Protect yourself in the divorce process

Asking for a divorce or being asked for a divorce can be extremely scary for many people. A lot of people have a fear of going to court during divorce and it can cause a lot of people anxiety and stress. Not every divorce case has to go to court. There is always the option of mediation.

Mediation is a simple process that involves both divorcing parties meeting together to resolve any divorce issues, including division of assets, child support, custody, and other related issues. Each spouse will bring his/her own attorney to the sessions to protect their interests. A mediation session is generally required before proceeding to divorce litigation. Mediation offers the opportunity for a better process and a better outcome for everyone.

For most people, mediation is a better process compared with traditional divorce litigation. The mediation process is a more private matter. Strangers are not allowed to sit in on the sessions, and it helps protect the children from the hard reality of seeing their parents in a court setting. Mediation is often a much faster, smoother, and less stressful event. Divorce always has an element of stress, but with mediation these realities are greatly reduced in most cases.

Mediation doesn’t work for every case, however, the process works for most people, and when it does, it offers significant advantages over the traditional courtroom divorce process.

Contact Dreyer Law to schedule a free consultation. Together you and Doug Dreyer can decide if your case is better suited for mediation or a traditional courtroom process.

Habits that keep men from moving on from divorce

Getting over your divorce is never quick and easy. Research shows us that men take breakups and divorce harder than women. Below are some common hang-ups that often prevent men from getting through a divorce.

  • Holding a grudge. Not every divorce is wanted by both spouses. You may feel like your wife didn’t fight hard enough to save your marriage, or she may have cheated on you. Whatever the situation may be, there is a good chance you are holding onto bitter feelings towards her and that will prevent you from moving on with your life after your divorce. Holding a grudge allows you to be a prisoner to her actions and prohibits you from really starting over after divorce. Dealing with the reasons for your divorce may free you to move on with your life.
  • Isolation. The loneliness after divorce makes you want to shut the blinds and stay in bed for weeks. Instead of falling prey to isolation, take a little time to decompress, but do not wallow in self-pity. It is impossible to overstate the value of human connection. Force yourself to call your closest friends and get out of the house to do some activities. Get involved in your church, volunteer at a local organization supporting a cause you are passionate about, or join the local gym to work off some stress.
  • Refusing to accept responsibility. It is natural to demonize your spouse when going through a divorce. However, divorce should cause some serious introspection and self-reflection. Focusing too much on your spouse’s wrongs can cause you to overlook some personal shortcomings you might need to work on. When a marriage fails, there is typically blame to go around on both sides. You should not be hard on yourself or blame yourself for the divorce, but it is healthy to take an honest look at how you contributed to the marital breakdown.
  • Idealizing the past. If you are not the one who asked for the divorce, you might tend to focus on everything that you lost. When you were married, your relationship was part of your identity. Instead of hopelessly reminiscing about how life used to be, think about the possibilities that lie ahead and what you can do to make yourself a more well-rounded human being.
  • Counseling. Counseling is not for everyone but it can be useful, even if it is just for a brief period. It is also more socially accepted today than in year’s past, so you should not be worried about any perceived negative stigma.

Surviving a divorce is an emotionally draining process for everyone. When you’re suffering from the pain of divorce, it can be easy to overlook some important legal steps you need to take to protect yourself. Contact Dreyer Law today for a free consultation to talk about the divorce process. We can help you get in touch with counselors and get you back to happiness after your divorce.

Starting a divorce

Thinking about a divorce but aren’t sure where to begin? Here are a few things you need to know before taking the first step.

· Make sure you really want a divorce. Yes, this does sound like common sense, but many people are not 100% sure they want a divorce when they make the first call to a lawyer. Please remember that a divorce is final. When you get divorced, you and your spouse are no longer a legal entity and your household funds are roughly cut in half. If you have any doubts about filing for a divorce, contact a local couple’s counselor and try to talk your issues out before committing to a divorce.

