Divorce in Georgia: Does it Matter Who Files First?
It is not necessarily a good idea to rush to file for divorce, but there may be some benefits to filing first for those persons contemplating divorce. Furthermore, Forbes Magazine has recently attracted a great deal of attention by outlining these benefits.
It is important to realize Georgia recognizes 13 causes for divorce. The majority of petitions stating the cause as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Being the first to file for divorce comes with the following benefits:
- Being able to select the best professionals available.
- Additional time to prepare documentation.
- Reducing the possibility of the ex-spouse trying to hide assets.
In several instances, consulting an attorney before filing for divorce in Georgia will result in time and money saved during the court process. Identifying the most suitable professionals can take some time. More importantly, along with a qualified divorce attorney, a therapist may be helpful in providing guidance through the experience, which can be quite emotional and traumatic. A divorce financial analyst may be helpful for situations involving a complex mix of assets or a business.
Preparing Your Divorce Documents and Paperwork
All necessary paperwork should be gathered in preparation for the finalization of the divorce. Several documents are required to ensure that the outcome of the divorce is a fair settlement.
These documents include:
- health insurance documents (For the cost to insure minor children)
- work-related child care costs documents
- tax returns
- income documents
- details on stocks and retirement plans
- credit card and loan statements
Standing orders provide protection for the assets throughout the divorce proceeding. An ATRO is a court order which protects the assets through the freezing of accounts. They prohibit either spouse from transferring any property rights, bank accounts or insurance documents, and from any change of beneficiary on insurance policies by a spouse.
ATROs prevent risk of spouse destroying assets to prevent access from other spouse. If you are the first to commence filing, then the protection begins before the other spouse is able to hide any assets.
The Divorce Petition
After the court receives the filed complaint, the process begins. Consequently the divorce petition includes the reason for the divorce, a list of assets and details of the arrangements that will be made for any children that may be present in the marriage, according to family law. The Superior Court will review the petition. Usually in the country of residence for the non-filing spouse.
It is important to realize Georgia recognizes 13 causes for divorce. The majority of petitions stating the cause as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Additionally, other causes which can serve as grounds for the granting of a divorce, include drug addiction and cruel treatment.
The process is not an easy one, whether it is the process of filing for a divorce or being in receipt of the divorce paperwork from a spouse. Above all, an experienced family law attorney can make the process quick and painless.