5 Things You Need to Know Before Divorce

Divorce: hands of wife and husband signing divorce documents, woman returning wedding ring

Divorce is one of the most significant legal and emotional transitions a person can experience. Whether you’re currently considering it, in the process of it, or know someone who has gone through it, you’re familiar with the difficult and emotional weight it carries. It’s a challenging path that’s filled with a lot of challenges, from legal complexities to psychological hurdles. Our divorce lawyers at Family Matters Law Group are here to guide you.

As a leading Atlanta divorce law group, Family Matters Law Group understands the nuances and sensitivities of the divorce process. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the five things you should know and the pivotal steps you need to address before filing for divorce. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and insights to navigate this challenging time with greater confidence and clarity.

1. Reflect on Your Decision

Before rushing to the courthouse, you must spend time reflecting on your decision to divorce. This is a life-altering event, and ensuring you’re mentally prepared can make a significant difference in how you approach this transition. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I want a divorce?
  • Have I done all I can to salvage the marriage?
  • What are my expectations post-divorce?

It’s important to reflect on your emotional state and consider seeking therapy or counseling to ensure you’re making a clear-minded decision. While ending a marriage is a legal process, it’s intertwined with deep emotions and personal history.

2. Understand Your Rights and Obligations

Filing for divorce isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Each state has its own set of laws that govern divorce proceedings. In Georgia, divorce laws are specific about the grounds for divorce, child custody, and division of marital property. You must familiarize yourself with these laws or speak with a divorce attorney to understand your rights and obligations.

Key areas to study include:

  • Grounds for Divorce: In at-fault divorces, one spouse is required to prove that the other spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. This could include showing evidence of adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. On the other hand, no-fault divorces do not require any specific reason for the divorce. It is simply based on the fact that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
  • Child Custody Regulations: Child custody regulations aim to prioritize the best interests of the children involved. These regulations take into consideration various factors such as the child’s physical and emotional well-being, their relationship with each parent, and their overall stability and safety. By focusing on the best interest of the children, these regulations strive to create a nurturing and supportive environment for their growth and development.
  • Alimony and Spousal Support: When is it awarded and how does the court determine the amount? Understanding the factors that come into play when awarding alimony can provide insight into the financial implications of divorce and help individuals navigate this aspect of family law.
  • Division of Assets and Debts: In Georgia, the state follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the court aims to divide the marital property and debts fairly, taking into consideration various factors such as the financial situation of each spouse, their contributions to the marriage, and the length of the marriage. 

An attorney specializing in family law can provide legal guidance tailored to your specific situation and the laws of your state.

3. Gather Financial Documents

The financial aspect of divorce is often the most controversial and hardest to talk about. It’s important to begin gathering financial documents early in the process to ensure that all assets and liabilities are accounted for. Some essential documents to obtain include:

  • Tax returns for at least the past three years
  • Bank statements
  • Investment account statements
  • Mortgage documents
  • Credit card statements
  • Retirement account information

These documents will provide a clear picture of your marital financial situation, which is crucial when it comes time to divide your assets and debts.

4. Consider the Children

If you and your spouse have children, the divorce process becomes more complex. Your focus should shift to creating a parenting plan that serves the best interests of your children. Key elements of a parenting plan include:

  • Time-sharing arrangements
  • Decision-making authority for the children’s healthcare, education, and religion
  • Child support

Your children’s well-being should be your top priority. Child custody can be one of the hardest issues in a divorce, so approaching it with reason and fairness is critical.

5. Hire the Right Divorce Attorney

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when filing for divorce is the attorney you choose to represent you. Your attorney will be your advocate throughout the entire process, and their expertise can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

When selecting an attorney, consider the following:

  • Experience and expertise in family law
  • Comfort and trust level
  • Communication style
  • Cost and fee structure

A good attorney can provide strategic advice, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, represent you in court. Our divorce lawyers in Atlanta will guide you on timing, strategy, and navigating the complexities of divorce law.

A Guide Through the Storm

Divorce is a difficult journey, but with the right information and support, it can be navigated successfully. Taking the time to reflect on your decision, understand the process, gather information, and consider the impact on your children will set the stage for a more manageable and equitable divorce.

At Family Matters Law Group, we understand the challenges you face and are here to provide expert legal guidance. Finding Atlanta divorce attorneys for men and women can be difficult, but our well-seasoned Atlanta divorce law group is ready to assist you every step of the way. Remember that each divorce is as unique as the individuals involved, and we are committed to helping you find the best path forward for your situation.

As you move forward, be kind to yourself and lean on the support of those who care about you. While the journey ahead may be challenging, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are here to help you reach it. Take the first step toward a new chapter by reaching out to our team of divorce lawyers in Atlanta for a consultation.