Family Law FAQs

Our firm focuses on serving the individual in difficult cases involving families.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time, and you may have a lot of questions about the process, what will happen to your children, and more. At The Williams Firm, P.C., we are here to support you through your divorce, and we want to help you feel as comfortable with the process as possible. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If the question you have isn’t listed below, please contact our office, and we will do our best to assist you.

I’m getting a divorce. Do I need an attorney?

A divorce is a big life change, and for many life changes, it’s wise to consult with an attorney. With that in mind, hiring a divorce attorney can benefit you in a number of ways. Your attorney is there to fight for your rights, as well as the rights of your children. Additionally, all divorce attorneys are up to date on the latest family laws concerning child custody, marital property, visitation, family support, and more.

What are the grounds for divorce in Georgia?

Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the state does not need to assign fault to either party in order to qualify for divorce, rather, one of the parties involved must prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The person requesting the divorce must prove one of the 13 grounds for divorce applies to the marriage in question. The most common of the 13 include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for a certain length of time
  • A spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse
  • Prison confinement
  • The other spouse has inflicted emotional or physical pain

If you have any questions about grounds for divorce or filing for a fault divorce, contact our team at The Williams Firm today.

What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

Unlike divorce, legal separation does not legally terminate the marriage between two people. A legal separation simply means that two people are still married, but they no longer observe a relationship with each other. In order to obtain a legal separation, the couple must have a legal separation agreement. This agreement involves both a formalized pleading and a formalized process, which will result in paperwork stating that the couple has a legal separation. Without going through the process, filing the action, and getting the proper paperwork, the separation is not acknowledged by law.

How does the court split assets in a divorce?

In most cases, the couple can divide their assets as they see fit, which is known as a marital settlement agreement. While the debate of how to split property, debts, and other aspects of the divorce may not always start out in the most civil way, most couples usually settle. However, if a couple can’t decide how to split the assets so that each spouse is happy, a judge may get involved to decide for them. Because Georgia is an equitable division state, as opposed to a community property state, the court will divide the marital assets as it sees fair.

How do courts determine who gets custody of children?

In custody cases, the couple is allowed the opportunity to determine a plan for the division of time between the children and each parent. In the event that the couple cannot agree on the division of parenting time, the court will then step in and rule on this matter as well. In the event there is a court ruling on this matter, they will take into account what will be best for the wellbeing of the child. If it is in the best interest of the child, the court will work toward a joint custody solution that allows both parents to have time with the child moving forward.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody applies to not only decision making, but also physical location. Physical custody refers to where the child will be located. This can be done on an alternating schedule, or sole custody can sometimes be awarded where the child takes up residence with only one of the parties involved.

Custody cases not only rule on physical location, but also on how decisions are applied on subjects such as how the child will be raised, what they are or are not allowed to do, and more. It can be decided that both parties must be in agreement for these decisions, or it may, in some situations, be decided that one parent is the sole decision-maker.

Each case is unique to the parties involved, if you have questions about custody, please contact The Williams Firm office.

How long will my case take?

Once someone makes the decision to get a divorce, they generally want the process over as quickly as possible. However, the process can be complex, especially if there are children involved. In the state of Georgia, there is a mandatory waiting period before a divorce is finalized. Even if the couple agrees on everything and they file for an uncontested divorce, the state still requires a mandatory 31-day waiting period before the court can issue a Final Order and Decree of Divorce. That being said, the process can take longer if the couple doesn’t agree on some aspects of the divorce or can’t agree on child custody, in which case the court will need to be involved and your case may take longer.

Reach out to The Williams Firm, P.C. Today!

If you’re interested in filing for a divorce and you need a knowledgeable and professional divorce attorney on your side, look no further than The Williams Firm. We’re proud to offer our services to residents throughout Atlanta and Alpharetta. Explore our website to learn more about our practice areas, and give us a call to request a consultation today!