Do's and Dont's for Georgia Divorce
There are practical, financial and emotional aspects of “going through a divorce” in addition to the legal issues. These Do’s and Don’ts fall into one or more of these categories. Many also apply to contested cases but I have tried to focus mainly on uncontested divorce situations.
DoDo use an experienced family law attorney who will have the essential experience and knowledge of the law to make sure that your interests are protected. This is just as important in an uncontested divorce in Georgia as in a contested divorce case.
Do be practical and flexible. Finding the middle ground on an issue often results in a quicker and easier agreement on a settlement and, ultimately, the conclusion of your divorce case.
Do use good business sense when deciding what to fight for and at what cost should you fight for it. In other words, don't waste your time fighting over a $150 piece of furniture. Some items are of great sentimental value and need special attention. But, if an item is easily replaced, let your soon-to-be ex-spouse have it and move on.
Do let your soon-to-be ex-husband have his recliner. It's his. Well, maybe not legally but you do want to have an easy, uncontested divorce - right?
Do disclose all debts, property and assets in all divorces. Failure to disclose now may result in your settlement being thrown out later by the Court. Why waste all the time, money and trouble getting an uncontested divorce just to have the Court fail to actually grant it on a technicality.
Do get professional help if you need it to cope with your divorce. Even an uncontested divorce is hard.
Do try to give yourself time before making decisions or responding to requests. Analyze what would be the best approach to solve a problem. Never use threats or ultimatums to get your way. Never use physical force or domestic violence to get your way. You will end up with a protective order and a contested divorce. Always be in control of yourself.
Do make the children feel that your new home is also their home too. Whatever chores they were responsible for at your prior home, they should also be responsible for at your new home.
Do remember that the children have a social life. They have soccer, birthday parties and friends. It is important that their social life be as normal as possible. They are not the ones who are divorcing, you are.
Do make sure that the children know they are NOT the reason for the divorce.
Do understand how Child Support is calculated in Georgia. The gross (pre-tax) income of both parties is considered in determining child support in a Georgia divorce along with other factors such as the cost of health insurance for the children. This is just as true in uncontested divorces as it is in contested ones.
Do consult with a tax professional. Your filing status and tax circumstances are likely to change while you are going through the divorce process. A tax professional will help with tax planning so you will have more available income throughout the year or not owe additional taxes at the end of the year.
Do ask your attorney if something doesn't make sense. Your attorney works for you, and should help you understand every part of the divorce process. An uncontested divorce in Georgia is relatively simple compared to a contested case but it is still a legal process that must be done correctly.
Do be reasonable and cooperate as much as possible with your soon-to-be-ex.
Don'tDon't represent yourself. Even experienced attorneys that are getting divorced use an attorney (usually the best one they can find and afford).
Don't post ANYTHING on Facebook or any other social media site until after the divorce is final. Seriously, don't!
Don't rehash the things that have happened in the past, you can't change what has already happened. Get over it and move on.
Don't get greedy. It doesn't matter which one of you initially wanted the divorce. Just because you're hurt and your emotions are running high, doesn't mean that you are entitled to more than the law allows.
Don't let your friends tell you what to do. They are trying to be helpful and supportive and they have good intentions. But, listen to your attorney who knows the law and has lots of experience with divorce (probably more than your sister unless she's a divorce attorney too).
Don't pick up your children for visitation if have been drinking or have taken drugs. Get yourself under control and reschedule the visit. Otherwise, always pick them up and drop them off on time.
Don't discuss the details of the divorce with your children. They are having it hard enough and probably are not equipped to handle the emotional strain being placed on them. Talk to friends or get a therapist to get through this.
Don't make promises to the children that you cannot keep -- about anything.
Don't put your children in the middle of your divorce. The divorce is between you and your spouse.
Don't put your spouse down in front of the children.
Don't question the children regarding the activities of your (ex) spouse.
Don't use the children as messengers. This puts them right in the middle. Not only are you risking their love and affection you are also relying upon the child to get the message to your spouse correctly and in the manner you meant it.
Don't stop the children from seeing the other parent because child support isn't paid on time (or at all); there is no correlation between the two.
Don't pay your child support or reimbursements late. Always pay on time. Don't give the other side an opportunity to complain. They can come up with enough things to complain about without your help. Besides, it's the CHILDREN's money.
Don't start bad habits in your life to ease the pain. Don't start drinking or doing drugs at this time in your life. Instead, pick up new hobbies and healthy friendships to help you through this difficult time. A DUI or drug possession charge will make you vulnerable and may interfere with your parenting rights.
Don't date until the uncontested divorce papers are signed and filed with the Court. Then, keep a low profile until the divorce is final.
Don't bring a lot of new partners or companions into the lives of your children. Date only when you do not have your children. Be very careful before deciding to introduce your children to individuals you are dating.
Don't have new companions spend the night when your children are there. This is stressful on the kids and you may be risking your parenting time by bringing an unscrupulous person around.
Don't overreact to your emotions. Take deep breaths and calm down.