A divorce touches almost every aspect of your life, from your property and finances to how much time you will spend with your children. Your choice of an attorney to represent you during this crucial time is one of the most important decisions you will make.
At The Siemon Law Firm, we have dedicated our practice to helping our clients navigate all of the issues they encounter in divorce. Our lawyers do more than provide you with advice regarding your options. We negotiate effectively and litigate aggressively to help you reach your goals.
Providing Zealous Advocacy For The Most Complex Cases
We often represent people who have significant assets they need to protect, such as business owners, celebrities and professional athletes. We also handle high-conflict divorce cases, including those involving domestic violence and contested child custody. When you come to The Siemon Law Firm, you can count on knowledgeable attorneys, zealous advocacy and personalized attention.
The following list provides more information about some of the issues that arise during the course of a divorce:
Annulment: An annulment is typically sought by those who wish to end their marriage in a way other than divorce. While rare, Georgia law allows marriage to be annulled in certain circumstances.
Divorce for men: Many men who have gone through a divorce feel that they are at a disadvantage or will somehow be prejudiced by the court because of their gender. Our lawyers have the experience required to stand up for your rights.
Divorce for women: Women often have different goals in divorce than men. Many of the women we represent are concerned about protecting their future security and the security of their family.
Grounds for divorce: Georgia is not a no-fault divorce state. For you and your spouse to obtain a divorce, you must choose one of 13 grounds.
The use of private investigators: Private investigators may be used to conduct research on a spouse's activities. We regularly work with private investigators to help develop our clients' cases and defend their interests.
Standing orders in divorce: When you file for divorce in Georgia, the court will issue automatic domestic standing orders that will apply to you and your spouse for as long as your case is pending.
Whether you are considering divorce, are ready to act or have been compelled to respond, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help answer all of your divorce-related questions.
Call 770-884-7067 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. You may also contact us online. We offer convenient office locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Representation For Celebrities Who Are Facing Divorce
Divorce is daunting enough for people who are not in the public eye. For a celebrity, the divorce process can be especially painful.
At The Siemon Law Firm, our attorneys often represent high-asset and high-profile clients who divorce in the Atlanta metropolitan area. We pride ourselves on protecting our clients' privacy while strategically safeguarding their personal and financial interests. From the initial, confidential consultation until the divorce is finalized, we diligently strive to shield our clients from unwarranted media coverage.
Our divorce attorneys possess significant legal experience, skill at the negotiating table and the ability to be a tenacious advocate in court when necessary. Over the years, our firm has represented many local and national celebrities, including professional athletes and other high-profile individuals.
Considerations When A Celebrity Divorces
- Fault grounds: Georgia is a fault divorce state. This means that you and your spouse will need to select a fault ground. Our lawyers can advise you about the possible repercussions of each of the fault grounds.
- Marital property division: Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, assets accumulated during your marriage will be divided equitably between you and your spouse. However, equitable does not necessarily mean equally. Learn more about protecting assets in divorce.
- Alimony: When one spouse has higher earnings than the other, Georgia courts can order alimony to be paid to the spouse with lower earnings while they are moving toward self-sufficiency. Since there are no specific guidelines for determining the amount of alimony or how long it should continue, the skill of your attorney is key to protecting your interests.
- Child custody and visitation: As much as possible, our goal is to protect the best interests of your children by resolving parenting time through confidential negotiations rather than in a public courtroom.
- Child support: Child support obligations are calculated differently for those with high incomes. Often the most contentious issue is determining income for those who are self-employed.
How Facebook Can Affect Your Divorce
What you do or say online can be used against you in a divorce, especially in a fault grounds state such as Georgia. Facebook pages are an issue in almost a third of the divorce cases we handle at The Siemon Law Firm.
A typical scenario is this: What begins as a friend request from an old flame leads to an exchange of e-mails, a lunch meeting and eventually an extramarital affair. In the past, the aggrieved spouse may have hired a private detective to take pictures of the alleged infidelity. Today, many people take their own pictures and post them on their Facebook pages.
For questions about how Facebook can affect your divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with our experienced and compassionate family law attorneys. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Isn't My Facebook Account Private?
Many people assume that what they do or say online is private, protected by logins and personal passwords. When it comes to a divorce case, however, private information can quickly become part of a court record. Today it's routine for divorce attorneys to request Facebook login information as a part of discovery and to print pages from the person's account.
