Last updated on March 9, 2023

Divorce Is A Difficult Process. We Can Help You.

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 legal representation 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 across Atlanta and Northern Georgia navigate all of the family law 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.

Five Considerations Before You File For Divorce

Every spouse who is considering divorce should make sure that he or she has considered a few items before filing, including:

  • Why hiring an attorney makes sense — Even if you believe your case will quickly settle or there is no way you would ever need a family law 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.
  • Settlement is most likely: While every Atlanta divorce 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The person who files for divorce in Georgia is the plaintiff, and the person who receives the complaint is the 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.

Issues That May Arise During Divorce

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. 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.
  • 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. We can also advise when social media activity may influence the outcome of a divorce proceeding.
  • 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.
  • Divorce with international elements: Whether your divorce involves jurisdictional conflicts or foreign child custody considerations, we have the experience to assist. We have worked with clients in India, South Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Germany, Great Britain and more.

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 family law cases, including those involving domestic violence and contested child custody, as well as other contentious family law matters. When you come to The Siemon Law Firm, you can count on knowledgeable attorneys, zealous advocacy and personalized attention.

Divorce for business owners and 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 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.

Protecting Property In High Asset Atlanta Divorce Cases

Are valuable property and assets or business interests at stake in your Georgia divorce? 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.

A divorce attorney at our law office will get to know you and understand your goals. Our legal representation includes conducting a full assessment of your finances with emphasis on issues and other practice areas, including:

  • Asset valuation — 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
  • Marital property — 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
  • Concealed assets and income — 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
  • Strategy — 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
  • Enforcing/contesting prenuptial agreements — Applying deep knowledge and experience to enforce or contest a prenuptial agreement in accordance with your best interests

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.

Uncontested Divorce In The Greater Atlanta Area

The litigated approach to divorce is expensive. The cost of a lengthy dispute over assets or child custody can quickly exhaust badly needed assets. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all the issues in a divorce, you can obtain an uncontested 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 legal issues now through the settlement agreement while both parties are agreeable and ready to work together.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

People have a number of misconceptions concerning the divorce process in Georgia. At The Siemon Law Firm, our attorneys are here to help clarify the process and to answer any and all questions about divorce in Georgia. Below are answers to some common questions:

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.

Is Georgia A No-Fault Divorce State?

For the most part, no. To obtain a divorce in Georgia it is generally necessary to prove that one party committed some sort of wrongdoing which has led to the end of the marriage. There is one ground for divorce that may be considered to be no-fault, which is discussed in further detail below.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce?

There are 13 grounds for divorce when one party accuses another of wrongdoing in the marriage. They are adultery, desertion, mental or physical abuse, marriage between close relatives, mental incapacity at the time of the marriage, impotency at the time of the marriage, marriage induced by force or fraud, pregnancy of the wife unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage, conviction and imprisonment for certain crimes, chronic intoxication or drug addiction, and mental illness.

Another ground for divorce is when a marriage is considered to be irretrievably broken. This ground is most similar to the types of no-fault divorce decrees that are available in some other states. In order to obtain a divorce on this ground, one party must show that he or she refuses to live with the other spouse and there is no chance of reconciliation. It is not necessary to show fault or wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse, and it is not necessary for both parties to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Is It Necessary To Live In Georgia In Order To Obtain A Divorce In Georgia?

Yes. One spouse must have lived in the state of Georgia for at least six months prior to seeking a divorce or Georgia must be legally considered to be the last place of residence for the married parties within the past six months.

Is It Necessary To Go To Court In Order To Obtain A Divorce?

Not always. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement regarding all issues that arise during a divorce proceeding, including those concerning finances, property division and child custody, this agreement may be presented to the court for court approval. Upon approval, the matter will be resolved. However, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, even if it involves only a single issue, the matter will have to brought before a judge or a jury.

What Should I Do If I Receive A Complaint For Divorce Filing From My Spouse?

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.

Ready To Speak With A Divorce Lawyer? Call Us.

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 770-888-5120 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our family law attorneys. You may also contact us online. We offer convenient office locations throughout the metro Atlanta area in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Cumming and Marietta.

Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“For a messy divorce, it was the best legal experience I have ever had. Expedient, very knowledgeable, compassionate, all with appropriate and necessary humor. I have recommended this firm to dozens of individuals in need of a divorce lawyer.”

Goddart Bargh

Reach Out To Our Experienced Team For Help With Your Legal Issues

How The Siemon Law Firm Can Help

Contact our Georgia Family Law Firm by calling 770-888-5120 or by completing this contact form.

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