Divorce is a prevalent occurrence nationwide, but unfortunately, it’s seldom an effortless process. The procedure usually involves numerous hurdles that have an impact on all family members.
Even when both parties agree to the separation, several matters still require resolution. Therefore, obtaining the best possible divorce lawyer is critical if you’re seeking a divorce.
A divorce attorney in Macon, Ga. can assist you in various aspects of your divorce, such as streamlining the divorce process, negotiating custody agreements, and addressing alimony concerns.
They can also provide you with valuable information and advice, allowing you to make informed decisions about your family’s future.
Additionally, having a skilled lawyer to advocate for your rights is crucial, as navigating the legal system alone can be challenging. Without proper representation, it may be challenging to protect your interests and achieve a favorable outcome.
Before hiring a divorce lawyer, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research. Failing to obtain the best attorney for your case could put you at a disadvantage.
Take the time to review a potential lawyer’s prior cases to evaluate their competence, and base your decision on your findings.
What Are the Common Grounds for Seeking Divorce and Can Divorce Attorneys Macon GA Help?
When entering into marriage, no one anticipates the possibility of ending the union. However, circumstances can arise that lead to separation. According to Georgia law, the following are grounds for divorce:
In marriage, fidelity is expected unless the couple is separated. If your spouse commits adultery and you have evidence, it can be a valid reason for pursuing a divorce. You can provide the evidence to your divorce attorney, who can advise you on the appropriate course of action.
If your spouse is physically or verbally abusive towards you or your children, it is a valid reason to seek a divorce. Your lawyer can assist you in finding a safe place to reside during the proceedings. However, it’s crucial to have concrete evidence of the abuse as hearsay may not be admissible.
Permanent Mental Incapacitation
In the event that your spouse becomes permanently mentally ill, you may pursue a divorce. However, the court will require evidence, such as a comprehensive diagnosis and a doctor’s report, to substantiate the claim. With the assistance of your attorney, you can present the necessary information to justify the need for a divorce. If everything is in order, the court may grant your request.
In cases where your spouse becomes a habitual drug user and all efforts to help them have failed, you can also file for divorce. It’s essential to consult with your attorney regarding the matter, as they can advise you on the best course of action. Your lawyer can help you navigate the legal system.
Pregnancy by another Man
In the event that a husband discovers that his wife became pregnant by another man after their marriage, he can file for divorce. Your divorce attorney can assist you with the necessary details and evidence needed to support your claim and obtain a divorce. It’s important to work closely with your attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is handled appropriately.
Child Custody and What Divorce Lawyer Macon Can Do for You
Out-of-court custody arrangements can be made if both parents agree on how to share responsibility for their children. However, it’s not always feasible, and a court hearing may be necessary. The court will typically have to determine two types of custody, which include:
Legal custody refers to the parent(s) who have the right to make decisions regarding their child’s well-being. This can be granted solely to one parent or shared equally between both parents. The parent(s) with legal custody have the authority to make decisions about their child’s education, religion, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.
In cases where the court grants joint custody, a mechanism is put in place to determine who has the final say on specific matters. This is to prevent disputes that could adversely affect the child. For instance, one parent may be given the final say on education matters, while the other has the final say on healthcare issues.
Physical custody determines which parent the child will live with primarily. It’s important to note that physical custody doesn’t automatically grant legal custody to the parent with whom the child lives. The court determines physical custody based on the environment that is deemed most conducive to the child’s well-being.
In Georgia, children who are 11 years old may express their preference regarding where they feel most comfortable living. However, the judge has the final say, and the child may not necessarily live with the parent of their choice.
When children are 14 years or older, their preference is often given more weight, as they are considered more mature. During physical custody negotiations, the visitation rights of the other parent are also discussed.
What Factors Determine Custody?
When determining custody, the court always prioritizes the child’s best interest. This means that the decision should not only benefit the parents but primarily focus on the child’s welfare. Sometimes, the court may appoint a custody evaluator to assist in the decision-making process.
