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Best Options For Settling Divorce In Georgia

Divorce & Custody Matters In GeorgiaWhat Is Considered Abandonment In A Georgia Divorce

The best option for settling a divorce or custody issue is mediation. Mediation works very well if you want to settle your case out of court. Sometimes with negotiations, parties choose to speak only through their attorneys because they feel too strongly about the issues and are very emotional. The mediator helps bring a dose of calmness and reality to discussions.

Attorney Nancy Burnett finds mediation very helpful. Along with mediation, she advises that having the right attitude helps your case. If you’re going into negotiations or mediation, you need to realize you’re not going to get everything you want. You can work to get the best deal possible, but don’t assume that you’ll get everything you want.

How Much Does Divorce Cost In Georgia?

Divorce cost in Georgia varies depending on factors such as whether the divorce is contested, how complex the case is, whether you hire an attorney (and how much their rate is), and court fees. However, it is safe to say that the brunt of your costs will come from hiring a divorce lawyer.

According to lawyers.com, Georgia divorce lawyers charge between $250 and $300 per hour on average. That comes out to $10,500 to $12,700 in total for a divorce on average. Another study claims the cost ranges from $3700 to upwards of $21,000 on average. This amount significantly decreases when there are not any contested issues, however. Even if you and your spouse settle but hire a mediator, you may pay a similar amount, as most mediators charge similar hourly rates as lawyers do.

Filing necessary documents is relatively inexpensive by comparison, generally only between $200 and $220. The amount you will have to pay depends on your county, however.

How Is Money Divided In A Divorce In Georgia?

Many ask, “How is money divided in a divorce in Georgia?” The answer is not as complicated as you may think.

Georgia is an equitable distribution state. Generally, marital property, which includes assets acquired during the marriage, is divided equally unless the court determines that an equal division would be unfair or unjust. Factors such as the length of the marriage, each party’s financial situation, and their financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage are considered when dividing assets.

The court can be manipulated when conducting its evaluation of marital property. Some spouses may attempt to hide assets or property to make it seem like they have less than they do to be awarded a higher portion of the marital property. Partnering with a divorce lawyer may be the best way to ensure your situation is evaluated fairly.

Separate property, or property you had before entering the marriage, is not divided. However, there are some exceptions to this. An example is inherited property specifically willed to one spouse.

What Is A Wife Entitled To In A Divorce In Georgia?

As stated, both spouses’ financial situation and non-financial contributions are considered when marital property is evaluated. As such, both husband and wife have an equal right to the marital property regardless of who earned the income or whose name is on the title. This includes assets such as real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investments. Additionally, spousal support or alimony may be awarded to one party based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each party’s earning potential, and their contributions to the marriage.

Are Divorce Settlements Public Record?

In Georgia, divorce proceedings are considered public record and can be accessed by anyone through the Georgia Department of Public Health or other means. In fact, all court proceedings, including divorce cases, are regarded as public record by default. This means the details of your divorce will be available to the public unless you take specific steps to keep them confidential.

If you prefer to keep your divorce records private, there are some ways to do so. You can settle your divorce without going to court or seal your records. These may be difficult to do in some circumstances, however. Sealing your records is highly unlikely to be accomplished on your own and will require partnering with a lawyer.

Is Divorce Settlement Taxable?

Generally, money or property received due to a divorce is not taxable. It is essential to consult with a tax professional or divorce lawyer to understand the tax implications of your particular situation, however.

Per the Internal Revenue Code, a transfer of property to a former spouse related to divorce does not generally result in any gain or loss recognition. Put more simply, the recipient spouse does not have to pay taxes on the assets received, and the spouse transferring the asset does not have to report any losses. A transfer of property is considered an incident to divorce if it happens within one year after the marriage ceases or is related to the end of the marriage, as stated in I.R.C. § 1041(a).

Suppose a retirement account is divided through a court order or qualified domestic relations order during a divorce. In that case, the funds received by the recipient are not considered taxable income. This assumes they remain in the recipient’s retirement account. However, if the funds are withdrawn to be directly distributed to the recipient, they qualify as taxable.

