Making the decision to divorce is one that isn’t made lightly. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made without full consideration of your options and a thorough understanding of the process, either. In this post, we’ll walk you through five common elements of the divorce process in Georgia.
Of course, every divorce case will differ slightly due to individual circumstances. If you would like to speak with an experienced Atlanta divorce attorney who will help you understand what to expect and put your needs first, contact Fairell Roy & Associates to schedule a consultation.
Five Things to Expect When Filing for Divorce
Meeting With a Divorce Attorney
Many people do not meet with a divorce attorney before filing, but we recommend starting here to get a better understanding of your options. You should also use this opportunity to determine if the attorney with whom you meet is a good fit for you, both personally and professionally. Divorce is often a stressful time in your life, and finding a competent, compassionate, and empathetic attorney can make a world of difference.
At Fairell Roy & Associates, we’ll explain the many ways in which we can help you and help you understand which of the following state-recognized grounds for divorce you qualify for:
- No-fault (irretrievably broken marriage)
- Willful abandonment or desertion
- Physical or mental abuse (cruel treatment)
- Drug addiction and alcohol abuse
- Incurable mental illness
Filing divorce papers is the first official step in the process. If you choose to work with our family law firm, we’ll help you file a Complaint for Divorce form, which formally states the reason for your divorce and aspects of your case that you would like the court to address. Asset division, custody and child support, and spousal support are four common inclusions.
The decision to file for divorce before your spouse can come with a few benefits, including more time to prepare and a lower risk of your spouse concealing assets from you. Read our post about asset concealment to learn more.
Serving Your Forms
You will need to provide your spouse with a copy of the paperwork you obtained in the previous step. This is known as “serving,” and it provides your spouse with the information they need to respond to your request. They will have 30 to respond to your request.
You will need to disclose your financial information before your assets can be evaluated and divided. Expect to catalog all of your assets, debts, expenses, and sources of income. You will also need to have information about when debt was incurred, which assets you owned before the marriage, and which assets were acquired or purchased during the marriage.
You can prepare for this part of the divorce process by obtaining:
- Pay stubs
- State and federal income tax returns
- Mortgage documents
- Vehicle information
- Investment account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Credit card statements
- Life insurance policy statements
A divorce attorney will help you determine which financial documents will be relevant in your case and help you gather the information you need.
Creating a Parenting Plan
Child custody and child support are two of the most difficult aspects of the divorce process. Ideally, you will work collaboratively with your spouse to come to an agreement about who gets custody and when, as well as how the costs of raising a child will be divided. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with emotions given the sensitive and high-stakes nature of these decisions, and many divorcing couples simply aren’t able to come to an agreement on their own. A divorce attorney can act as an objective third party and negotiate on your behalf, protecting you from damaging your base by acting on intense emotions in the heat of the moment.
Contact an Atlanta Divorce Attorney
As you can see from everything discussed in this post, filing for divorce entails so much more than simply filling out a few forms and moving out of your marital home. Divorce entails a significant amount of paperwork and coordination between you and your spouse, which may not be possible or emotionally healthy for you in your specific circumstances.
At Fairell Roy & Associates, we firmly believe that consulting with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible is always in your interests. We take the time to get to know our clients and their specific circumstances so that we can explain what to expect throughout the entire process. If you choose to work with us, you can count on constant support, prompt communication, and aggressive negotiation that puts your interests first.
Divorce is a significant change in your life, but the process doesn’t have to be an undue source of hardship on top of everything else you’re experiencing. Let our experienced team of family lawyers handle your case and fight for the fair and equitable resolution you deserve.