The evaluator assesses both parents and their respective environments to determine what is in the child’s best interest. However, the judge can choose not to follow the evaluator’s recommendations. The following are some of the factors that the judge considers when determining the child’s best interest:
- The suitability of the physical environment in each parent’s home for the child’s development
- Each parent’s ability to provide the child’s basic needs, including shelter, clothing, medical care, and food
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The degree of parental involvement in the child’s life, such as participation in school activities
- The ability of each parent to spend quality time with the child and develop a healthy relationship
- Any previous criminal record or history of drug and alcohol abuse
When deciding custody, the parenting plan is also a crucial factor to consider. Whether or not the parents have agreed on the child’s care, they must have a parenting plan in place. They can submit separate plans or a joint one.
The parenting plan should outline each parent’s responsibilities, including how they plan to divide the child’s time. Additionally, the plan should indicate the extent of each parent’s decision-making power regarding important matters.
How Does the Court Determine Alimony?
Alimony is a set amount of money that one spouse pays to the other for a defined period. Contrary to popular belief, alimony is not exclusively awarded to wives, as husbands can also receive it.
Alimony serves as a means of ensuring fairness during and after a divorce. It is paid to the spouse who earns less or has no income, providing them with the resources to transition to an independent life. When deciding who should receive alimony, the following factors are considered:
- The income, assets, and debts of each spouse
- The age, health, and emotional well-being of each spouse
- The contributions made by each spouse to the marriage and family as a whole
- The duration of the marriage
Alimony can be awarded as either temporary or permanent support. Temporary maintenance is only awarded for a specific period, and payments are made regularly during this time, such as on a monthly basis.
In some rare cases, the court may order a one-time lump sum payment instead. Although uncommon, it is still a possibility.
Permanent alimony is infrequently awarded by judges, as it’s assumed that each spouse should be able to support themselves after the divorce. However, in cases where a spouse is unable to take care of themselves due to factors such as advanced age, illness, or a lack of qualifications, permanent alimony may be awarded.
Couples may also choose to negotiate the amount and duration of alimony payments independently. It’s recommended to have a skilled divorce attorney to represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you receive a fair and reasonable alimony package.
Why Do You Need a Macon Divorce Attorney to Help with Your Divorce?
While it’s possible to proceed with a divorce without a lawyer, having one can provide numerous benefits. A divorce lawyer can help you achieve your desired outcome in the situation. Here are several reasons why you should consider hiring an experienced divorce attorney:
Reduced Stress Levels
Divorce can be a lengthy and stressful process to manage on your own. It involves a considerable amount of paperwork, court appearances, and daily responsibilities. Handling everything on your own can be overwhelming, but with an experienced divorce attorney, you can alleviate some of the stress. By providing your attorney with the necessary information, they can manage much of the process on your behalf, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life.
To Ensure a Desirable Outcome
Divorces can be straightforward when finances and children are not in dispute. However, when these issues arise, both parties may fight for what they want. An experienced divorce lawyer can help ease the burden by advocating for your needs. They can develop strategies to ensure that court rulings are made in the best interest of you and your children.
Additionally, if you find it challenging to articulate your needs in court, your lawyer can speak on your behalf to help you obtain a favorable outcome.
Giving Advice and Direction
If this is your first divorce, there is plenty that you may not know about the process. That is where an attorney comes in and will save you a lot. He will give you direction on what is required and how you should conduct yourself. If there are any visitations to your home to determine eligibility for physical custody, he will advise on what you need.
During the divorcing process, anything small that you do could get you into trouble. However, with your divorce attorney present, he can advise on how to avoid that from happening. In case of any problem, he is the best person to help you.
Fear of Domestic Violence
If you are seeking a divorce due to spousal abuse during your marriage, it’s crucial to have a skilled attorney on your side. Your attorney can ensure that you and your children have a safe place to stay while the divorce process is ongoing.
They can also assist you in filing a restraining order against your spouse, providing an additional layer of protection. Furthermore, your attorney can help you seek justice for the abuse you’ve suffered, ensuring that you receive the compensation and support you deserve.
Call Joe Durham P.C for a Consultation on Your Case and a Plan for the Way Forward
Going through a difficult divorce can be an overwhelming and emotionally taxing experience. However, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone.
At Joe Durham P.C., we offer the best legal support possible to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome.
Our experienced attorneys in Macon have helped numerous clients in similar situations, and we’re confident that we can do the same for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let us develop a plan to assist you during this difficult time.