Georgia Divorce Attorneys
Marriage is all about merging two people’s lives together. You’ve spent years or even decades living as a combined family unit, so breaking it off and splitting that life in two can be messy to say the least.
A divorce is a challenging time for anyone. You and your ex-to-be need to come to agreements about dividing your property and assets, alimony or spousal support, debt distribution, and more. If you and your spouse have children it adds a whole new level of emotional stress because you want to secure the best possible future for yourself and your children. The legal process gets more complicated too as you will need to create a custody agreement that details custody and parenting time, authority over various decisions ahead, child support payments, and more.
Life-changing plans like these are difficult to make under normal circumstances, much less when you’re dealing with the emotional tension of your marriage ending. Our divorce attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience navigating our clients through the divorce process while keeping the process amicable and productive.
If you’re ready to file for divorce or if your spouse has already filed, call Oxendine Law to speak with an attorney who will make your case a top priority.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Georgia
Divorce laws have intricately formed and changed over the course of hundreds of years. Learn more about the divorce laws in Georgia below.
What’s the difference between an at-fault divorce and a no-fault divorce?
In an at-fault divorce, one spouse is telling the Court that their spouse is the one responsible for the marriage ending. However, most people who file choose the no-fault ground for divorce. This doesn’t hold either party liable for the end of the marriage. The marriage is declared to be irretrievably broken with no hope of reconciliation. Most divorces are processed as no fault divorces. If there are no challenging issues concerning equitable distribution of property, child custody or support, no-fault divorces typically reach a settlement faster. In fact, our divorce attorneys can often settle no-fault divorces through mediation or settlement negotiations without the need to appear in Court. For clients who have already reached an agreement on all outstanding issues, we can complete an uncontested divorce in as little as thirty-one days from the date of filing.
Am I a candidate for an at-fault divorce?
There are specific actions and behaviors your spouse must perform in order¬¬ for you to be eligible to file an at-fault divorce. The circumstances differ from state to state, but in Georgia, they include:
- Cruel treatment
- Habitual intoxication
- Habitual drug addiction
- Incurable mental illness
- Marriage between people who are related
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
- Impotence at the time of the marriage
- Using force, duress, or fraud to complete the marriage, such as threatening you with violence if you don’t marry them
- Pregnancy by a man other than the husband, unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage
- Conviction and imprisonment for two years or longer
- Desertion for the term of one year, such as if your spouse leaves
You must provide the grounds for the divorce when you file your complaint whether you choose an at-fault or no-fault divorce. In an at-fault divorce you’ll need to prove those grounds to the court during the case. This can be tricky to say the least, which is why it’s so important to hire an experienced attorney in order to get the end result you want.
My spouse and I have a high net worth. Does this complicate the proceedings?
Yes, it can make your divorce settlement more complex. This is especially true if your net worth is divided among a large number of accounts, types of assets, residential properties, and investments. In these situations, it’s important to speak with a divorce lawyer with an expertise in high asset divorces because you need advice from someone who has the intricate knowledge that is necessary to handle your financial situation.
I want a divorce, but I don’t even know where to start. What are my first steps?
Your first step should always be to contact a family lawyer who specializes in divorce. Our team can guide you through the process step-by-step. If you’re seeking a divorce, you will likely file a complaint in the county where your spouse lives, depending on certain circumstances. If your spouse previously lived with you but has been living outside of your home for less than six months, you may be required to file in the county where you reside. In our own hometown of Suwanee, GA, divorces are filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court.
The divorce complaint will include information about you and your spouse such as current living arrangements, children of the relationship, your financial requests regarding certain marital assets and debts, and the grounds for the divorce. A copy of the divorce complaint will be served to your spouse by the county sheriff, a process server, or someone else appointed by the court. This process is called “service” or “personal service” and must be completed accurately in order for your divorce to proceed.
Once served, your spouse has thirty days to file a written response to the complaint. They can contest the grounds for the divorce, or any other claims made in the complaint in the written response. After an answer or response is filed, you can begin negotiations to divide your assets and debts, decide your child custody arrangement, and settle the remaining issues in your divorce.