Divorce is not only emotionally difficult – but it’s also life-changing and leaves you with a lot of questions. Where will the children live? Which parent will pay child support? Will you need spousal support because you spent years as a homemaker?
Whether you’re facing an amicable and uncontested divorce or you know you need to litigate, you want a Paulding County divorce lawyer who can guide you through all of the important decisions you now need to make.
At Gentry Law Firm LLC, we work closely with you through every step of your divorce. We will help you shape a strategy that meets your needs, negotiate for an equitable income for you, and aggressively litigate for you in court.
Divorce in Paulding County, GA
When you file for divorce in Paulding County, you generally have two options:
- Uncontested Divorce: You and your spouse agree on all critical matters, such as child custody and support, property division, and alimony. Our Paulding County divorce lawyers will help you negotiate a fair and equitable settlement agreement that meets your present and future needs.
- Contested Divorce: Divorces become contested when you and your spouse can’t agree on one or more of the key areas that need to be resolved. If negotiation doesn’t work, you’ll need to go to court and have the matter decided by a judge. A divorce attorney at Gentry Law Firm LLC will fight for the outcome you need to start your new life.
You may file for divorce in this state if one of the following circumstances applies:
- You or your spouse have resided in Georgia for at least six months before filing OR;
- Georgia was the last place where you lived as a married couple during the previous six months.
Although most couples obtain a divorce on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, you can also pursue a fault-based dissolution. We can answer any questions you may have about your options.
Child Custody and Child Support in Paulding County, GA
Your children deserve to be loved and supported financially by both parents. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how you want to share custody and support responsibilities, the Courts will make a determination based on the best interests of the children. If they are aged 14 or older, they may choose which parent they want to live with unless their choice is clearly not in their own best interest.
In Georgia, you and your spouse have equal standing when it comes to seeking custody unless circumstances recommend otherwise (for example, if one of you has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence). At Gentry Law Firm LLC, we will help you put together a parenting plan that represents an ideal outcome for your family.
With child support, the goal is to let your children enjoy a similar standard of living to the one they had before the divorce. In Paulding County, Georgia, child support guidelines take each parent’s gross income into account, along with factors like which parent covers health insurance and whether one of you is currently supporting children from another relationship.
Whichever parent is ordered to pay support must do so until your children turn 18, get married, or become emancipated. If they are still attending school when they turn 18, support may continue until their 20th birthday. Your Paulding County divorce lawyer at Gentry Law Firm LLC will help you understand your rights and responsibilities in this area.
Alimony, which is called ‘spousal maintenance’ in Georgia, is not as common as it used to be but may still be awarded in some divorces. When determining whether to order alimony, as well as the amount and duration, the Courts consider facts like the following:
- How long your marriage lasted;
- The standard of living you enjoyed while married;
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage (financial or otherwise); and
- The payee’s need for support and the payor’s ability to pay it.
You may request temporary alimony to keep you going during the divorce and receive so-called ‘permanent’ alimony after it is finalized. Despite its name, this support is usually intended to meet your financial expenses while you seek employment or get the education needed to improve your career prospects. An alimony lawyer will help you identify your support needs and fight for the award you need.
You and your spouse are allowed to negotiate your own property division agreement, but if you can’t, the Courts will divide the marital estate using Georgia’s equitable distribution guidelines. In some cases, this may be a 50-50 split, but the goal is fairness instead of a precise division.
Factors that impact the final decision include each spouse’s financial situation and their respective contributions (economic and non-economic) to the marriage. Your Georgia divorce attorney will advocate for a fair division that lets you receive or retain property that is rightfully yours.
Do You Need to Speak to a Paulding County Divorce Lawyer?
At Gentry Law Firm LLC, our family law attorneys have years of experience helping clients in Paulding County with their divorce needs. We take time to understand your unique situation and tailor a legal strategy that obtains the best results for you. To schedule an initial consultation, please call 1-770-425-5573 or contact our office online.