Going through a divorce is a painful experience fraught with difficult emotions that can make it difficult to think clearly. Nonetheless, it is crucial to protect your interests and your family. With the help of a compassionate, assertive divorce lawyer, you can better navigate the divorce process and plan for the next chapter in your life.
E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC is a premier family law practice serving clients in Dekalb, Metro Atlanta, and throughout the state of Georgia. Attorney Banks-Ware is highly experienced at handling highly contested divorces, divorce mediation, and collaborative divorce. Whether your divorce is resolved through litigation or mediation, you will receive the advice and support you need, and the personal attention you deserve.
Divorce in Dekalb County, Georgia
Although there are a number of fault-based grounds for divorce in Georgia — cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, and adultery — a no-fault divorce is typically granted when there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Before a court will grant a no-fault divorce, however, the spouses must reach an agreement on key issues such as the division of property, child custody, visitation (parenting time), and child support.
Division of Property
In a divorce, marital property, such as the family home, bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, businesses, and debts must be divided according to Georgia’s rules of equitable distribution. This does not mean the marital property will be divided evenly, but in a way that is fair and reasonable. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement or do not have a prenuptial agreement in place, the court will intervene to make a determination on the division of marital property.
Commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support is typically granted to a spouse who has been in a long-term marriage (over 10 years). Generally, spousal support is based on the needs of one spouse and the other’s ability to pay and there are two types of support:
- Temporary Spousal Support — May be awarded while a divorce case is pending, or for a short period of time after the divorce is finalized
- Permanent Spousal Support — Granted for an indefinite period of time, until the receiving spouse is able to earn sufficient income, remarried, or modified by the court
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a determination based on factors such as each spouse’s income, the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the present and future earning capacity of each party, and a spouse’s need for further education or training to earn a living.
In any event, there is no guarantee that spousal support may be granted. First, the term permanent support is somewhat misleading since it is common for the court to grant support payments for a specific number of years. Moreover, in a fault-based divorce, based for instance on proven adultery, the unfaithful spouse may be barred from receiving support.