For many women, divorce can be an especially overwhelming subject. You might be afraid of your husband’s reaction, worried for your children’s future, or concerned about your own financial stability. When you’re ready to get divorced, finding a qualified divorce lawyer sensitive to your needs is critical to your case.
The divorce attorneys at the Gentry Law Firm, LLC, understand women's unique struggles during a divorce in Georgia. We’ve made protecting families our mission and are ready to help answer your questions. Learn more about divorce proceedings during your free initial consultation. Call to schedule yours.
Protecting Your Rights in a Georgia Divorce
You might be on the fence about hiring a lawyer. Maybe you feel your partner will see reason and agree to an uncontested divorce. You might also be unsure about the cost of hiring a lawyer and where it will leave you after the divorce. A good lawyer will know how to protect you and your family.
Anyone seeking a divorce in Georgia is entitled to a fair process. Hiring a qualified lawyer can give you the best chance at securing your family’s future. Several important factors like alimony, distribution of property, and child custody are determined throughout the divorce process, so finding someone with your best interest at heart is essential.
Why You Need a Women’s Divorce Lawyer
Everyone can benefit from hiring a lawyer. Finding a lawyer to support you through your divorce gives you an ally, one who understands your needs and the legal challenges you face.
Lawyers can be helpful advocates who guide you through this stressful time and communicate fully about your unique situation. They’ll be able to help you negotiate an equitable outcome of your marriage, ensuring your rights aren’t overlooked or ignored. Your attorney can also mitigate the risk of any mistakes disrupting your life down the line.
Your husband will likely have an attorney of his own. Divorce laws are complex and there are many ways you could get taken advantage of without a knowledgeable guide by your side. A lawyer is there to help protect your blind spots.
The Legal Aspects of Divorce in Georgia
Several matters are decided during the Georgia divorce process, all of which can impact your living situation and future. A women’s focused divorce lawyer can establish realistic expectations for you throughout your divorce proceedings and let you know how to approach these important details of your divorce.
Deciding Child Custody in a Georgia Divorce
In Georgia, courts prioritize the children’s best interests in matters of custody and support. Parents can have physical or legal custody of their children. That means deciding which parent the child will primarily live with, as well as which parents will be able to make decisions about their upbringing.
Your attorney can ensure that you have a strong case for having legal or physical custody of your children if you don’t believe your partner should have it. They can help you draft a parenting plan that works best for your children and is fair to you and your partner.
Securing Child Support in a Georgia Divorce
Child support tends to go hand-in-hand with the child custody decision. The non-custodial parent, the parent the children do not spend most of their time with, typically pays the custodial parent child support for their efforts and expenses in raising the children.
If you’re fighting to have primary physical custody of your children, you need to work with a women’s divorce lawyer to ensure you get the correct amount of child support. Your lawyer can help you get what you’re owed.
Determining Spousal Support in a Georgia Divorce
Spousal maintenance, commonly called alimony, might not be as common as it was a few decades ago, but it can still be awarded based on your circumstances. Some women may need permanent alimony, and some may need temporary help getting job training or getting ready to reenter the work force. Your attorney can calculate how much alimony you might need, and how best to reach an equitable outcome.
Creating an Equitable Division of Property after a Georgia Divorce
Georgia follows an “equitable division” of marital property model in its divorces. Property gained during the marriage isn’t necessarily split straight down the middle. Rather, it’s divided fairly. Certain factors are considered when finding an equitable solution to property. Was the property bought while you were married or before marriage? Who contributed to the household’s income more? Who cared for the children and home more?
Some of the most contentious disagreements in a divorce happen in the property division stage. Your lawyer will be able to help you keep your personal property out of consideration for division, and make sure that you’re getting a fair amount after all is said and done.
The Georgia Divorce Timeline
Once you’re ready to start your divorce, you should start by finding a women’s divorce lawyer with experience who is capable of providing you with advice and guidance throughout the process. This is someone you’re trusting with your future, and you’ll be working closely with them for some time.
