Marietta Contested Divorce Lawyers

What is a Contested Divorce?

When you seek a divorce, you aren’t just ending your marriage. You must decide with your ex how to divide property, how to share responsibilities around your children, and how to proceed after a decree is given. In some cases, both spouses can reach an agreement on these issues, and settle their dispute in an uncontested divorce. For instance, you could agree to give up your claim to some real estate for legal custody of your children.

However, when you disagree about one or more issue, you could be forced to pursue a contested divorce. This legal proceeding can involve hearings, negotiations, investigations, and even a trial if some agreement can’t be reached. With a lawyer from The Gentry Law Firm on your side, you can ensure you get the right forms filed and get the best representation in your Cobb County divorce.

How Grounds for Divorce Affect Contested Cases

In Georgia, you can pursue a divorce under “grounds,” or reasons to end your marriage. There are several grounds you might pursue, such as the marriage being irretrievably broken, one of the spouses committing adultery, or a spouse being cruel to their partner or children.

These reasons can impact the divorce decree more so than if there aren’t grounds listed. For instance, a spouse who has committed adultery may not receive as much property since it’s an equitable distribution.

Outcomes of a Contested Divorce

Your contested divorce will decide how you and your ex-spouse must handle disputed issues after your separation. You will need to prepare for negotiations, settlement, and possibly a trial. Once your divorce proceedings are complete, you will have a ruling that outlines how you and your spouse will handle child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.

  • Child Custody: you and your spouse will need to agree on who will have physical and legal custody of your children. You’ll decide where they live, what kind of upbringing they’ll have, and if one parent will have visitation rights.
  • Child Support: if one spouse has physical custody of your children, then it’s likely that the other parent will provide financial support to allow their ex to raise the children. Georgia’s child support laws rule that parents need to provide for their children unless they cede their parental rights.
  • Spousal Support: also known as alimony, Georgia law allows one spouse to seek financial support from their ex after a divorce. This could be temporary or permanent, depending on their circumstances.
  • Property Division: a divorcing couple will divide their marital property in an equitable manner. That might not mean everything is split 50-50, but in a way that’s fair. That means maybe you might receive less property, but it could have more value.
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The Contested Divorce Timeline in Georgia

A contested divorce will not wrap up as quickly as an uncontested divorce. Your divorce will be similar to other people’s experiences, but the unique circumstances could affect how long the process takes. Contested divorces can take anywhere from six months to a year or more. Understanding the timeline can give you an idea of how to prepare.

  • Filing Your Petition: this is the document that announces you intend to end your marriage, the grounds of your divorce, and other pertinent information. Gentry Law Firm LLC can help you prepare and file your petition.
  • Serving the Petition: your soon-to-be-ex will be served a notice of your petition, and they’ll have time to respond. If they agree with the reasons and terms you’ve set, then your divorce will be completed within 30 days. But if they disagree, you’ll need to prepare for the next step of your contested divorce.
  • Preparing Your Case: you’ll work closely with your divorce attorney to prepare your side of the divorce proceedings. That includes searching for assets, finding evidence to support your grounds for divorce, and finding eyewitnesses to support any claims. You’ll have access to your spouse’s evidence in the discovery phase. They’ll be able to look through your evidence as well.
  • Negotiating A Settlement: Not every divorce needs to go to trial. You and your ex could discuss the terms of your divorce and reach an agreement. A judge will need to review this settlement and if they find it appropriate, they’ll sign off on it.
  • Going to Trial: If both sides can’t reach a settlement agreement on the divorce at hand, then the matter will need to go before a judge. The trial will allow both sides to present their evidence and arguments on why rulings should be made one way or another. A judge will review the cases and provide an equitable ruling.

The number of contested issues will affect the length of your divorce proceedings. Some spouses don’t want to cooperate, so they’ll drag their feet in an effort to get their preferred outcome. We won’t let your ex bully you . We know divorces are meant to be freeing, and we will fight for your right to a clean slate. Even if you just want the divorce over and done with, The Gentry Law Firm wants you to have a life worth living. We won’t lose sight of your long-term happiness for the sake of your short-term comfort.

Contested Divorce FAQs

Will Our Debts Be Divided in the Divorce?

Yes. Like other marital assets, the debts accrued during your marriage will also be divided equitably. That doesn’t mean you’ll simply take half of the debt, however. While most household debts for things like home renovations, children’s school supplies and clothing, and other shared debts are likely to be split fairly, one spouse’s personal debts may not be depending on the specific circumstances. If your spouse accrued college debt while you worked to support the household, you could also receive less of that debt.

Can I Represent Myself in My Divorce Proceedings?

It’s possible for you to represent yourself in a contested divorce. However, because the situation could become contentious, you should consider hiring a lawyer. Not only is your ex likely to have one, but you might not have the legal experience or knowledge to keep on even footing as your ex’s lawyer. Don’t get taken advantage of during your divorce proceedings. Call Gentry Law today.

Get Help with Your Marietta Divorce Today

Divorce proceedings can be daunting. Even if you’re emotionally ready to end your marriage, it isn’t really as simple as wishing it so. YThere’s still a lot of legal activity to track. You should consider hiring a compassionate family law attorney who understands and empathizes with your situation. The Gentry Law Firm is ready to hear your side of the story and get to work getting the best outcome possible in your contested divorce.

Our founder, William C. Gentry, started this firm because he believes everyone deserves qualified representation when they’re dealing with matters of family law. We understand that this isn’t an easy task, and we treat you as more than just another case. We’re prepared to help you  find a solution that supports you and your family. Let us protect your future.

Call (770) 425-5573 or use our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.