Most parties filing for divorce want to get the process over with as soon as possible. If you’d rather move on with your life quickly, you may wonder if hiring a divorce attorney in Albany is necessary. In Georgia, you’re not legally required to have a lawyer represent you during a divorce. You can represent yourself. However, this doesn’t mean you should. Most individuals going through a divorce or even considering it should seek legal advice. There’s a lot that may affect your case that you may not be aware of if you don’t have legal training.
If you were only married for a short period and there are no assets or children involved, you may be able to handle things yourself. If you willingly relinquish your right to spousal support and other benefits, you may just need to fill out the paperwork. However, if there are assets to be divided and minor children are involved, representing yourself isn’t a good idea. You could lose more than the cost of hiring a divorce attorney in Albany. Let’s look more closely at getting a divorce in Georgia.
Grounds for Divorce in Georgia
Like most states, Georgia accepts both traditional fault-based grounds for divorce as well as no-fault grounds. Fault-based grounds include:
- Obtaining the marriage through force, duress or fraud
- Desertion for a year or more
- Imprisonment for more than two years for an offense of moral turpitude
- Drug addiction or habitual intoxication
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable mental illness
If you chose to use one of these grounds, you will have to present the court with proof. This makes the divorce complex. Some parties still opt to go this route. They believe the divorce is more likely to go in their favor if they can show their spouse did something wrong. However, in the interest of speeding up the divorce, people in Georgia often opt for a no-fault divorce. In this case, there is no need to prove anything. You simply need to say the marriage is irretrievably broken in the Petition for Divorce. If you consult an attorney, they will advise you on the best course of action.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
If your divorce is uncontested, it will be pretty simple. Uncontested divorces are those which neither party is fighting. Both agree to the divorce and there are no disputes over alimony or child custody. If this is your situation, you can file the paperwork in the court, have your former partner served, and then represent yourself in court. This is doable but if you hire an attorney, they will take care of all this.
They will ensure the paperwork is filled out correctly and that the divorce moves forward as it should. If there are children involved, there are additional documents that need to be filled out. If these aren’t done properly, you may have to return to the court to get them sorted out. This could delay the finalization of the divorce.
If you’re reluctant to get an Albany divorce lawyer because of the cost involved, you need not worry. Attorney fees in uncontested divorces tend to be quite reasonable. If you hire a lawyer, you would be able to focus on other aspects of your life. The divorce won’t consume you any more than it has to.
Generally, it’s best to hire a lawyer if there are substantial assets or children involved. This applies even if the divorce is uncontested. An experienced lawyer can give advice on a range of issues including tax matters. This would help you to save money and, therefore, justify the cost of hiring an attorney.
If the divorce is contested, hiring an attorney is highly recommended. The process can be very complicated. If you don’t follow the correct procedures, you may end up with a less than satisfactory outcome. Having a lawyer on your side helps to ensure you’re treated fairly and your rights are protected.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Albany at Joe Durham Jr. P.C.
As with all legal matters, it’s best to hire a lawyer to represent you during a divorce. Even though opting to represent yourself may save you money in the short-term, it could be detrimental in the end. If there are assets to be divided or children you still need to raise, you shouldn’t take chances. The best way to ensure you get a fair, satisfactory outcome is to work with a law firm in Albany that handles divorce cases. Call the attorneys at Joe Durham Jr. P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation.