Marriage is a blissful union, and no one anticipates a bitter divorce. However, divorce is a reality that many couples face, and it can be a traumatizing and depressing experience. The emotional and financial toll of divorce can be overwhelming, but having an experienced Bainbridge divorce lawyer can make the process smoother and preserve your sanity.
At Joe Durham PC, our skilled family attorneys understand the complexities of divorce and work tirelessly to ensure that our clients are not at a disadvantage. We have helped numerous clients navigate the divorce process, and choosing us is a wise decision for you and your family.
What Are Common Grounds For Seeking Divorce?
If you are contemplating divorce in Georgia, one of the first steps is to establish the grounds for the divorce. The grounds for divorce refer to the legal reasons that you will present to the court in support of your request for a divorce.
In Georgia, the divorce laws are no-fault based, and the most common grounds for divorce is citing “irreconcilable differences,” indicating that no one is to blame for the breakdown of the marriage.
Other common grounds for divorce include:
Under Georgia law, a person commits adultery when they engage in sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse. Even if both parties are separated, adultery can still be used as a grounds for divorce since they are still legally married.
Adultery can be proven through direct or circumstantial evidence unless it was conducted secretly, which can be challenging to prove. However, if a spouse had an affair in the past and was forgiven by their partner, adultery may not be a suitable ground for divorce. This is because the forgiven spouse can argue that their partner condoned their behavior, which is a defense to adultery.
If a spouse engages in behavior that poses a threat to your health and safety, you may have grounds for divorce. Domestic abuse can take many forms, including verbal and emotional abuse, physical abuse, and financial abuse. Financial abuse involves preventing the other party from accessing necessary financial resources.
If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse, it is essential to seek help from an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the legal process of obtaining a divorce and any necessary protective orders.
Permanent Mental Incapacitation
In Bainbridge, Georgia, divorce on the grounds of permanent mental incapacitation is allowed. This ground for divorce is based on a disability that hinders an individual’s ability to make independent legal decisions.
According to Georgia law, such decisions include the ability to sign contracts, execute wills, and even marry or divorce. A report from a qualified physician is required to prove permanent mental incapacitation, and a guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court to represent the interests of the incapacitated spouse.
If your spouse is struggling with drug addiction, you may be able to use this as a ground for divorce in Bainbridge, Georgia. However, you will need to provide evidence to the court to prove your spouse’s addiction. This may include documentation of their drug use or testimony from witnesses who can attest to their behavior.
Your divorce lawyer will assist you with consolidating these documents and preparing them for court proceedings.
How Is Custody Determined In Georgia, And What Are The Different Types?
In Georgia, the court considers the best interests of the child when making custody arrangements and both parents are considered equal. The court may grant joint legal or physical custody, or sole custody to one parent based on the child’s best interests.
How Is It Determined?
In Georgia, child custody is categorized into legal and physical custody. Legal custody grants the parent the right to make decisions on the child’s upbringing while physical custody determines where the child lives and how much time they spend with each parent.
Legal custody in Georgia pertains to decision-making authority for the child’s upbringing, including health, education, religion, and general welfare. This type of custody is independent of physical custody and allows the parent to make important decisions regarding the child’s growth, development, and overall well being.
In joint legal custody, both parents share equal rights and responsibilities for making crucial decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, including health, education, religion, and general welfare. However, if the parents cannot agree on a decision, one parent, known as the primary custodial parent, will make the final decision on the matter.
Physical custody pertains to where the child will live and is established by a parenting plan. It comes in two types: sole, where the child lives with one parent and visitation is scheduled for the other, and joint, where the child lives with both parents for a designated period.
Joint custody is preferred, but if it’s not feasible, the court will determine sole custody based on the child’s best interests. Children aged 11 and above can make a custody election, but the judge can overrule it if it’s not in the child’s best interests.
How Is Alimony Calculated In Georgia?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered payment from one spouse to another to help maintain their marital standard of living or ensure financial stability for the lower-earning spouse after divorce.
In Georgia, there is no specific formula to calculate alimony, unlike child custody. The judge will decide if alimony is necessary and determine the type, duration, and amount of payment based on the individual case. Adultery or desertion in the marriage is not a requirement for alimony, and the calculation will be on a case-by-case basis.
Why Do You Need An Attorney To Help With Your Divorce?
Hiring a divorce attorney is a smart decision if you have children and assets with your spouse. The process of divorce can be complicated, and an attorney can help you navigate it successfully. Divorce can also stir up overwhelming emotions that might lead to poor decisions based on hurt and anger. A divorce attorney will keep you focused and help you through the process.
The benefits of having a divorce lawyer include:
At Joe Durham PC, our experienced attorneys possess the legal knowledge and expertise necessary to help you navigate your divorce proceedings. We can assist you in obtaining favorable terms for asset division, child support, and child custody by providing competent representation and a thorough understanding of the law.
A divorce involves a lot of paperwork that can be overwhelming to handle alone. With a divorce attorney by your side, they can help you file the necessary paperwork correctly to prevent case dismissal and avoid mistakes that could negatively impact your case.
When it comes to marital estate issues, a divorce attorney can be an invaluable asset in negotiating for you. With their experience and knowledge of the law, they can work tirelessly to help you resolve the matter as efficiently as possible.
Provide Objective Advice
During a divorce, emotions can run high, and it’s easy to make hasty and regrettable decisions. Having a divorce lawyer by your side can provide guidance and advice on issues that may impact your future, including child custody and support matters.
Represent You In Court
In case your divorce case goes to court, a divorce attorney will provide legal representation and present your case in court.
How Do You File For Divorce In Georgia?
To file for a divorce in Georgia, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months. The filing must be done in the Superior Court of the county where either spouse resides. Filing fees are required and can be waived in cases of financial hardship.
How Long Does A Divorce Typically Take?
The timeline for finalizing a divorce in Georgia depends on the level of cooperation between spouses. If both parties agree on the divorce, it can be finalized in as little as 21 days after the paperwork is filed with the court. However, if one party is uncooperative, the process can take 46 to 60 days or longer if property or children are involved. Delays can also occur due to the court’s schedule.
Will I Have To Go To Court For A Divorce?
A divorce may not necessarily require a court hearing if both parties agree on the division of assets and custody. However, if the divorce is contested and an agreement cannot be reached, a court hearing will be necessary to resolve the dispute.
Contact Our Bainbridge Divorce Lawyers Today
If you’re considering divorce, the attorneys at Joe Durham PC are here to help. Our experienced team has successfully represented numerous clients in similar situations and can provide the guidance you need to navigate this complex legal process. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, please reach out to us today at 229-351-5320.