Factors like the extent of assets and debts, disagreements over child custody, and a contentious relationship with your soon-to-be ex can all contribute to how long a divorce can take in Georgia, but the average divorce takes about six months to a year to complete.
Getting Started: Finding a Reason for Divorce
Georgia is a no-fault state. This means you can state your reason for divorce is because the marriage is irretrievably broken. There is an option to list other reasons explaining why you’re seeking a divorce, if you choose to state them. These “grounds” provide an explanation of why the marriage should end and can entail adultery and drug abuse, among other options.
Your attorney will include the grounds in your divorce complaint.
The Paperwork: Filing a Complaint and Getting a Response
Your attorney will file a divorce complaint for you. These papers indicate you wish to end your marriage formally. It will include your information and information about your spouse. They’ll be served a summons about your petition.
They’ll have 30 days to respond to this summons. Their response will help determine how long your proceedings will take. If they agree to end the divorce, it can be over within a month. However, if they dispute the reasons in your complaint or anything about the outcome, like child custody or support, they can contest the divorce, and you’ll need to prepare to negotiate the terms of the agreement.
Pre-trial Preparations: Getting Your Case Ready
If your spouse disagrees with the terms of ending your marriage, you and your attorney must prepare to argue your side of the case. Your spouse might dispute the grounds for divorce, how much you’re asking for in spousal support, or dividing different assets, like high-value assets.
Both parties will have a chance to review the evidence the other will presente their case during the discovery phase. While not every divorce case goes to trial, being ready for any eventuality or argument can grant you peace of mind. Your attorney can review your partner’s arguments and advise you on how to proceed with your case.
Pre-Trial Negotiations: Settling Before Court Appearances
It’s possible you can reach some common ground before the divorce needs to be taken in front of a judge. Georgia law requires divorcing couples to work with a mediator, a third party looking to achieve the best outcome possible for all sides. You may be able to work through any disputes before you need to have a divorce trial.
A judge must approve the agreements before they’re decided on, but working in good faith with a mediator can save you time and money. Having a strong lawyer who is prepared for your negotiations can protect you and your family.
Going to Court: The Divorce Trial
If both parties cannot reach an agreement in your divorce, you’ll decide the outcome in a trial. Like a criminal trial, both sides will present their arguments and evidence to a judge. The judge will decide the factors in your case, like dividing property, custody and child support plans, and any other relevant information.
A qualified attorney can present your arguments to the judge to put you in the best lightl.
Georgia Divorce FAQs
The divorce process can be very confusing. These are some of the most common questions you might encounter as you research how to approach a divorce, but we understand there may be something you couldn’t find here. We’re more than prepared to answer your questions. We’re one call away: (770) 425-5573.
Is Spousal Support Mandatory After a Divorce?
No, alimony will depend on your personal circumstances and are different in each case.
You may require rehabilitative alimony to help you get back on your feet, or you could need permanent alimony after your long-term marriage ends. Your attorney can evaluate your case and give you the best answer.
How Can I Protect My Financial Interests During a Divorce?
Protecting your financial interests is critical. Not only does this help your peace of mind, but it can also ensure marital property that you may have a claim to is not being hidden. You should gather and document all your financial information. You’ll need to categorize your debts, assets, income, and other expenses. Your attorney can help you protect your financial future.
How Do I Find the Right Women’s Divorce Attorney?
Finding an attorney who cares about you and your family is critical. Divorce can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure about how to proceed and what kind of work will be necessary to end your divorce.
You can get recommendations from trusted professionals or by looking online. Study their reviews and make sure you’re looking for a lawyer that’s helped people in your situation. Call their office to discuss their process to ensure they’ll be a good fit.
Call A Women’s Divorce Lawyer Now
Getting ready for your divorce means you need the right lawyers on your side. The Gentry Law Firm, LLC, has helped countless women in situations just like yours.
Attorney William C. Gentry founded this firm to help families achieve peace-of-mind and security. He understands how important family is, and he knows how important your case is to you. Protecting families is paramount for our firm, and we’re ready to help you get started on your future.