Georgia Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in Georgia

Georgia divorce laws have maintained for 13 grounds required for divorce. Among these grounds are adultery and cruel treatment. However, most divorces in Georgia are granted on the no-fault ground that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and without fault or wrongdoing. Additionally, one of the spouses must have resided in Georgia for at least 6 months prior to filing for a decree of divorce in Georgia.

Alimony & Equitable Distribution in Georgia

Georgia is known as an equitable distribution state. According to the divorce laws in Georgia this means that the marital property must be divided fairly or equitably, but not necessarily equally.

Alimony is granted not for the purpose of punishing or rewarding one spouse but to provide an adequate income for the spouse who has become economically dependent on the other. Either spouse then, can be awarded alimony. Such factors as the prior standard of living of the couple and the length of the marriage shall be considered when awarding alimony.

Georgia Child Support, Child Custody and Child Visitation

According to Georgia divorce law, custody of all children must be determined before a divorce will be granted. The parents may decide who receives custody of their children. If they are unable to come to an agreement the court will then resolve the matter. Such issues as the age and gender of the children, the relationship with the parents and which parents has been the primary caregiver will be considered. Additionally, the court must also take into account the wishes of the child regarding the primary residence if he or she is between the ages of 11 and 14. The non-custodial parent will usually be granted visitation rights. However, the parents may also decide upon visitation rights. If they cannot come to an agreement in advance the court will make a determination based upon the schedule for possession of minor children.

Child support is determined by the “child support guidelines” as set forth by divorce law in Georgia. Expect to pay child support until the age of 18 or when the child graduates from high school, whichever is later, but not past the age of 20.

SOURCE: Divorce Interactive

Team Divorce: Why Six Professionals Cost Less Than Two Lawyers

In the emerging field of collaborative law, there is an approach known as the Multi-Disciplinary Model. In essence, this model provides for a collaborative divorce team consisting of two lawyers, two divorce coaches, a child specialist and a financial advisor to assist the couple. Many people may scoff at this idea, especially since one of the goals of collaborative law is to reduce the amount of cost associated with divorce. But a closer look at the multi disciplinary approach helps explain why this team of six can be more cost effective than the traditional method of divorce.

The first thing to keep in mind is that divorce affects couples on many levels. There are financial, legal and emotional considerations and then there are issues involving children. In simple terms, a divorce is a multi task assignment. These tasks include not only reaching a legal division, but also the development of age-appropriate parenting plans, learning communication skills that will move spouses successfully along the road of co-parenting, moving away from the blame/shame cycle. The financial portion of a divorce can be complicated by uncertainty about the future, tax considerations, and different methods of structuring a financial settlement.

In the traditional model, lawyers are called upon to handle all of these tasks, which is impossible considering that lawyers are neither accountants, therapists or child specialists. As a result, the divorce becomes final but many issues often go unresolved. In a collaborative divorce, there are neither dueling lawyers nor dueling experts. The Collaborative Divorce model instead uses a collaborative team who provides containment for the couple as they go through the divorce transition. Within this model, clients are informed of their process choices, which includes the involvement of different professionals such as lawyers, mental health professionals who act as divorce coaches, mental health professionals who act as neutral child specialists, and neutral financial specialists.