If you’re getting a divorce in Georgia, or you are considering filing for a divorce in Georgia, you might be wondering what the cost of a divorce is going to be. The average cost of divorce in Georgia varies on several things, which we will dig into in this article.
How Much Does Divorce Cost In Atlanta?
There are many factors that influence how much a divorce costs in Georgia. The main factors that contribute to costs of divorce are:
- Complexities: Do You Have A Divorce With Kids?
- Level of Conflict With The Divorce Process
- How You Get A Divorce In Atlanta
- Georgia Divorce Laws
Divorce Complexities: How They Affect The Cost Of Divorce
Divorces that are ‘by the books’ are easy divorces and can mitigate the how much a divorce costs. Making your divorce more complex will only increase how much it is to get a divorce. Some of the ways that divorces in Georgia can become more complex are discussed below.
Divorce While Owning A Business
If you and your spouse own a business together, you may be forced to sell the business, buy them out of their equity of the business, or provide them with cash flow from the business. It’s sometimes difficult, depending on the length of the marriage, to determine what property is marital and what property is separate.
Even business interests can be considered marital if the parties had commingled their personal and corporate finances that it was appropriate to treat the corporate debt as marital property.
A spouse may also be able to “pierce the corporate veil,” if a spouse attempts to use a corporation to shield assets from a court-ordered property distribution.
Divorce With Kids
Divorcing with children can be one of the most complex situations affecting the divorce and there’s lots of things to consider. Some questions to ask yourself if you’re considering a divorce are:
- Are the children more attached to one parent over the other?
- Whether your kids have recently experienced other losses.
- How well can the parents cope with getting a divorce?
- Will you be able to get along with your ex?
- Should you keep your children living in the house that their family lived in?
Divorce Splitting Assets
Property acquired before the marriage, or by gift or inheritance, is considered separate property. The question of whether a spouse’s gift or inheritance has remained separated property is highly fact intensive, and the Georgia divorce courts must weigh the evidence and make the determination of who gets what in the divorce. However, even property that is separate can be subject to division in lieu of alimony and in other extraordinary situations when equity so demands.
Also, if a spouse contributes to or augments the value of separate property, that spouse may be entitled to an equitable distribution of some or all of the property, depending on the circumstances of the case and equity.
Companies like Breyer Home Buyers are a great, neutral third party that can give you a market evaluation of your property and pay cash for your property. Divorces aren’t easy, but at Breyer Home Buyers, we pride ourselves in making your divorce process easy by buying as is and closing when you need to.
What’s that mean for you? You can leave all of your stuff. You just take what you want from your house and your marriage, and leave the rest. We will handle cleaning out the house ourselves. You also get to pick your closing date. We aren’t Realtors. We pay cash for houses so we are able to close when is best for you. Whether you need to get out super quick (14 days) or you need time to figure things out (8+ months), you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that we will be paying cash for your Georgia property and will be ready on the date you choose.
No matter what condition your house is in; no matter what situation or timeframe you’re facing…
Our goal is to help make your life easier and get you out from under the property that’s stressing you out… while still paying a fast, fair, and honest price for your house.
How Much Is A Divorce In Georgia: The Fees
Administration and court fees are the most basic expense of a divorce and will vary by state. The initial filing fee to start a divorce action in Georgia can range anywhere from less than $100 to more than $500.
There will also be additional fees to file various documents with the court throughout the process; however, these are rarely the only costs incurred throughout a divorce. There are other common factors that will continue to increase the costs of your divorce in Atlanta, such as divorce lawyer fees.
Divorce Attorneys in Atlanta charge anywhere from around $50 per hour to upwards of $700 depending on where you live and the divorce attorney’s experience, credibility, reputation, etc., though you can probably expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $250 per hour as a general average. You should also note that just because an attorney charges more does not mean they are better. However, there’s a fine line between over paying for a divorce attorney in Georgia and getting a cheap divorce lawyer that isn’t an expert with the Georgia divorce laws.
One option to reduce how much your divorce is going to cost you is to proceed with your divorce without a lawyer. This may seem overwhelming, and you’ll want to do your research, but you could save anywhere from $500-$10,000+ depending on how complex your divorce is. If you and your spouse get along, you can sit down together and create a separation agreement to determine upfront who gets what in the divorce. This separation agreement will need to be submitted to the divorce courts when you are filing your papers for your divorce in GA.
Developing your separation agreement, filing your own paperwork to the divorce courts in Georgia, and opting out of using a divorce lawyer alone will save you a tremendous amount of money.
You should definitely be on good terms with your spouse when going down this path. If you are not able to get along with your spouse during the divorce process, then you should definitely use a divorce attorney who is an expert about Georgia divorce laws.
Divorce in Georgia: Contentious Issues
Contentious issues arise from spousal support (alimony), child support, and visitation. Negotiating these aspects during the divorce process can really drag it out exponentially longer.
