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Will I Have to Go to Court for My Divorce?

It is not always necessary for you and your spouse to go to court if you want to get divorced.  Whether or not you must appear in front of a judge depends on whether you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on all issues related to your divorce, including matters related to your children, your property, and your debts.  If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on these issues, you can present a written settlement agreement to the court, who is likely to approve that agreement if it is reasonable and legally valid.  However, it is customary for many judges in Georgia to require the settlement be read onto the record in a short procedural hearing if children are involved in the divorce.

Even when it seems that you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all divorce-related issues, however, it is essential that you have an experienced divorce attorney involved in your case. Your attorney’s role is to make sure that you have included all of the necessary provisions and have addressed all of the pertinent issues in your settlement with your spouse.  All too often, people who think they have reached an agreement realize that they have forgotten to address some major issues in their agreement.  Plus, one spouse may not be aware of all of his or her rights in a divorce in terms of property division, which may lead to a settlement agreement that is unfair to one or both parties.  A Georgia family law attorney will make sure that you fully address all issues related to your divorce in your agreement, and advise you of all of the rights that you have in a divorce under Georgia law.  With your attorney’s help, you may then be able to negotiate a fair agreement with your spouse and avoid entering the courtroom.

In certain types of cases, a settlement is simply not an option.  If, for instance, your spouse refuses to give you any portion of his retirement plan after your 20-year marriage, then you will have to proceed to a court hearing and allow the judge to decide that issue.  In other cases, you and your spouse may be able to resolve all of the divorce-related financial issues, but cannot agree on the parenting plan for your child.  If this is the case, then you would enter into a written agreement about the financial issues, and have a hearing before the judge to decide the parenting plan issues.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.