There are many elements to the divorce process, and it can be difficult to know about all of them as they apply to your case. Fortunately, an experienced divorce attorney could explain what to know about the Atlanta divorce process and what you could expect from litigation. Pursuing a divorce case involves many small nuances and details that can impact the rest of your life, so it is wise to enlist the help of a lawyer before going forward. Call today and set up a consultation.
People going through the Atlanta divorce process should be aware of how property is divided, how and when alimony is allocated, and the differences between legal and physical custody as well as how child support is calculated if they have children.
There is also the discovery process, which involves answering interrogatories, responding to a notice to produce, and appearing in depositions as well as various court dates for things such as temporary hearings and motions hearings dealing with discovery issues. Ultimately, the parties typically try to reach a settlement, otherwise, there would be a final trial where the judge or the jury decides what they end up receiving at the end.
Emotions make divorce a complicated process, and people who are emotionally distraught might do things that they otherwise would not. For example, an individual could try to hide assets, manipulate certain situations, manipulate the other party, or use their children as leverage or pawns in the divorce process. A common mistake that people make when they go through a divorce is letting their emotions get the best of them and not listening to their attorneys. People who let their emotions get the best of them tend to make poor decisions that can ultimately negatively affect their case.
Trusts can also impact the divorce process. For instance, a person may be a beneficiary of a trust set up by their parents or grandparents, or assets may be put in an irrevocable trust where they cannot be touched. These issues can have a huge impact on the outcome of the Atlanta divorce process.
Every divorce case in Atlanta begins as contested until the parties sign a settlement agreement or go to final trial. Parties to a divorce could go through all the discovery, multiple hearings, several depositions of both parties and non-parties in the case, fight all the way up to the day of trial, and subsequently settle the case, at which point it would become an uncontested case.
While an uncontested divorce might sound like a case where spouses agree on all the major issues, it can be much more complicated. Agreement between spouses can happen as early as the initial consultation where a party provides a sheet of paper with all the terms to which both parties agree, but it may take a little longer if spouses exchange ideas and proposals with opposing counsel. Both parties determine the final details, or the lawyers go back and forth and get the case resolved relatively quickly without having to do the formal discovery process.
The most common reason cited for divorce in Atlanta is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Georgia’s no-fault statute states that a marriage that is irretrievably broken has no chance of reconciliation. Usually, the spouses involved in a divorce have grown apart, do not communicate well any more, and decide that they no longer want to be married to each other.
Another common cause of divorce is infidelity, but claiming that as an actual cause of divorce can be difficult without the help of a seasoned lawyer.
Trends that lead to divorce in Atlanta may include habitual intoxication, cruel treatment, and abandonment. A person must disappear for 12 consecutive months with no contact whatsoever to qualify as abandonment.
The cost of a divorce depends on what the issues are and how much litigating needs to be done. Additionally, cost depends on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. For example, a contested divorce that involves children can be costly, but an uncontested one can be quick and inexpensive. Parties can also negotiate who is going to be ultimately responsible for paying attorney’s fees, but they usually agree to draw funds from the marital state.
A person’s assets are determined through the discovery process, including the exchange of bank statements, tax returns, company financials, and credit card statements.
It is an emotional time for the parties going through this process, and they should expect to answer questions during discovery and produce various documents or to deal with issues such as custody and child support. A final judgment decree issued after a trial or as part of a settlement grants a divorce to involved parties, and they are bound by its terms. For these reasons, people entering divorce litigation could benefit the guidance of a qualified lawyer who can explain what to know about the Atlanta divorce process. Call today to learn more.