Brookhaven Georgia couples considering divorce can benefit from the following information.
DeKalb County Brookhaven divorce lawyer
Brookhaven is DeKalb County Georgia’s largest city but Brookhaven divorces are handled by the county, not the city. DeKalb County does not have a Family Court; Brookhaven divorce cases are filed in the DeKalb Superior Court in downtown Decatur.
The general rule is that a divorce case must be filed in the county where the Defendant lives if one party has already moved out. Sometimes you will have a choice of which county to file your divorce case in, and your Brookhaven divorce lawyer can help you decide which is the best choice for you. It is possible for the case to be filed in the county where the Plaintiff lives if the parties agree.
Mediation for your Brookhaven divorce
If you don’t settle the case promptly, your divorce case will probably go to mediation before you have a hearing in front of a judge. Mediation of your Brookhaven divorce gives you and your spouse an opportunity to try to resolve the case with assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator does not have authority to make decisions about your case. Usually, lawyers attend mediation with their clients to provide advice and assistance.
Settlement versus trial saves money
Brookhaven divorce lawyers resolve most cases by agreement. Trials are very expensive and emotionally destructive, and a judge can be unpredictable and leave both parties dissatisfied. If you wish to resolve your case as amicably and inexpensively as possible, seek the assistance of a qualified Brookhaven divorce lawyer. For an early and inexpensive resolution of your case, it will be important for the two parties to be transparent about financial matters, income, assets, and expenses. “Game playing” should be off the table for a truly uncontested divorce. This will prevent you from wasting money on unnecessary attorneys fees and will keep the drama to a minimum. Many Brookhaven couples have young children and it is important to preserve your assets for their education and your future security. To the extent possible, put the emotion aside and try to resolve the divorce case fairly on an uncontested basis. Seek professional counseling to help you deal with the emotional impact of your case; counselors usually cost less per hour than attorneys, and most attorneys are not trained counselors.
Uncontested versus contested
Uncontested cases are cases where all issues are resolved by agreement. This means ALL issues, not just everything except the house and the kids! Sometimes the settlement agreement is completed and signed before the divorce case is even filed. In other cases, you will decide with your Brookhaven divorce lawyer that it is better to file the case first and then work on a settlement.
Be smart about your lifestyle
The number one cause of divorce drama is one party having an affair - or acting like they want to – before the case is over. If you haven’t already made this mistake, don’t. This step alone will save you a lot of money and unnecessary drama in your divorce case.
Another major contributor to divorce is financial stress in the marriage. If your total debt is growing each year instead of your savings growing, you need to make a course correction together. Otherwise, you are at high risk of divorce, and it won’t be easy if you are broke.
One attorney or two – can we save money by using the same lawyer?
Brookhaven divorce clients want to know whether they can use the same lawyer. A divorce lawyer can represent only one side of the divorce case, since the two parties have a conflict of interest. Brookhaven divorce lawyers cannot represent both sides of the case! Frequently one party is represented by a Brookhaven divorce lawyer who draws up the paperwork for an uncontested divorce. The other party takes the draft paperwork to another attorney for a quick review on a consultation basis, saving money on legal fees.
Uncontested divorce Brookhaven style
Brookhaven uncontested divorces must resolve all issues of the marriage. The settlement agreement would include issues such as child custody, a parenting schedule, child support, alimony if applicable, division of property, retirement and investment accounts, and marital debt. If you and your spouse discuss these issues before you retain a Brookhaven divorce lawyer to represent you, make sure that you do not “agree” to anything before running it by your lawyer. An agreement between the parties can be enforceable even if it is oral, so always make clear that you are in preliminary discussions only. Any notes you have should be marked “draft for discussion purposes only” or something similar.
Brookhaven divorce lawyers Hindson & Melton LLC have website resources to help you become more informed about your Brookhaven divorce. Read as much as you want, or just come to the office to meet with us about your case. Bring your questions with you!
Does our firm represent men or women?
Many people ask whether our firm represents men or women in divorce. We represent both. Our goal is to work with our clients to define and attain your objectives for your case.
Hindson & Melton LLC attorneys would be happy to talk with you about your Brookhaven divorce. Contact Brookhaven divorce lawyers Karen Hindson or Joy Melton for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Divorce and Family law resources