If your account contains evidence of an extramarital affair, your spouse can file for divorce using the fault ground of adultery. While a spouse's behavior will not affect a divorce settlement in many states, it can in Georgia:
- You are not entitled to alimony in Georgia if you committed adultery and that adultery is found to be the cause of the breakup of the marriage.
- If you were at fault for the breakup of the marriage, the judge can award your spouse a greater share of marital property.
- If you have children, your behavior can affect your child custody and visitation rights.
Our divorce lawyers are here to protect your interests if you are going through or planning a divorce in Georgia. With offices in Alpharetta, Cumming and Atlanta, we represent men and women throughout northern Georgia.
Social Media And Divorce
Most states are no-fault states, meaning that adultery is not a factor the courts take into account during divorce. Georgia, however, is different. Evidence of infidelity can have a major impact on how the courts rule in a divorce case, and social media accounts are often a prime mine of such evidence.
At The Siemon Law Firm, we have seen Facebook posts play a role in nearly a third of all the divorce cases we handle. Then there are the other social media sites, like Vine, Instagram and Snapchat, each outlet leaving a chronological trail of photographic or video evidence of infidelity. Texting and Twitter can also provide evidence of an extramarital affair. According to a 2010 study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, social media websites contribute evidence to a significant number of divorce cases every year.
If you have filed for, or are contemplating filing for divorce, and believe that your or your spouse's social media accounts might play a role in the outcome, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Online Information Is Not As Private As You Think
Although people tend to think of their online accounts as protected and private, the truth is that such "private" information can easily become part of an official court record. Deleting a post doesn't necessarily erase that post, as someone could have taken a screen shot while it was still up. This is true even for Snapchat, the app wherein the sent photo self-destructs after a number of seconds.
Even if you've blocked your spouse on social media, mutual friends could serve as a conduit of information, informing either party what the other has been posting. This information could significantly affect a divorce, if for example, one person is claiming to be broke, but then posts pictures of a lavish purchase or a trip with a new significant other.
If you are getting a divorce, it is important to exercise great care to make your posts as private as possible, and to refrain from posting anything on any site that you wouldn't want the whole world to see.
What Happens To The House During A Divorce In Georgia?
If you are going through a divorce, the marital residence may be the most significant asset that you need to divide with your spouse, both in terms of material worth and emotional attachment. Determining what should be done with the marital residence is an important — and complicated — decision.
At The Siemon Law Firm, our divorce lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process and protect your financial interests. With offices in Alpharetta, Cumming and Atlanta, we advise men and women throughout northern Georgia. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law attorneys.
Can I Keep The Marital Residence?
All assets accumulated during your marriage are considered marital property and must be divided according to the law of equitable distribution. Equitable usually means 50-50, but a judge could determine that something other than a 50-50 split of home equity is fair.
There are several possible resolutions when a marital residence must be divided:
- The house can be sold and the equity (or debt, if the mortgage was underwater) can be divided.
- If one party was the cause of the breakup of a marriage, the judge may decide that it isn't fair to ask the innocent spouse to lose the marital residence.
- If you have minor children, the judge may decide that it would be in the best interests of your children to continue to live in the marital residence with the parent who has primary physical custody. In this case, the judge may set a future date at which time the house would be sold and the equity divided.
- You and your spouse could exchange assets of equal value: for example, giving up your right to a percentage of your spouse's 401(k) or other retirement plan funds in exchange for the marital residence.
If you and your spouse exchange assets, it's important to recognize that equity in a home is not worth as much as cash, especially in today's real estate market. There is no guarantee that your house will sell for a certain amount, and it may remain on the market for a long time. When exchanging assets, you also need to consider the tax consequences. IRA and 401(k) accounts are taxable upon withdrawal of funds, while a one-time capital gain on a house may not be taxable.
Divorce Attorneys For Professional Athletes
Everything a professional athlete does is magnified in the public eye. If you are going through a divorce, the legal process can become a media circus that has a damaging effect on your life and career. Your choice of an attorney to represent you can make a big difference in your ability to come through the divorce with your finances and reputation intact.
The Siemon Law Firm has built a reputation for successfully representing pro athletes, celebrities and other high-profile individuals in Georgia. Our clientele has included Atlanta Braves baseball players and Atlanta Falcons football players.
