Questions and Answers

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Click on the question for the answer below:

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Georgia?

How Long Will It Take To Get Divorced?

How Long Do I Need To Be Separated To Get A Divorce?

Can I Date While I Am Separated?

Who Will Pay The Family Expenses Until The Divorce Becomes Final?

Do I Have To Go To Court?

How Will Custody Of The Children Be Determined?

How Will Child Support Be Determined?

How Will Our Property Be Divided?

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Georgia?
There are many personal reasons for seeking a divorce. However, for legal purposes, most of these reasons fall under certain standardized categories or conditions. There are 13 conditions which constitute grounds, or justification, for divorce in Georgia. Some are more common than other, but all are recognized by law.

The marriage is irretrievably broken

Cruel treatment consisting of willful infliction of pain, bodily or emotional, by one party upon the other, which reasonably justifies fear or danger to life, limb or health.

Adultery by either of the parties after marriage

Habitual intoxication

Habitual mental illness

The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, for which he or she is sentenced to imprisonment for two years or longer.

Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for a period of one year.

Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of relationship

Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage.

Impotency at the time of marriage

Force, menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage

Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than her husband at the time of marriage, unknown to the husband. Back to top.

How Long Will It Take To Get Divorced?

Divorce is a civil lawsuit which begins with the filing of a complaint by either spouse. Getting divorced could take as few as 31 days after the complaint is served, if you and your spouse agree within that time on all terms of settlement, which may include alimony, child support, property division, child custody and visitation, and other issues. Otherwise, it could take quite a bit longer depending upon your individual situation. Back to top.

How Long Do I Need To Be Separated To Get A Divorce?
There is no requirement that you must be separated for any particular amount of time, but, before a complaint is filed, you and your spouse must be separated. Separation requires a termination of marital relations between a husband and wife. It does not require the husband and wife live in separate residences. Back to top.

Can I Date While I Am Separated?
Generally, no. Your spouse might have an investigator watching you, and you do not want to provide any “ammunition” which can be used against you. Further, your date could be put in the embarrassing position of being called as a witness in the divorce action. In addition, if you have children living with you, it may have a adverse effect on them. Back to top.

Who Will Pay The Family Expenses Until The Divorce Becomes Final?
You and your spouse may agree upon how to handle on-going family expenses until the divorce is final. Otherwise, the court may hold a hearing to determine what the temporary financial needs of each party are and how they will be met. At the temporary hearing, which both parties attend, the court may award one party temporary alimony and/or child support as well as other expenses. Back to top.

Do I Have To Go To Court?
If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on division of property, child support, payment of debts, alimony and other relevant issues, your agreement will be presented to a judge at the time your divorce becomes final. In most counties with an agreement acceptable to the Judge a court appearance will not be required by either party but some counties (Chatham is an example) still require an appearance but even in those rare situations only the party who files the complaint will have to be present in court. If you and your spouse are unable to each an agreement, a trial will be held before a judge, or if either party requests it, before a jury, and both parties should be present in court. Your lawyer will advise you prior to this appearance date in court and will work with you to make it as comfortable as possible for you. Back to top.

How Will Custody Of The Children Be Determined?
Custody of the minor children will be determined according to the children’s best interest. The court may award custody to either parent, both parents or to a third party. Generally, the non-custodial parent will be awarded rights of visitation. Once a child reaches 11 years of age, the court may consider the child’s preference as to the parent with whom he or she wishes to live, and upon the child reaching 14 years of age, such election becomes presumptive, subject to the court’s determination as to the best interest of the child. Back to top.

How Will Child Support Be Determined?
Effective January 1, 2007, Georgia adopted new statutory guidelines for determining child support. The general concept of the guidelines is that parents have a shared responsibility to support their children until each child is eighteen (18) years old, graduates from high school, dies, marries or is otherwise emancipated. The guidelines require a calculation of child support based on the number of children for whom support is being paid and the income of both parents. Generally, each parent’s child support obligation is based upon their pro rata share of the parties’ combined income taking into account certain expenses related to the children and which parent pays them, including health insurance, child care necessary for a parent’s employment, extraordinary medical expenses, private school and others which vary on a case by case basis. Back to top.

How Will Our Property Be Divided?
Property acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage, whether titled in the name of one or both of you, is marital property and is subject to equitable division by the court.

For the most part, property acquired by either party before the marriage or by gift or inheritance before or during the marriage will remain the separate property of that spouse.

In deciding how to equitably divide marital property, a court may take into account the separate estate of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage, the practice and custom of the parties with reference to their individual incomes and other relevant factors which the court regards as fair and proper to consider.

Equitable division does not necessarily divide the property equally between the parties. Back to top.

DAVID LEBOWSKI
ATTORNEY AT LAW

P.O.BOX 2073
308 Tribble Gap Rd.
Cumming Ga. 30028
Phone 770-844-1142   Fax 866-207-8057

Cumming Divorce Attorney
Divorce Attorney serving North Georgia