Many people would prefer a divorce that is low on conflict. Sometimes divorcing couples can amiably resolve their differences and reach a final settlement through mediation or settlement negotiations.
Often, however, there are too many painful choices that must be made in order to move on. If the differences between a couple are intractable the case will go to trial.
A divorce trial is indeed a trial, which means you will need a divorce lawyer in Buford to represent your interests during the trial. Most divorce trials are bench trials, meaning that a judge will make the final decisions on all the pending issues. In rare cases, the parties may have a trial by jury on all issues except for child custody and parenting time. In Georgia, only a judge can make custody decisions, which is why you want lawyers who know the court system and how to correctly apply the law to your case.
NO TWO DIVORCE TRIALS ARE THE SAME
Depending on the issues at hand, your divorce case may take different routes through Georgia’s legal system. A contested divorce involving a high asset couple with children presents a more complex case than a dispute over alimony that does not involve kids.
In Georgia state law, there are 12 grounds for an at-fault divorce and one ground for no-fault divorce. This latter ground means the marriage is simply broken and requires no evidence to support a claim (that does not mean the case is necessarily uncontested). However, if you’re pursuing a case based on at-fault grounds, you and your legal team will have the burden of proof to show the spouse is indeed guilty of said fault, such as having been unfaithful or abusive.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A DIVORCE TRIAL
A temporary hearing is called if there are issues that must be dealt with and rulings put in place prior to the formal divorce trial. This may include temporary custody and parenting time rights, a halt on moving any joint assets, temporary use and possession of a house or vehicle, or even a restraining order to keep the couple separated if one is verbally or physically aggressive.
In the event of a contested divorce, a domestic relations financial affidavit will have to be filed with the court and served upon your spouse, which details all knowledge and each aspect of your marital finances.
HOW ARE CHILD CUSTODY ISSUES HANDLED DURING A DIVORCE TRIAL?
Having children automatically means you will have to send a parenting plan before the court. This is the prerequisite to a divorce, whether or not the case is contested.
In a high conflict custody matter that is especially complex, the court can authorize a representative called a guardian ad litem who will assess the situation through in person interviews with each parent, as well as other people with knowledge of the family and the child. After this research, the guardian ad litem will make a recommendation about what parenting plan should be presented to the court.
The best way forward is to ensure that your lawyer is skilled in each aspect of divorce cases from mediation through trial. Oxendine & Sauls, LLC specializes in high asset and complex divorce cases. Our team of divorce lawyers will aggressively defend your interests during all phases of the divorce process.