Do you find it difficult to decide whether to stay married for your kids or file for divorce and face a long and troublesome custody trial? A discussion with a Georgia family law attorney may help. While you should not let anyone tell you what to do about your marital problems, finding out what consequences of each option will definitely aid you in your decision.
You already know what staying married means, and you are the only one who gets to decide if it is worth it. You probably feel it is time to get a divorce and start over, but you worry about how it would affect your children and your custody rights, and you might be wondering how to stay married for the kids.
Leaving the psychological impact your decision may have aside, you surely want to know where you stand from the legal point of view. The easiest way to find that out would be to consult a Georgia family law attorney. Until you decide to do that, it may help to take a closer look at what divorce, child custody, and alimony proceedings involve according to Georgia laws.
You will find all the laws referring to divorce and child custody grouped under Georgia Code Title 19 (Domestic Relations). It has 15 Chapters, each with its own sections. The ones you surely want to read refer to Divorce, Child Custody, and Alimony and Child Support, but, depending on your situation, all chapters may contain some useful information. Here is a brief guide to what the three most important chapters cover and what you should keep in mind if you’re not staying married for the kids and before filing for divorce:
Georgia Divorce Laws Basics
According to Georgia Code Title 19 Chapter 5, there are multiple grounds upon which you can file for divorce (no-fault, impotency, adultery, habitual intoxication, cruel treatment, etc.). In order to avoid unnecessary conflicts with your spouse, consider filing for a no-fault divorce. It will save you from the trouble of proving your divorce grounds and could simplify the process.
When the divorce is finalized, you will receive a Final Divorce Decree. The divorce decree will cover not only the end of your marriage and the division of your assets and debts, but also who gets child custody, who pays child support and alimony, in what amount, and whether the wife returns to her maiden name. It is often best to determine what is most important to you and try to negotiate a settlement with your spouse.
If you cannot reach one, you will most likely have to fight over the details in court, and it will most likely cost you time and money. Keep in mind that Georgia courts rarely grant divorces without a waiting period of 30 days, to give couples a chance to reconcile.
While the divorce is pending, you should not sell any marital property unless both parties have reached an agreement as to the sale of the marital property. If you rely on selling assets to cover your expenses or pay your attorney fees, try agreeing on their sale before the divorce with your spouse, or find the money you need elsewhere. Consider reaching an agreement regarding the division of all assets, to avoid unnecessary extension of the divorce process.
A Brief Guide to Georgia Child Custody Laws
In Georgia, the Court looks at what is in the best interest of the children when deciding custody and visitation. There are many factors that the court takes into consideration when determining what is in the children’s best interest.
When requesting child custody, both you and your spouse will have to come up with a parenting plan. It’s great if you can work one out together, but if not, you can each present your own to the Court for consideration.
As a general rule, if you want primary custody of your children, you need to show the court that remaining with you is in the children’s best interest. If you can and your situation allows it, you should try reaching an agreement with your spouse to come up with a parenting schedule that works best for not only both parents, but the children as well.
A Brief Guide to Georgia Alimony and Child Support Laws
According to Georgia Code Title 19 Chapter 6, depending on your grounds for divorce and your financial situation, you may be entitled to temporary or permanent alimony. The alimony amount will most likely be sufficient to cover the support of the children but will eliminate your spouse’s liability to third parties for necessities furnished to your children. Here is what the court takes into account when establishing the alimony amount:
- Living standard during your marriage
- Marriage duration
- The spouses’ age and physical and mental condition
- The time it takes to complete a training program and find employment
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial situation and earning capacity.
No matter the amount or duration, alimony payments cease automatically upon the beneficiary’s remarriage.
Get Advice on Divorce, Child Custody, and Alimony from an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Unfortunately, Georgia laws are quite intricate, and finding your way through them when dealing with the stress of a divorce and worrying about your children is not easy. Even if you learn them by heart, you could still use the advice of an experienced family law attorney to apply them to your particular situation and use their stipulations in your favor.
At Fennell, Briasco, & Associates, you will receive the advice you need from a compassionate, experienced, and dedicated Georgia family law attorney who understands what you are going through and will do everything in their power to help you. If you find yourself asking “should I stay married for the kids,” contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss all your options for divorce in Georgia. We are here to help you do what’s best for you and your children.