Professional athletes are under great pressure to perform at their peak. A drawn-out or high-conflict divorce can be a distraction that puts you off your game. If a divorce is in your future, turn to The Siemon Law Firm for immediate help and support.
Dealing With The Unique Aspects Of A Professional Career
The accusations that sometimes come with divorce, even if false, can have a devastating effect on your career as a pro athlete. For example, it's not unusual for a spouse to make accusations of domestic violence in order to gain the upper hand in a divorce or child custody dispute. An accusation of infidelity can quickly tarnish the reputation that you have built up over a lifetime.
Our attorneys understand the unique needs of professional athletes. We will work very hard to protect your privacy and shield you from unwanted media coverage, while strategically safeguarding your financial and career interests. Our divorce attorneys possess significant legal knowledge and skill at the negotiating table. We are also tenacious advocates in court when necessary.
Throughout your case, our lawyers will employ utmost discretion to help diffuse media attention and keep personal details about you and your children out of the press. At the same time, we will manage your legal case so you can concentrate on your demanding training schedules, travel schedules and work schedules.
Divorce Lawyers For Fulton County Professionals
Doctors, lawyers, dentists and other professionals have special interests that must be protected in divorce, especially in an equitable distribution state such as Georgia. If you are a professional who is considering divorce, you should discuss your financial situation with an experienced attorney before you take any steps that cannot be undone.
At The Siemon Law Firm, our divorce lawyers are here to protect your interests if you are going through or planning a divorce in Georgia. With offices in Alpharetta, Cumming and Atlanta, we represent professionals throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.
If you're a professional seeking a divorce in Georgia, you need a lawyer who will stand up for your rights and your best interests. Count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law attorneys. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
What Will Happen To My Practice?
If you are a part owner or shareholder in your practice, some or all of your practice may be considered marital property. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to sell your practice or take out a loan to pay off your spouse for his or her interest.
Equitable distribution laws are complex. Even if you owned the practice before your marriage, a portion of the practice may be considered marital property if:
- The practice increased in value during your marriage
- Your spouse contributed to the practice, either by working for the practice or by contributing in other ways (such as performing household duties that allowed you to concentrate on the practice)
- You contributed marital property assets to the practice
- You included your spouse's name in the practice
To fully protect your assets, you should consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except it is entered into after marriage. Even though a postnuptial agreement may be difficult to discuss with your spouse, it will be easier to discuss the issue now rather than during a divorce proceeding.
Our lawyers can also advise you in ways to protect separate property assets without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Filing For Divorce As A Plaintiff
In Georgia, the person seeking a divorce files a complaint with the court. A copy of this complaint will be served on the other spouse. The person who files for divorce in Georgia is the plaintiff, and the person who receives the complaint is the defendant.
At The Siemon Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are here to advise you concerning when and how to file for divorce in Georgia.
If you're filing for a divorce, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Should I File For Divorce?
If you have grounds for divorce (such as adultery or habitual drunkenness), it can be helpful to hold that your spouse's conduct is the cause of the breakup of the marriage when you file for divorce. If the court agrees with you, you may receive a greater share of marital property. If your spouse committed adultery, he or she may not be entitled to alimony.
If you don't file for divorce after the conduct and you continue to act as husband and wife, the court can deem that you condoned the conduct, and it cannot be used as grounds for divorce or as a reason for denying alimony.
As soon as you file for divorce, the court will issue standing orders that will prevent you and your spouse from disposing of assets, changing insurance or otherwise disrupting the status quo. If you are concerned that your spouse is wasting or disposing of marital property, you should file for divorce as soon as possible. You may also want to cancel any joint credit cards you have with your spouse. Otherwise, you could be jointly responsible for credit card debt.
What If My Spouse And I Are Seeking An Uncontested Divorce?
How you file for divorce can set the tone for everything that follows. There are more amicable ways to begin the divorce process than to have the complaint served on your spouse by a sheriff.
In Georgia, it is not necessary to have a sheriff serve the complaint if your spouse chooses to acknowledge service. Our lawyers can advise you about nonconfrontational ways to file for divorce.
Responding To Divorce As A Defendant
If your spouse served you with a divorce complaint in Georgia, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to file an answer. The reason your spouse claimed for divorce (known as the grounds for divorce) can affect issues such as marital property division, child custody and alimony.
