Divorce can be one of the most stressful experiences a person will ever endure. Even an amicable divorce can result in dramatic changes to one’s lifestyle, income, and family relationships. Contested divorces can become hard-fought battles against someone who was once loved and knows how to push all of the buttons. Mediation is an excellent alternative for many couples, but not for all. A frank discussion with an experienced Divorce Lawyer in Douglasville GA will help determine the best way to proceed.
Sometimes, a couple is able to resolve all of their differences privately. This type of divorce certainly makes it easier on everyone. Having a divorce lawyer review and draft all of the necessary documents is advisable. The agreed-upon decision may have further legal issues that need to be addressed or something may have been overlooked.
An uncontested divorce offers certain disadvantages.
- The terms can be unfair to one spouse.
- There is no discovery, providing a spouse with the opportunity to hide or move assets prior to a court filing.
- Before a divorce is filed, one spouse could move with the children.
Contested divorces are time-intensive, emotionally exhausting, and expensive. Judges determine custody of the children. Either spouse can ask for a jury decision on alimony or how property should be divided. A contested divorce is necessary if there are allegations of abuse and protection orders are requested from the court.
There are a couple advantages to a contested divorce.
- The court can issue a standing order preventing either spouse from moving assets or the children.
- A spouse has the benefit of discovery, enabling a search for hidden assets.
A contentious divorce will involve a complaint and answer filed with the court, extensive discovery, hundreds of emails and phone calls, a hearing, an all-day and unsuccessful mediation attempt, interviews with witnesses, and a trial. An experienced trial lawyer is needed.
Mediation allows a couple to attempt to resolve their differences with an impartial moderator. Sometimes a couple will agree on some issues but not others. If both parties are able to have good faith discussions, mediation can be extremely useful. Mediation is not recommended when there are charges of abuse.
Diane M. Sternlieb is an experienced Divorce Lawyer in Douglasville GA. Whatever the circumstances of your divorce, she offers the experienced and compassionate legal counsel needed during this troubling time. To request an appointment, visit Dsternlieblaw.com.