No one at Lankford & Moore Law is going to pretend that divorce is easy. In fact, doctors consider divorce to be the second most stressful life event after the death of a close loved one. We understand that you are going through a lot. Therefore, finding a lawyer you can count on shouldn’t add to your stress. Our lawyers know how to listen so that we can identify what you need out of your divorce. Every person is unique, and every divorce should be treated uniquely as well.
Divorce and Property Division
Other than changing your marriage status in the eyes of the law, divorce is how the law decides who gets what stuff – aka property division. Property division is the process of taking everything owned by the married partners and dividing it up fairly, although not necessarily equally. Property division includes things like houses, cars, retirement accounts, and even pets. It does not divide up property that you owned from outside the marriage. Almost every divorce has some property division involved. Depending on what you and your spouse own, property division can be settled in minutes or litigated for years. Therefore, the best divorce attorneys use property division as a tool to get you what you need.
Although Georgia judges are awarding alimony less than in the past, it still plays a role in many divorce cases. Alimony is spousal support, money one spouse pays to a soon-to-be-ex in order to somewhat balance income going forward. Most alimony awards are only temporary. Many heavily contested divorces are fought on the issue of alimony. In our experience, alimony is the most divisive part of modern divorces. Since alimony is so case-specific, our attorneys work with you to explain why you should or should not pursue or pay alimony to your former spouse.
What if We Have Children?
If you and your spouse have children, your divorce is going to be more complicated. There’s no way around it. With children come additional issues that a judge must decide on. These include custody, child support, decision-making authority, and visitation. Our lawyers know how important your children are to you. Therefore, we will fight alongside you to get what is best for your children. Our lawyers have experience helping parents save their children from dangerous home environments through emergency hearings and protective orders. Even if you and your spouse agree on the children, we believe that you should be extremely clear on how you will parent them through a well-designed parenting plan in order to avoid litigation in the future. Custody issues are one of the most common causes of modification and contempt cases.
Types of Divorce
Divorce lawyers have developed a reputation for using a client’s poor situation as their own personal piggy bank. Not cool. While divorce can often be costly due to the amount of time it takes to properly handle your case, we won’t unnecessarily prolong your case to make more money. In fact, we encourage everyone to do a much-cheaper, uncontested divorce whenever possible. An uncontested divorce is where both spouses agree on how they want to handle their divorce without fighting. The divorce lawyer’s job in these cases is to draft the necessary paperwork and get a judge to sign it. Instead of fighting, the lawyer instead uses his or her legal expertise to create legal documents that prevent future litigation. Due to the simpler nature of these cases, they can be done with a low, flat-fee rate.
A contested divorce is a divorce where the people disagree on how to divide things: alimony, property, child support, custody, etc. These battles may resolve quickly or take years. Our attorneys’ first job in these cases is to act as negotiator. We try to work with the opposing party or their attorney to secure what you deserve. After getting the details of your case, we will tell you what to expect if a judge decides your case to help advise you with our negotiations. In almost all cases, we strive to reach a reasonable settlement to avoid costly litigation. Trial is expensive and usually unnecessary when both parties are reasonable. However, if your spouse won’t cooperate, our divorce lawyers are ready to fight for you all the way through trial and will always ask for attorney fees. Our goal is to get you the best outcome without unnecessary costs.