What will I get in the divorce is probably the most common question I receive from potential clients. The answer is it depends.
It depends on the facts and issues in your particular situation. No two cases are exactly alike.
Generally, Georgia is an equitable division state. That means the Court will not necessarily divide the assets and debts in a divorce equally. The Court will divide them fairly. It may be fair to allocate more of the assets to the custodial parent. It may be fair to allocate more of the debts to the party who makes more of the income. Or it may be fair to give the debt associated with an item to the party who is receiving the item. It all depends on the facts and issues in your case.
Child custody is determined by the best interest of the child standard. The Court can consider any and all evidence in making that determination. Depending on the child’s age, the child can also let the Court know the child’s custodial preferences. If there is a Guardian ad Litem involved in the case, the Court will consider the reports made from that guardian. The Court will consider both of the parent’s work schedules, homes, parenting styles, etc. But it all depends on the facts and issues in your case.
Child support is set by law using the Georgia Child Support Worksheets. The numbers needed for the worksheet include incomes, other child support paid, insurance paid, private school, extraordinary medical expenses, extraordinary extracurricular expenses, etc. The worksheets will calculate the presumptive child support amount. That is the amount the court presumes is correct. However, even after a presumptive child support amount is determined, there are reasons to deviate from that number. These reasons could include extra parenting time, dental or vision insurance, mortgage payments to the custodial parent, etc. So, it all depends on the facts and issues in your case.
There is no specific formula for alimony and/or attorney’s fees in Georgia divorces. Although the Court can award these, they are completely up to the discretion of the Court. Things the Court will consider are the length of the marriage, the incomes and earning capacities of the parties, the educational levels of the parties, marital misconduct, etc. But again, it all depends on the facts and issues in your case.
Although, some lay people will tell others that they know for sure what will happen in a divorce, don’t believe them. As an attorney, I would tell you that you could sit in the courtroom of your assigned judge and watch a domestic trial day and see different results on cases that sounded the same to you. The reason for this is that the judge is the fact finder. The judge determines which witness is more credible and how to weigh the evidence. Just because the two cases sounded the same to you, the judge thought they sounded different. So even an attorney cannot tell you with 100% certainty what will happen in your divorce.
However, an experienced attorney can tell you what a particular judge generally does. The attorney can tell you the risks and benefits of certain strategies in front of your assigned judge. And the attorney can set realistic expectations for you. So if you would like to discuss the specific facts and issues in your divorce case, please contact us for a free consultation.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355