If you are filing for divorce in Georgia, then you will want to be sure to be prepared so you can get the best advantage out of your divorce. Whether your goal is to maintain custody of your children or secure assets such as the family home, a divorce lawyer in Atlanta, GA can help you organize your case so you can achieve your desired divorce conclusion.
Ask a Divorce Lawyer in Atlanta, GA: Five Ways to Get an Advantage in a Divorce
1. Be the First to File
One of the easiest things you can do to gain an advantage in your divorce is being the first one to contact a top rated divorce lawyer in Atlanta, GA. Being the first spouse to file for divorce can get you a significant advantage, particularly when it comes to finances.
Because you are the first one to file for divorce, you will be able to secure your bank account or credit cards for individual use, which can make it easier to cope with expenses during your separation.
Being the first to file for divorce may also prevent your spouse from hiding assets and can allow you to choose what jurisdiction your case is filed in. The first spouse to submit divorce paperwork can also allow you to be the first to present your case to the judge in court.
Being first to present your case to the judge can allow you to maintain your legal strategy since you will not have to prematurely reveal your strategy to the other side.
2. Build a Compelling Case
If your case goes to trial, then it’s imperative that you build a compelling case for your divorce. A compelling case should be factual, but it should also prove to the court why the divorce is necessary. Although Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, having a compelling case can make it easier to win your desired goals.
A compelling case and a defensive approach can also be essential if there are elements of abuse in your case. For example, spouses who are divorcing on the grounds of domestic violence will need to have evidence that will support these claims.
Evidence can include witness testimonies or other proof that supports the facts of the case, including instances of domestic violence like police reports.
3. Have Financial Information Prepared
Filing for divorce means drastic changes in your financial situation, which is why many people opt to hire a divorce lawyer in Atlanta, GA to navigate the financial complexities. You will need to have all of your financial information prepared when you file for divorce.
This means you should have your personal banking information, your personal credit cards and credit debt, and any other assets that you own as an individual.
You should also have information about shared assets, such as house deeds or other shared property. Having all of your personal and shared financial information will make it easier to fill out certain documents and will make the process of dividing assets much easier.
4. Create a Parenting Plan
If there are children, then you also need to create a parenting plan. Having a parenting plan will help you get an advantage when your divorce turns to the subject of dividing custody.
A parenting plan is an agreement between both spouses for shared time with the children and often serves as the initial outline for how custody will be decided.
For example, it’s common for one spouse to have primary custody of the children as determined by the parenting plan, and is it also usually this spouse who will win sole custodianship of the children. The parenting plan is also a gesture of goodwill between both spouses that will make child custody battles less intense.
5. Consider Mediation
Although it may seem like your separation must go to trial in order for you to win, sometimes the best way you can get an advantage in your divorce is by first considering mediation. Divorce is a highly emotional event that can quickly become fraught with tension in a court battle.
However, if you can settle your divorce through mediation first, then you will likely gain an advantage for your emotional health, which can also be beneficial to your children.
Your divorce lawyer will give you plenty of advice for how you can handle your case, but winning your case is something that will be determined by your end goals. If you want to have sole custody of your children, then the strategies you will use for your separation will be focused on child custody.
If you want to maintain any shared financial assets after your separation, then your strategies will be based on gathering relevant financial information. You may also need to build a compelling case and consider strategies like mediation.