Typically, the fees paid to an attorney for legal representation are not eligible for a tax deduction. However, the fees paid for income or estate tax advice may be eligible for a tax deduction. Additionally, fees paid for determining the appropriate alimony amount or collecting alimony may also be tax deductible.

What Generally Leads Divorce & Custody Cases Into Litigation?

People with hurt feelings and a strong desire to be heard generally lead divorce or custody cases to litigation. Attorney Nancy Burnett has seen many instances where a person went through with litigation for no good reason. Sometimes, only after the client has testified in court are they ready to settle the case. At this point, you realize that they just wanted to be heard.

And then, some people bring their case to litigation because their feelings are hurt, and they want the judge to validate their right to hurt feelings. But, still, litigation is not about having your feelings validated – and it’s not really about getting the chance to be heard. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. As such, it’s always a good idea to use it as a last resort.

If We Cannot Agree On A Resolution, Will My Divorce Or Custody Case Go To Trial?

If you cannot agree on a resolution, your divorce or custody case will continue to trial. However, there are cases where no facts are at issue, and one party or the other can ask the court to decide without a trial. For the court to make a determination without a trial, you file a Motion for Summary Judgment, but this is extraordinarily rare in divorce and custody cases.

Is It Usually In Everyone’s Best Interests To Reduce The Use Or Exposure Of The Court System In Divorce Or Custody Issues?

It’s good to avoid going to trial because you never know what a judge will do. If you settle ahead of time, you’ve got an inevitable outcome. You also have more control over what happens in your and your children’s lives.

By working to resolve family law issues outside of a court, you can avoid the stress of going to court, the financial burden of paying your attorney, and the time off work needed to go to court. What’s more, if you’re stressed out and in a custody battle, the kids will probably be stressed out too. This is crucial to remember because your uncertainty and worry about what’s going to happen impacts them.

Are There Ways People Can Prepare Themselves Financially Or Otherwise Before Initiating A Divorce?

People can prepare themselves before a divorce by having enough money saved for their attorney and some living expenses.

Suppose you and your spouse have been covering everything jointly, but now you’re going to have to do it yourself. In that case, you should have savings for a security deposit on a new apartment or a down payment on a new house. Or, if you’re going to keep the house instead of paying the mortgage fifty-fifty, you might suddenly have to pay it yourself.

You want to be financially ready for those things. Other things you can do is to have important papers either stored somewhere out of the house or copied. You never know when you might need birth certificates, social security cards, or your marriage certificate.

If I Move Out Before My Spouse Or I File For A Divorce In Georgia, Will I Lose Rights To The House?

If you move out before filing for divorce, the court may decide that the other party gets the house pending the divorce. But once you get to trial and the divorce will be finalized, the court decides who gets the home. In some cases, the court may decide that you two are to sell the house and split the profits, which will also depend on the home’s value and equity.

Is There Any Benefit Of Being The Person Who Files For Divorce?

Being the person to file for divorce often allows you temporary custody if you have grounds for an ex-parte order. You can also sometimes get the exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence pending the divorce if you file first.

If I Leave My Spouse, Am I Allowed To Take My Children Under The Georgia Law?

If you’re married and have children born during the marriage, those children have equal rights to each parent. So, you can take the children with you, or the other side could take them.

Determining which parent gets temporary custody is a precarious situation. There’s no presumption that either parent has the right to the children until there is a court order.

If I File For Divorce After Leaving My Wife, Kids, And Home, Is That Considered Abandonment?

You must be apart from your family for at least a year for your situation to “qualify” as abandonment in Georgia. So, there can’t be abandonment in less than a year.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law Cases, you can have peace of mind knowing that Nancy Burnett will make it look easy.

Get Started Today

Divorce is usually stressful and complicated. Correct information and guidance are essential to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome. The divorce lawyers and divorce settlement attorneys of Burnett Law in Dalton, Georgia, have helped many navigate the world of divorce law and are ready to do the same for you. We are committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. If you need a divorce lawyer or a divorce settlement attorney in Georgia, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Burnett Law

Call For Consultation
(706) 280-7152

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