What to Do When Considering Divorce in Georgia
When considering divorce in Georgia, there are a few specific things you will want to do before you file any documents with the court. By addressing some issues prior to filing, you may find that the process of divorce is easier and less stressful. It is also important that you protect yourself, because not every divorce is amicable. If you and your spouse do not agree on finances, custody of children, and other concerns, you may find that defending yourself is a big part of the process.
Things to Consider When Divorcing in Georgia
General Georgia Law
Georgia is an “equitable distribution state” meaning, any property (assets and liabilities) acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to equitable division in a divorce action. However, any property that was brought into the marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce action.
Take Account of Your Finances and Debt
Understand where you are financially. To accomplish this, you should take inventory of all assets and liabilities held by you and your spouse, both jointly and separately. Assets are anything of value that is owned such as personal or real property, any checking or saving accounts, retirement accounts, 401Ks, IRAs, stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, etc. When you are considering divorce, you also want to look at you and your spouse’s liabilities, such as the mortgage on your home, any automobile loans, personal loans, student loans, credit card debts, medical bills, etc. When considering divorce, you should begin gathering supporting documentation for all assets and liabilities including documents showing your income such as your W2s and tax returns, so you easily can provide them to your attorney.
Consider Potential Child Custody Arrangements
If you and your spouse have any minor children together, custody is a major area you will need to consider. Children do not always have the option to choose which parent they want to live with, especially if they are very young. It is also very possible that you and your spouse may not agree on where the children are going to live, who pays child support, and related issues. With that in mind, considering potential custody arrangements is an important part of figuring out how to handle your divorce more easily.
Determine If You Will File First
There is no major advantage to filing first besides the element of “surprise” if your spouse is not expecting the divorce. You do not gain anything in the sense of being more likely to get custody of the minor children or get additional child support or spousal support if you are the first one to file. What you can do, though, is request that the court issue a “Standing Order,” which essentially prohibits either spouse from making any changes, financial or otherwise, that will affect you in any way until the divorce is complete. For example, spouse will be prohibited from removing funds from the bank, close accounts, sell any property, or remove furniture from the home, remove children from the jurisdiction, etc. once the court issues a “Standing Order” in your case.
Consult A Georgia Divorce & Family Law Attorney
Remember, if you are considering divorce, you want to find a Georgia divorce and family law attorney who can help you with the process. That way, you can get your questions answered and make sure you are on the right path toward protecting yourself, your children, and your financial assets as much as possible. Divorce is not often an easy process, although some divorces are very amicable. But there are a lot of couples who have trouble agreeing on areas of life that a judge may have to decide for them.
Having the right attorney on your side is one of the best ways for you to feel more confident with your divorce. Having strong legal counsel will afford you peace of mind. While assisting you in navigating the divorce process, strong legal representation will counsel you on your options in the divorce and will advocate on your behalf in getting the result you desire. Reaching out for legal help when considering divorce is the most important step you should take.
When you’re ready to start the conversation, contact our team to find a divorce attorney near you.