E. Noreen Banks-Ware
When you’re facing a divorce, it’s a time of great stress, especially if you weren’t the one who started the process. In fact, a study in 2015 found that women were more likely than men to initiate a divorce. For many men, being served with divorce papers may come as a shock. However, whether you are the one initiating a divorce or the one who was served with papers, it’s a process that is unsettling and can determine the shape of your new life moving forward.
If you are a man on the brink of divorce, it is natural to have concerns. There tend to be many misconceptions that the woman is the one who receives the assets, custody, and support. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC has extensive experience in divorce law and is ready to help you seek favorable results and peace of mind. Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact Noreen Banks-Ware for a consultation.
E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC proudly serves clients in Lithonia, Georgia, and the neighboring areas of Decatur, Conyers, Covington, McDonough, and Lawrenceville.
What You Need to Know About Divorce In Georgia
Like every state, Georgia permits no-fault divorce meaning that the spouse who is filing for divorce doesn't need to prove any specific fault on the part of the other spouse. However, in Georgia, there are 13 grounds (reasonable circumstances) for divorce, but only one of them is ‘no-fault’: an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To obtain a divorce on any of the other 12 grounds, including cruel treatment, habitual drug addiction, or adultery, you must prove the conduct or fault of the other person.
Because the grounds you choose can have an effect on divorce issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody, it’s important to reach out to a skilled divorce attorney right away. If you are a man who is going through the divorce process, it becomes even more urgent that you understand when (and if) gender plays a role in the court’s decision on these matters.
Divisions of Assets
Georgia is considered an “equitable distribution” state. However, “equitable” doesn’t always mean “equal.” In Georgia, the courts decide on property and asset distribution based on what is fair by taking into account a variety of factors, including:
- The current financial status of each spouse
- Earning potential for each spouse in the future
- Length of the marriage
- The health and age of each spouse
- The value of any separate property
- Each spouse’s general contribution to the marriage
The court’s role is to analyze the information without bias of gender. Of course, gender is a part of life, and it may be correlated, or related, to the outcome of the divorce process, but it is never the direct cause. For example, men are just as likely to receive the home as women.
Support & Parenting Plans
Much like asset division, support decisions and parenting plans are based on a set of factors that should be neutral and not gender-specific. Here’s what you need to know about these important aspects of divorce:
- Alimony - also known as ‘spousal support,’ it’s usually granted to a spouse who has been in a marriage for over 10 years. Alimony is based on the needs of the spouses and on their ability to pay — and not on gender.
- Child support - In Georgia, this is based on an income shares model. The court considers the combined income of both parents, the number of children involved, as well as other applicable factors. Gender stereotypes play no part in the court’s ruling.
- Child custody - Georgia grants custody of children based on what is in the best interest of the child, regardless of gender. Factors include the stability of each parent, their ability to provide for the child, and their existing relationship with the child.
Georgia courts may also take a spouse’s misconduct into consideration. For example, a judge may reduce or even deny alimony for a spouse who otherwise qualifies but committed adultery during the marriage. Likewise, when considering child custody, a court would consider any record of domestic violence or criminal record of a spouse.
Divorce Attorney Serving Lithonia
A highly skilled legal advocate will guide you through the divorce process and explain your options along the way. Attorney Banks-Ware will help you fight for your rights and your family. Regardless of your gender, you deserve to have a promising next chapter of your life. Serving the Atlanta Metro area, attorney Banks-Ware has over thirty years of experience in family law and divorce. Contact her office in Lithonia, Georgia, to schedule a consultation today.