divorce filing.
Understanding Eligibility for Divorce in Georgia
To file for divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse must be a Georgia resident for at least six months. A member of the armed forces can also file if they were stationed within Georgia for a year.
What Are No-Fault Divorces
Georgia Law (§ 19-5-3) lists various “Grounds” or reasons for a divorce, but the most common is a no-fault filing based on the marriage being “irretrievably broken.” This means the parties cannot repair the relationship, and the marriage must end.
A no-fault divorce cannot be granted until a 30-day waiting period has passed.
Grounds for Divorce in Georgia
The other grounds for divorce listed under the law are usually used as factors in custody, child or spousal support, and asset division decisions. For example, if your Ex committed adultery, they might not be entitled to spousal support.
Legal Reasons for Divorce:
- Intermarriage between close relatives;
- Mental incapacity at the time that the marriage took place;
- Impotence at the time the marriage occurred;
- The marriage was forced, took place under duress, or resulted from fraud;
- The wife was carrying another man’s child at the time of the marriage, and the husband was unaware of it;
- Incurable mental illness;
- One of the spouses committed adultery during the marriage;
- One spouse deserts the other;
- A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude that incurs a prison sentence of at least two years (In Georgia, such crimes include fraud, larceny, selling drugs, voluntary manslaughter, and murder.);
- Cruel treatment;
- Habitual drug addiction; or
- Habitual intoxication.
Suppose you don’t pursue a divorce after marital misconduct (e.g., an affair) and continue to live with them. In Georgia, the court may take the perspective that you condoned or forgave the actions, and you cannot use it as grounds for divorce or denying spousal support.
These scenarios are based on unique details, best explained by an experienced divorce lawyer.
01 / 05
I would like to thank Mr. William Gentry and his great staff for giving me excellent service with my case. This law firm made this very difficult time more comfortable than I had ever expected. I highly recommend Gentry Law Firm for any of your family law issues. Again thanks to you and your staff!!!
02 / 05
"Thank you for your hard work, caring for your clients, your prayers and kindness. This has been a long hard road but we look forward to the day we can start a new chapter. Again thank you."
WC Client, February 2020, 2022
03 / 05
Bill, you and your staff have been so kind and professional and made me feel like I was not just "a number". I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the settlement. Thank you!
NJ - 12/21/18, 2022
04 / 05
I want to thank you for your very hard work and time spent on my case the last two years. I truly appreciate all your efforts and kindness that you have extended.
(LD November 2018), 2022
05 / 05
Bill and staff were wonderful to work with. Great attention was taken into consideration for my sensitive case. They made a very difficult time in my life much smoother. His advice was great. Always a quick response. I would definitely recommend.
Your Rights & Divorce Options
OUR CLIENTS DON’T GET BULLIED.
Ending a marriage is hard. It’s worse if your ex is making it more challenging than it has to be or there’s a significant financial disparity. This should not deter you or pressure you into accepting an unfair result. You have rights, and Georgia has laws that equitably distribute marital assets and provide support.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
An uncontested divorce, where spouses agree on all aspects of separating, is easier on everyone. These simplified divorces can be completed in as little as 30 days. But even if you want a fast divorce, you should hire a professional divorce attorney to ensure you’re not taken advantage of.
If you and your spouse can’t agree, the divorce becomes contested, and the Courts may even need to weigh in. A lawyer can handle the negotiation and documentation and advocate for you.
Property & Asset Division
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, meaning each spouse is entitled to an “equitable” share of marital property. This is not always 50/50, and each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions are considered.
It’s essential to work with a divorce lawyer who can accurately and aggressively pursue your fair share of marital property and assets. This includes contributions you made to a business, joint retirement accounts, stock portfolios, inheritances, real estate, and other holdings.
You are not obligated to move out of the marital home or physically separate before filing for divorce. In Georgia, you are legally separated if you no longer engage in marital relations.
That being said, Georgia does allow for “separate maintenance.” This is a court order that puts the terms of your separation in writing, outlining custody, support, and property division, among other issues.
