Firm Advises on Contested Divorces in Newnan and Peachtree City
Georgia attorney takes on cases where spouses disagree on parenting and financial terms
Going through a contested divorce can add to the burden of what is already a very difficult situation. Though most people would prefer to avoid conflict if their marriage ends, sometimes it is the only way to achieve fair terms relating to parenting and financial matters. My firm, Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law, has offices in Peachtree City and Newnan to provide strong advice and advocacy to clients from Fayette and Coweta counties as their marriage ends.
What is a contested divorce?
Depending on their particular circumstances, couples who divorce must resolve up to four general issues before their marriage can be dissolved: child custody; property distribution; alimony and child support. If the spouses cannot reach full agreement on these matters, the case goes to court.
How long does a contested divorce take in Georgia?
When you bring your divorce case to trial, you don’t control the schedule. Depending on the court’s docket and other factors, it could take more than a year for your contested divorce to be resolved. You should certainly expect the process to run for at least six months if you believe the case cannot be settled. Once they have made the decision to break up, spouses usually want to go their own way as quickly as possible, so I continue pursuing mutually agreeable divorce terms even while preparing for trial.
Steps in the contested divorce process
If you and your spouse cannot reach a resolution, your divorce case will proceed as a typical civil court matter. Specific elements of the litigation process can include:
- Filing and service — To initiate a marriage dissolution proceeding in Georgia, you must file a Complaint in Superior Court and serve it upon your spouse.
- Temporary orders — Given the potential length of a contested divorce case, the court may issue an order regarding custody, visitation, child support, access to marital assets and spousal support while the litigation is pending.
- Mandatory mediation — When custody or visitation terms are disputed, courts require divorcing parents to participate in mandatory mediation. Though this method of alternative dispute resolution is required, you do not have to agree to any terms discussed during sessions with the mediator.
- Discovery — During the discovery phase, each side can request information from their spouse, as well as third parties. Discovery can include depositions, interrogatories and requests for documents.
- Motion practice — You or your spouse might have reason to seek relief from the court before the trial takes place. A motion could relate to an evidentiary issue or a violation of an existing order.
- Expert witnesses — Frequently, experts brought in support a spouse’s case by analyzing financial matters or providing their advice regarding proposed custody arrangements
- Trial — Unlike nearly every other state, Georgia authorizes juries to decide on certain aspects of divorce, while judges make determinations on child custody matters. After both sides have been presented, the divorce decree legally ends the marriage and resolves contested issues.
From start to finish, you can rely on my firm to protect your interests and advocate for a favorable resolution whether that comes through a settlement agreement or verdict.
Contact a Georgia lawyer for a consultation about your contested divorce
Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law represents Fayette and Coweta County spouses in contested and uncontested divorces. My firm has offices in Peachtree City or Newnan and also offers free telephone consultations. Please call 770-796-4031 or contact me online for an appointment.