If you need advice on how to respond to a divorce complaint, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce In Georgia?
The person who files for divorce in Georgia is the plaintiff, and the person who receives the complaint is the defendant. If your spouse claims that your conduct caused the divorce and the judge agrees, it can affect how your divorce is resolved.
For example, if your spouse accuses you of adultery, you may not be entitled to alimony. The judge may also decide that it would be unfair for your spouse to lose the marital residence. If your spouse accuses you of domestic violence, your child custody and visitation rights could be adversely affected.
What Should I Do If I Am Served A Divorce Complaint?
You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to file an answer to your spouse's claims. You only have 30 days from the date you received the complaint to file a response with the court. You need to give your lawyer time to prepare your response.
Even if you are guilty of the conduct claimed in the complaint, there are defenses you could use to keep the issue from affecting the outcome of your divorce. You can also contest your spouse's claims for child custody, child support, marital property division and alimony raised in the complaint.
Are You Worried About Protecting Your Assets In A Divorce?
Are valuable property and assets or business interests at stake in your Georgia divorce?
Every divorce is a unique case involving issues that will significantly impact the life you have built for yourself. Many of these issues are personal, many are financial, and many affect both aspects.
You may have worked hard to build a successful career or business, supported a spouse's efforts to do so, inherited significant wealth or otherwise accumulated substantial assets. If so, it is essential to work with a trustworthy and financially savvy family law firm that will work just as hard as you do to help you get through your high-asset divorce in the best possible financial shape.
Experienced Lawyers For Protection Of Property In Your High-Asset Divorce
A divorce attorney at The Siemon Law Firm will get to know you and understand all of your goals. We are experienced negotiators and litigators with offices conveniently located in both Cumming, Alpharetta and Atlanta, Georgia.
Accurate Property Valuation — Strategic Asset Protection — Guarding What Is Rightfully Yours
Our representation includes conducting a full assessment of your finances with emphasis on issues including:
- Obtaining accurate, credible and well-documented valuations of your home and other real estate, a family business, professional practice, investment and retirement accounts, or other key assets
- Working to clearly distinguish between marital assets — subject to equitable property division at the court's discretion under Georgia law — and assets that are yours alone because you brought them into the marriage or obtained them as personal gifts or by inheritance
- Following up on, or defending against, any suspicion that one spouse is concealing assets or income by deploying our own internal resources and quality forensic accountants, private investigators, and other experts if necessary
- Developing a solid strategy encompassing all financial aspects of your high-asset divorce, including child support, alimony/spousal support, future tax obligations and other pivotal factors
- Applying deep knowledge and experience to enforce or contest a prenuptial agreement in accordance with your best interests
International Divorce In Georgia
Filing for divorce and resolving the many issues that arise in a divorce such as child custody and visitation, property division and alimony is complex in itself. However, when a divorce involves international issues, such as being married outside of the United States but seeking a divorce after living in the U.S., creates additional and complicated legal issues. That is why it is so imperative to spouses seeking an international divorce to make sure their attorney is knowledgeable, experienced and well-versed in international divorce issues.
If you were married outside the United States and are seeking to obtain a divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Extensive Experience With International Divorce Matters
At The Siemon Law Firm, we have seasoned divorce attorneys who effectively handle not only domestic divorce matters but international divorce cases as well. We have represented clients in divorce cases in all different parts of the world. No matter how difficult your international divorce may be, we have the resources and talent to get you through it by being there for you every step of the way.
We serve a diverse clientele involving the following countries and many more:
- South Africa
- Great Britain
A Global Case Involving A Vast Range Of Legal Issues
With more and more U.S. citizens traveling and working outside of the country, it is not uncommon for couples to have a foreign wedding and then come back to the U.S. to work and live. Some couples may even continue their marriage in different countries, sharing their time between one or multiple countries. Whatever your specific international situation, we can help you with a vast range of legal issues, including:
- Jurisdictional conflicts
- International/foreign divorce
- International/foreign child custody and visitation
- International/foreign alimony
- International/foreign child support
- International/foreign property division
Jurisdiction: Where Do I File For Divorce In Georgia?
