DIVORCE LAW

To the persons involved, a divorce can be a very painful process.  It is important, however, for a person to keep in mind the legal issues involved and what the court will be interested in.

Divorce.  Previously, one party had to “give” the other party a divorce.  Now, all states permit “no-fault” divorce.  This means that a married person can simply tell the court that his/her marriage is ended (in Georgia, the magic word is “irretrievably broken”) and that person is entitled to a divorce whether or not the other person wants a divorce.  Obviously, this can be both a good and bad thing.  Georgia, like other states, also maintains “fault or conduct” as a basis for divorce: adultery, abuse, etc.

Division of Property.  Some states are community property states, which means that the court divides all of the couple’s property equally following divorce.  Georgia applies an “equitable division” standard in the event of a divorce.  Georgia seeks to divide the property fairly between the couple rather than mechanically apply a 50% rule.  In Georgia, the court is only dividing “marital property” which is property acquired by the couple through their efforts during their marriage.  For example, property owned by one party before the marriage, or property inherited by one party during the marriage, is not considered “marital property” during the divorce.  The equitable division of marital property can be affected by the conduct of the parties.  Although most people do not consider this initially, the equitable division of marital debt can play a significant part in a divorce.

Division of Military Retirement.  Pat Claiborne served in the military, attaining the rank of Captain in the United States Army, Military Intelligence branch.  He is knowledgeable about the particular laws pertaining to the division of military retirement following a divorce.

Alimony.  Traditionally alimony was paid by the ex-husband to the ex-wife.  Now, either party may be required to pay alimony to the other following divorce.  The law looks to a number of factors such as the length of the marriage, which party has the more significant earning capacity, whether one party sacrificed a career outside the home to stay home and take care of the children, and the health of the parties.

Pat Claiborne has practiced divorce law for 30 years in Augusta, Georgia.  He is knowledgeable about the Georgia laws pertaining to the granting of a divorce, the division of marital property and debts, and the awarding of alimony.  We will work hard to guide you through this process, and fight to make sure that you obtain a financially fair outcome in your divorce case.

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.