Aside from granting an official divorce and the ability to remarry, separate maintenance can be helpful before a divorce is finalized. It is also helpful for individuals with certain religious beliefs or other reasons for staying legally married.
Georgia Divorce Process & Timeline
YOU’LL HAVE SUPPORT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
You’ll file for divorce with the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where you or your spouse reside. For example, in Cobb County, you’ll file a divorce complaint or petition, listing your reasons and the issues you want the Court to address.
Once you file for divorce:
- Your Ex will be served & allowed to respond.
- If your Ex agrees, they can sign, and after 30 days, your divorce can be finalized.
- When parties don’t agree, a series of court appearances, mediation, and possibly a trial will determine the outcome.
Most divorces reach a settlement agreement before a trial, but the length of time a divorce takes depends on the facts, circumstances, and the parties’ ability to cooperate.
Frequently Asked Divorce Questions?
Can I Receive Alimony in Georgia, or Will I Have to Pay?
In Georgia, spousal support decisions, including the amount, recipient, and payment term, are made case-by-case. The Court considers factors such as if a considerable income disparity exists, the education level of the parties, earning capacities, and time out of the workforce.
What Happens to Kids in a Divorce in Georgia?
In Georgia, both parents are considered equally in custody unless there is a valid reason against it. The goal is to create a plan that lets the child maintain a strong relationship with both parents. Therefore, you are free to work out an arrangement that works for both of you. If you cannot agree, the Court will award physical and legal custody based on what it determines to be in the child’s best interests.
Support payments are calculated based on a standard formula that factors income, children from prior relationships, insurance coverage, education costs, and special needs.
What Does A Divorce Lawyer Cost?
Just like the time it takes to complete a divorce, the cost of a divorce varies based on the facts and parties involved. Simple, uncontested divorces with basic things to divide are easier and less expensive.
Costs rise when more issues are considered and spouses cannot agree. Think of divorce as an investment. We can discuss ways to finance legal services, and opportunities may exist for your ex to cover the costs.
What To Look For in a Divorce Lawyer
The Right Skill Set for Post-Divorce Success.
Which attorney you hire is a huge decision that will impact the outcome of your divorce case and your life for years to come. Your divorce attorney plays a crucial role in navigating the divorce process, and ultimately their legal services influence your ability to move on with your life.
Understanding your own situation and goals will allow you to ask informed questions. And because your divorce lawyer should always be working to reach the goals you establish, your own input can play a prominent role
First – Know Your Priorities
It helps to think about your own goals and what you want your post-divorce life to look like before meeting with an attorney. For instance, is keeping ownership of your business a primary goal? Is alimony a concern? Has there been domestic violence in the past?
The 5 Signs of a Highly-Effective Divorce Lawyer
All divorce law firms are not created equal. A cut-rate lawyer may be fine for a simple divorce. But if you need to protect your business or retirement, have complex issues involving business valuation, protecting a professional practice, or dividing stock options, you need an attorney who has handled these issues.
Lawyers develop a reputation over time. Can Judges trust your lawyer to show up meticulously prepared? Have they been involved in the community or professional associations? Having a lawyer with a strong track record respected by local Judges and opposing counsel alike can make obtaining a favorable resolution more straightforward.
Your divorce lawyer should always tell you the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear. While your attorney will ultimately only take legal actions that you both agree are in your best interest, you should be fully informed before making important decisions about your divorce.
4. COMMUNICATION & COMPATIBILITY.
Divorce is a deeply personal matter. You’ll need to feel comfortable around your attorney and have a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. Is your attorney available to answer your questions? Do they take your personal goals into account?
5. RELEVANT & LOCAL EXPERIENCE.
There is simply no substitute for the practical knowledge gained through experience. It is not just knowing the law or which form to file. Local experience in and around Metro Atlanta can offer insight into how Cobb County Judges rule compared to those in Clayton. This can impact negotiations, and an attorney who understands this can save you money, stress, and uncertainty.