Filing for divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Even when the split is an amicable one, there is the emotional realization that life has not gone according to the plan you dreamed of. Moreover, marriage is also a business agreement, and extracting oneself from it involves taking stock of assets and debts and then dividing them. This adds up to countless decisions, some of which will have an impact on the family for years to come.
A knowledgeable family attorney can be a tremendous asset in walking a client through the process. They can help determine the value of assets, draft an equitable parenting plan, and negotiate the division of marital property, but the spouse will still need to be proactive throughout the process.
Common issues that need to be addressed
The needs of each family are different, but here are some general tips for making the process go more smoothly:
- Put the kids first: The welfare of the children should be the priority throughout the divorce process, so keep this in mind when negotiating.
- Avoid acting in anger: Emotions run high, but regrettable actions can make matters worse. Parents will likely need to work together for years after the divorce is final as they raise the children, and a good working relationship makes this much productive and better for the kids.
- Messy court battles are hard on families: Long drawn-out court battles put a lot of stress on the children and other family members.
- Understand how property division works: Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which is not the same as getting half.
- Do not move out until the divorce is finalized: Simply moving out with the kids before the divorce is final can lead to kidnapping charges and other problems.
- Put it in writing: Verbal agreements are a good starting point, but agreements are best enforced when they are put in writing.
Picking the right attorney
A spouse should decide what kind of divorce they would like and share those thoughts with their potential attorney during the initial consultation. Picking an attorney with a business-like demeanor that will get matters settled in a quick and effective manner may be the right fit for the client. If the other side appears more interested in a fight than a negotiation, then an experienced litigator may be a better fit. Some attorneys can do both, but they need direction on goals from the client.