Divorce is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. When you are informed and well prepared for filing for divorce and child custody thing go more smoothly. While there may be many uncertainties when it comes to the emotional ramifications for the parties divorcing, as well as for the children, you should be armed with the right legal assistance to make the process as smooth as possible.
Here are some important facts you need to know about filing for divorce and child custody in Georgia:
Georgia is a No-Fault State
Georgia allows for no-fault divorces. This means that either spouse can file for divorce without having to show the other party did something wrong. Although Georgia is a no-fault state, the party initiating the divorce must still identify the grounds for the divorce. In Georgia, there are thirteen different grounds for divorce to choose from when filing. One of the grounds for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievable. This is the no-fault ground for divorce. Other grounds for divorce include reasons such as adultery, cruel treatment, mental incapacity, drug addiction, desertion by one of the spouses for a minimum of one year, among others.
To file for divorce in Georgia, one of the parties must have resided in Georgia for six months. This is even required if one of the parties moved out of the state. If one person has lived there for six months, that person can file for divorce in the state.
Depending on the complexities of the case, the minimum waiting period is 30 days in Georgia. However, it typically takes significantly longer.
Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that any property acquired during the marriage will be divided fairly during the divorce. The court does not differentiate whose name is on the title. The court will divide marital assets and debts equitably—not necessarily equally.
What You Need to Know about the Top Concern in Most Divorces: Child Custody
Like all states, Georgia courts begin divorce proceedings with the presumption that it is in the best interests of the child to have continuous, frequent contact with both parents following a divorce. Prior to arriving at a child custody hearing, it is important for you to craft a parenting plan that outlines details, including but not limited to:
A schedule for the child’s time with each parent with an outline making clear who the child will spend time with for each day of the year.
A proposal for transportation arrangements and drop-off points when a child leaves one parent to visit the other.
An agreement about how a parent may contact a child when that child is in the other parent’s care.
During the custody proceedings, the court will act with your child’s best interests in mind and will take into consideration the points made by both parents, also considering carefully your child’s health, safety and comfort. After the court awards custody, this decision cannot be changed unless there’s a significant change in family circumstance.
While beginning the process of filing for divorce and child custody may be overwhelming, you do not have to go through it alone. At the Reeder Law Firm, our divorce attorneys have supported parents going through divorce and child custody for almost 25 years. Because of the intricacies of the law and your unique situation, you should consider speaking with one of our family law attorneys to get the support and solid legal advice you need.
You don’t have to find answers about filing for divorce and child custody on your own. Call (770) 475-2521 to contact the Reeder Law Firm now, and get help.