Determining where to file for divorce is complicated. Any number of factors can determine the correct jurisdiction, depending on the type of action you are filing. Here are a few examples:
- If you separate and your spouse moves two counties over, you must file in the state and county in which the marital residence was located. However, if your spouse stays in the other county for more than six months, you may have to file a suit in that county.
- In child custody cases, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) determines the jurisdiction.
- If you get divorced in Georgia, then you move to Texas and your ex-spouse moves to New York the UCCJEA will determine jurisdiction.
The bottom line is that you need to discuss your particular situation with a lawyer. Because the correct jurisdiction is dependent on so many factors, it takes an attorney with dedicated experience in family law to advise you best. At The Siemon Law Firm, we have that experience. Our attorneys practice family law exclusively, giving us the detailed knowledge you seek.
If you have questions about where to file for a divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
What Happens If I File In The Wrong Jurisdiction?
If you attempt to file in the wrong county or state, the clerk's office may realize the error and not accept your complaint for divorce. Or, the clerk's office may not notice, which means you may become deeply involved in the divorce proceedings before a competent lawyer gets involved and realizes the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case. This can result in the case being dismissed after you have already invested a significant amount of time and money into it.
In the worst scenario, you could end up with a divorce decree that is unenforceable. Five years down the road you may discover that the decree can be set aside as invalid.
Things To Consider When Getting A Divorce
You have thought about filing for divorce in Georgia. Now what? Every spouse who is considering divorce should make sure that he or she has considered a few items along with obtaining an experienced Georgia divorce attorney to handle his or her legal issues. Even if you believe your case will quickly settle or there is no way you would ever need an attorney — think again.
We have seen time and time again clients who come to us, already in the process of a divorce but faced with an unexpected conflict. Having a divorce lawyer right from the start who understands your personal issues and the facts surrounding your case is only to your benefit and advantage.
If you have questions about all of the things that are going through a divorce, count on The Siemon Law Firm for answers. Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law lawyers. We're conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Thinking About A Divorce? Here Are Some Things To Consider:
1. Settlement is most likely: While every divorce case is different and some may even have to go to litigation if it is that contentious, almost all divorce cases result in a settlement agreement. This is most beneficial to all parties involved as it is more efficient and cost-effective.
2. Understand your spouse's and your family's finances — now: Especially when it comes to property division, having a clear understanding of where your assets and debts are before divorce proceedings start is very important. Even if you trust your spouse and believe things are amicable it is always better to be safe than sorry. There are situations of hidden assets — don't let that be yours.
3. Build your credit: A credit score is the key to any person's financial future. Your spouse's credit score will no longer be yours to latch onto. Make sure that you have a good credit score or start building toward a better one immediately.
4. Consider where you will live: While you should stay in your marital home until any decisions are actually made, it is a good idea to at least start thinking about where you would live if you do end up having to sell the marital home or move elsewhere.
Uncontested Divorce In Georgia
The traditional, litigated approach to divorce is simply too expensive for many people. The cost of a lengthy dispute over how to divide assets can quickly exhaust the value of those assets. Money spent on a child custody dispute can deprive you of funds that you will need to pay for day care and other expenses. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
At The Siemon Law Firm, we understand that many couples view the divorce process as too costly and time-consuming. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all the issues in a divorce, our lawyers can prepare a settlement agreement that will work for both parties.
The value of having an experienced divorce attorney represent you in an uncontested divorce comes from our in-depth understanding of the challenges that might come up in the future. Our lawyers will work to resolve those issues now through the settlement agreement while both parties are agreeable and ready to work together.
For questions about uncontested divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm for answers: Call 770-884-7067 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law attorneys. We offer convenient office locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming.
Lawyer Access For Those Who Can't Afford A Retained Attorney
One option for couples who want to handle their own divorce without a retained attorney is the lawyer access project. Under the lawyer access project:
- Our attorneys will draft the necessary legal documents — including the initial complaints, settlement, final decree and, if needed, parenting plan and child support orders — for a flat cost.
- You will have an opportunity to talk to an associate attorney at our firm to discuss modifications to the legal documents and receive answers to your questions.
The completion of an uncontested divorce can be a straightforward process. However, preparing your own legal documents can result in costly mistakes that you will be unable to correct later. Our lawyers will help you avoid those mistakes by completing all of the legal documents that you need to dissolve your marriage and move on with your life.