Spousal Support: Alimony In Georgia
In marriages of short duration, less than ten years, the length of spousal support is limited to one-half the length of marriage. There is minimal controversy concerning this law. In fact, the certainty of the law serves to guide expedient spousal support settlements.
However, in marriages of ten years or more, there is no statutory limit. The lack of a limit provides great uncertainty, and exposes clients to multiple, and oftentimes protracted, court proceedings. In fact, without a set limit, both spouses have reason to litigate. Spouses who are paying out alimony are told that, to limit the length of their obligation, they should file motions to modify “early and often.” On the other hand, spouses who receive spousal support have no incentive to make realistic efforts to support themselves because they are told that there is potentially no limit to how long they will receive support.
How Is Child Support In Georgia Determined?
Georgia has guidelines to determine child support payments. The child support payment amount is calculated on each parent’s income and the amount of time he or she spends with the children. The guidelines also provide for add-on amounts for the following expenses:
- Child care
- Health care and health insurance
- Special educational or other needs
- Travel-related visitation
Keep in mind that the family law judges presiding over divorces in Georgia are the ultimate authority on child support decisions. They can deviate from the guidelines as they see fit.
Modifications in the child support calculations and ruling can be made at any time. Special circumstances or income changes are just two reasons to revisit child support payments, such as if one spouse gets a major promotion or bump in pay. The parties can agree in writing to the changed amount or can file a motion with the court. After the divorce is finalized, you should consult an attorney to change the amount.
Any order for child support payments typically includes an order for the assignment of wages. This is to make sure that people are paying child support before they pay anything else. Child support payments usually begin when the judgment dissolving the marriage will be signed by the court, even though the parties will not legally be divorced until after the waiting period. If the judgment is delayed, you can file an application with the court to rush the payment of child support. You should seek a divorce attorney if this is the case to file your paperwork with the divorce courts.
Reducing The Average Cost Of Divorce In Georgia
If you are looking to reduce the cost of your divorce in Georgia (who isn’t?) then here are some quick awesome tips to reduce how much your divorce costs you that will be easy to do depending on how well you get along with your spouse or how on board they are with saving money as well.
Minimizing Divorce Attorney Fees
If you create a lot of headaches for your divorce lawyer then naturally you’re going to be charged significantly more for your divorce process. That means you shouldn’t call them every other hour for updates (trust that they know how to handle the case and that they will update you), you shouldn’t question EVERYTHING that they do (yes, it’s good to verify that they are doing what you want them to do), you should figure some things out BEFORE you go see them every time since they charge by the hour.
Figuring out how the divorce process works in Georgia and implementing as much as possible in terms of determining how you and your spouse want to handle child support, alimony, splitting of assets, etc. will significantly reduce the amount of attorney fees that you are going to be paying out.
The added benefit of gaining so much knowledge about how the divorce process works is that you’ll know whether or not you have a good divorce attorney who really knows the divorce laws in Georgia. If you don’t have a good one, or you have an attorney that doesn’t care what you want or doesn’t listen, then get a new divorce attorney. Having an attorney on your side while filing for divorce is going to help you tremendously.
Divorce Planning: Resolving Issues Outside Of Court
Most of your costs associated with your divorce in Georgia will stem from legal battles in the divorce courts. Just think, you have to pay filing fees, attorney fees, court fees, and all of that is compounded with time as you and your spouse aren’t able to come to terms in your divorce process.
A great way to mitigate the costs of divorce for is writing out a separation agreement which will lay out who gets what in the divorce, how alimony, child support, and visitations are handled, and how assets are split. Figuring this out might take hours, days, or weeks so you can imagine the amount of divorce lawyer fees that you’d save without having to go through a divorce attorney for each party involved to figure the divorce settlement out. Be humble, be fair, and remember that impulsive and negative decisions can affect you negatively for a lifetime.
Amicability: The Key To A Quick & Easy Divorce
Divorces most certainly can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. You may lose your house, your kids, your loved ones, your retirement savings, and anything else that your divorce attorneys can cook up.
Maybe at times we should sit back, take a breather, and realize that divorce doesn’t have to be a battle. At Breyer Home Buyers, we’ve worked with numerous couples who have taken advantage of using us as a neutral third party to liquidate their properties in a friendly, honest, fast, and easy way. We believe that divorce is just simply splitting paths when two people come to a fork in the road, and our goal to to make your divorce simple.
You don’t have to battle over:
- Who pays for the renovations
- Who gets to pick the Realtor
- Who has to negotiate the deals
- Who manages, choses, and pays the contractors
- Who cleans the house before every showing
- How long your house is going to sit on the market
Working with a company like Breyer Home Buyers, you’ll get to focus on important things like being a great parent and focusing on your children, excelling at work instead of underperforming, maintaining relationships with your friends and family, and focusing on you because living life a with a little less stress from divorce will ripple into other areas of your life.