We get this question all the time. The answer is January 14. No, just kidding!
Divorce can be extremely difficult and taxing—both emotionally and financially. There is no “best” time to file for divorce, but the circumstances at the time of the filing will have significant implications in your divorce settlement in Georgia. You should know about the circumstances listed below and how they can affect the outcome of your divorce:
Your employment status and that of your spouse can affect alimony. If you are looking to receive alimony and your spouse is unemployed, it is better to wait until they are gainfully employed before you initiate divorce proceedings.
Only assets that have been acquired can be divided in a Georgia divorce. For example, let’s say your spouse has stock options that have not vested yet or deferred compensation they have not received yet. If you’re looking for an equitable division of those future assets, then it’s better to wait until those assets vest before divorce proceedings are initiated so that they can be clearly identified and more easily divided.
Children can sign election affidavits in a Georgia divorce or modification action after they reach the age of 14. The courts consider the child’s affidavit when awarding custody. If you have a child who is on the cusp of turning 14 and wants to live primarily with you, then it’s smarter to wait before starting divorce proceedings so that you can strengthen your custody case in a Georgia divorce.
When it comes to taxes and Georgia divorce, you can only take advantage of the married filing jointly exemptions if you are married through the end of a particular calendar year. Therefore, it may be advantageous to wait until the beginning of a new year to finalize a divorce. This will allow you to take advantage of the married filing jointly deduction for the prior year. Depending on the tax bracket you and your spouse fall into, the savings can be significant and can be split between the parties or awarded to the spouse who is financially in need.
It is important to be emotionally stable when you start divorce proceedings. Acting in anger or during a time when you are depressed can make navigating the treacherous waters of divorce even more difficult. The more clear-minded you are, the better decisions you will be able to make.
If you discover that your spouse is hiding money and lying about it, it is important to consult with a Georgia divorce attorney. They can discuss the potential impact of a divorce and what actions are appropriate for protecting those assets. When a Georgia divorce is filed, courts issue a standing order or a freeze order to prevent the disposition of assets from the marital estate. This eliminates the possibility of those assets being removed from the marital estate.
If you’re considering divorce, we can help calm your fears while also educating you about the process and the circumstances that affect it. At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC, we’re well-versed in Georgia divorces. You will work with one of our highly qualified partners, not a junior associate. We take the time during your consultation to answer your questions and advise you on your Georgia divorce. Please or call 404-793-6530 to speak with us.