Preparing for Your Divorce
Starting in January and continuing through March, attorneys see an uptick in the occurrence of divorce filings. Perhaps the holiday season pushed you to a final breaking point, or you were holding out on making a final decision for a couple of months until after the holidays passed.
If divorce is unavoidable and you find yourself among those filing for divorce this winter, you’re not alone. Even though you’re facing an emotional and stressful time, there are things you can do to give yourself more control and help the process to go a little smoother.
Here are some things you can do to ready yourself:
- Avoid social media: While it’s become second nature to post and share about everything, try to give social media a break before and during your divorce. Posts and pictures can be taken out of context and anything you share can be used against you in court, even well-meaning information. It will also be tempting to share details about your split or talk negatively about your ex, but choosing the high road will be more beneficial in the long run.
- Take care of yourself: To deal with the inevitable stress, find the help you need. Whether it be a divorce coach, an emotional therapist or escaping to a yoga class, take time away from your daily happenings to make yourself stronger and more confident. Taking time for yourself will leave you with a more positive mindset.
- Learn what you can: Educate yourself about the ins and outs of the process ahead of you and the proactive steps you’ll need to proceed with conviction. Having the information you need will empower you to make the right decisions going forward and give you the knowledge to take an active role in the process.
- Gather your financial information: Find and assemble your financial documents including pay stubs, tax returns, investment information, information about retirement accounts, credit card statements and any other relevant data. Find what you need to have the full picture of your finances.
While divorce can be an overwhelming process, being prepared can help you to navigate it more successfully. If you’ve resolved to move on, an experienced divorce attorney can advise you on the best course of action to ensure a reasonable and fair result.
Is it Possible to Fix Things?
Before we go any further, we have to ask the question: are you sure there is no chance for reconciliation?
The question is asked not knowing the unique characteristics of your situation. It’s possible that you cannot possibly live with your spouse any longer and need to move on. But if this is not a question of safety or other concerns, we have to ask you to consider the possibility of healing the wounds and continuing to live together.
Is it possible to fix things?
If the answer is yes, there are an abundance of professionals available that can help you, including marriage counselors.
If, however, you do not believe that it is possible to reconcile and continue your marriage, then we shall continue to explore the option of divorce.
Do You Need to Hire a Divorce Attorney?
Technically speaking, you do not need to hire a lawyer to represent you in divorce proceedings, and many choose to forgo legal representation. However, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney before proceeding with a divorce.
An attorney at our firm could help you decide whether retaining legal counsel is in your best interest. For example, a professional legal counsel could help you by anticipating certain issues regarding your estate, your child custody, a prenup, or other issues that you may think are well and taken care of to your benefit.
Additionally and more importantly, however, is that divorces can be incredibly difficult on you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and your family. Family law doesn’t get the credit but this is where some of the ugliest cases in the country unfold. While you may think that you are in control of your emotions, it’s possible that your spouse is not and that, in turn, could bring about changes in your character.
You are too close to this. You can hurt your chances of a favorable settlement by acting out or getting on the judge’s bad side. A lawyer, meanwhile, will act in your stead, carefully representing your interests in pursuit of the most satisfactory outcome possible.
Will This Be a Contested or Uncontested Divorce?
There are two main types of divorce in Georgia: contested or uncontested divorce. A contested divorce is like a battle of wills between two parties. In constant disagreement, the division of property will ultimately likely be decided by the lawyers and the judge overseeing the case.
An uncontested divorce (also known as a no-contest divorce), however, goes much more smoothly. It sees the two divorcing parties working together to dissolve their marriage and distribute property fairly between themselves.
An uncontested divorce is much cheaper and typically faster than a contested divorce will ever be.
Do You Have Children?
The children of a divorcing couple will be the court’s primary concern, and the court will always operate under the guidance of doing what they believe is in the children’s best interests.
When speaking of divorce, it is important to consider child support, custody, and visitation arrangements. The more cooperation you can get between all parties, the better. You do not want these decisions made by court officials.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
Georgia is not a no-fault state. Even if it is purely for legal reasons, some fault or cause must be established to file divorce papers.
Georgia’s grounds for divorce are as follows:
- Irreconcilable differences.
- Cruelty and abuse.
- Incurable mental illness.
- Intermarriage between cousins.
- A prison sentence of two or more years.
- Drug addiction.
- The woman is impregnated by a man other than her husband.
- Questions about the mental faculties of a spouse at the time of marriage.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Family Law Legal Team
Divorce is one of the most challenging life chapters that any of us may ever experience. You do not have to go down this long road alone, though. Please consider speaking with experienced divorce lawyers for legal guidance.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation. 404-418-7777