Divorce Lawyers in Savannah GA

Divorce Lawyers in Savannah GA | Andrews & Sanders Law Offices

MY SPOUSE SAYS THEY WANT A DIVORCE, WHAT DO I DO?

The first thing to do is don’t panic. This is a very difficult thing to hear, but in some cases it is the best for both parties. What you have to remember is that once one party makes the decision for a divorce there are steps that have to be taken for a divorce to become final.

Georgia is a no fault state- meaning that if one party wants a divorce then that party is generally going to get a divorce. The party wanting the divorce can claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no reasonable hope that the parties can reconcile without having to prove any specific faults of the other party.

Once your spouse tells you they want a divorce the second thing to do is call one of the divorce lawyers in Savannah, GA. An attorney can help calm any of your immediate fears and can guide you through what you need to do to make the divorce as painless as a divorce can be. Because remember no divorce is easy- if the marriage was easy then the parties would not need a divorce.

CAN MY SPOUSE GET A DIVORCE WITHOUT ME?

The short answer would be no. But the question depends on how involved you are in the proceedings. As I stated previously- in Georgia if one party wants a divorce then that party is generally going to get a divorce- the decision becomes what do they get from the divorce. The best course of action would involve calling a divorce lawyer in Savannah, GA to assist you and answer all of your questions.

In every divorce one of the parties has to file a complaint in the Superior Court. Once that complaint is filed the other party has to receive notice that the complaint has been filed. In Georgia there are a few ways to effectuate proper notice. The most common two are either personal service or acknowledgment. Personal service usually refers to the sheriff or a private process server delivering the Complaint to the Defendant. Acknowledgment is when the Defendant acknowledges service- meaning the party signs an acknowledgment so nobody has to serve them- nobody wants to be served divorce papers- acknowledgment is common if both parties are represented by divorce lawyers in Savannah, GA.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

There are three main issues with children: custody, visitation, and child support.

Custody refers to legal custody and physical custody- the default position in Georgia is joint legal custody- meaning that both parents have legal custody of their children. This allows both parents to make major decisions affecting the children’s lives. Major decisions cover- religion choices, school, extra circular activities, elective surgeries and such.

Next is physical custody- whoever the children reside with is called the physical custodian. There is no default position here, but I will say it just seems that children end up staying with the mother more often.

The Father is usually granted visitation- the default visitation is usually every other weekend and sometimes Wednesday of the off weeks for two to three hours. However if the parties want more and it is in the children’s best interest then it should be granted and visitation should be set as for the children’s best interest.

Child support- the party who the children don’t reside with has to pay the other party child support. Child support used to be determined based on a percentage of the non custodial parent’s income. In Georgia today, the Courts have what are called child support worksheets, these are excel spread sheets that calculate both parties’ income and the needs of the child and determine child support. It may seem simple, but the worksheets are very complicated and if you do not know what you are doing it is very easy to mess them up. If the worksheets are not done properly, one party could be paying more then they should be or the other party could be receiving less money then they should be.

WHAT ABOUT THE HOUSE? AND OTHER PROPERTY?

Georgia is an equitable division state meaning that the assets are not just divided half and half, but the property is divided equitably- meaning that the property division should be equal. Divorce lawyers in Savannah, GA can better help you understand the laws surrounding divorce specific to this state.

Property division can take place early on in the divorce proceedings by taking the other party to court for a temporary hearing to allow the court to decide who get what temporarily until the divorce is final. If you own a house- the party that is awarded primary physical custody of the children usually gets to remain in the house.

The courts like to keep the status quo. The courts don’t want one party to have everything and the other party to have nothing. The courts like to make sure that each party can survive the divorce. Remember there are usually no winners in a divorce. Everybody loses.

WHAT IS ALIMONY?

The term “alimony” is derived from the Latin infinitive “to nourish” meaning to supply the necessities of life. Alimony is to be awarded to either spouse in accordance with the needs of the spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay . However, alimony is not required. Alimony may be either temporary or permanent, and permanent alimony may continue indefinitely during the separation or after a final decree of divorce. Alimony may also be awarded by a lump sum.

The Court is granted a wide latitude in evaluating the evidence and determining the amount of alimony. The rationale for this discretion is that the facts and circumstances in each case are different, and it is impossible to fix any rule for a precise mathematical calculation of the amount of permanent alimony to be awarded. Our divorce lawyers in Savannah, GA are experienced with the rulings of The Court when it comes to alimony, and it would be best to consult us before entering this process alone. Some of the factors used to determine alimony are:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. The duration of the marriage;
  3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  4. The financial resources of each party;
  5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him [or her] to find appropriate employment;
  6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
  7. The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
  8. Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Coastal Georgia, including Springfield, Rincon, Pooler, Brunswick, Darien, Statesboro, Hinesville, Richmond Hill, Pembroke, Woodbine, Bloomingdale, Hindsville, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Thunderbolt, Tybee Island and other communities in Chatham County, Effingham County, Liberty County, Bryan County, Bulloch County, Long County, McIntosh County, Glynn County and Camden County. We also represent service members at Fort Stewart Military Reservation and Hunter Army Airfield, and we handle certain military law matters for clients nationwide.