· Find a lawyer you like and trust. A lot of clients ask why it is important to like your lawyer, and the main reason is because you will be working very closely together and discussing intimate details of your marriage.

· Set aside money for a divorce. Before you can file for a divorce, you have to pay your lawyer a retainer fee. A retainer fee is a deposit that is paid up front that they will hold in trust that you can and will pay them the remaining amount once the divorce is filed. After you pay your retainer fee, if your spouse is the only one providing for your family, your lawyer can ask the court to require your spouse to contribute to your legal fees but you are still responsible for your fees until a judge grants you funds from your spouse.

· Do your part. Once your case is filed, your lawyer has to adhere to strict deadlines. You need to have all of your paperwork in order and be able to hand over any information your lawyer inquires about in a timely manner. If you ignore or violate the court deadlines, you may be sanctioned.

· Leave the legal advice to your lawyer. Many clients ask for advice from friends, co-workers, or even their current spouse during the divorce process. Asking for advice from outside parties can result in you second guessing your lawyer and ignoring some of their advice.

You need to only listen to the advice from your legal team. They are paid to keep your best interest first.

Contact Dreyer Law today to schedule a consultation. You need to make sure that a divorce is the best solution to your marriage.

Does my family need post divorce counseling?

No matter the circumstances, going through a divorce can be a trying process for everyone involved. It doesn’t matter if one spouse initiated the divorce or both agreed that it was time to bring their marriage to an end, it is very common for recently divorced individuals to experience feelings of stress, sadness, shame, anxiety, and fear of the future. Many children from a divorced home will experience similar emotions as well.

A very common question I am asked is, “Should I consider post divorce counseling?” If you are recently divorced, it may be worthwhile to speak with a counselor or therapist about your new life. Newnan, Georgia and its surrounding areas have many skilled professionals who offer therapy for coping with divorce, including divorce therapy for children, and scheduling a consultation can help you gain a clearer understanding of you and your children’s emotional health.

Post divorce counseling can offer numerous benefits, including much-needed support for the following.

  • Understanding and coping with feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Finding new ways to connect with your children
  • Developing an overall plan for adjusting to life after divorce
  • Overcoming feelings of shame and insecurity
  • Recognizing self-destructive behaviors and avoiding feeling stuck as a result of self-imposed limitations

Getting divorced is a process, so is adjusting to life as a single individual or parent. Remember that you do not have to go through this alone; seeking a trained therapist provides benefits far beyond what you will expect.

Helping your children adjust to their new life needs to be a priority. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, your children spend months watching and waiting as their parents’ loving relationship comes to an end. This can take a significant toll, as children are often less-equipped than their parents to deal with the emotional strain of a divorce.

Children of all ages will benefit greatly from talking about their feelings and learning about coping strategies in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Contact Dreyer Law for a free consultation to see if divorce is the right answer for your family. We can also provide some contacts for a divorce counselor in the Newnan, Georgia area.

Preparing for a domestic violence hearing?

In today’s world, domestic violence is very common. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence compiled data from various sources, including the U.S Department of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, which has reported the following:

  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of domestic partner violence also abuse children in the household.
  • Almost 1/3 of female homicide victims are killed by a domestic partner.
  • One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by a domestic partner each year.

If you, or someone you know, is in a violent relationship, please call the police and ask for help. No one should have to suffer from abuse of any form. When you call the police for help, you will be able to file a police report that will help you later in court.

As a result of the brutal impact that abuse renders on families and children, courts take charges of domestic violence very seriously. During a divorce procedure, if there is history of abuse in the household, the judge’s rulings on custody and visitation is highly impacted. All judges have to decide what option is the best for all of the children involved.

I am frequently asked what happens during a domestic violence hearing. The first thing to take place is the judge looking over all of the evidence; this is where your police reports come in handy. If there is sufficient evidence that you are reasonably concerned that violence will continue, the judge will most likely issue a protective order in favor of the victim. A protective order protects the victim from the abuser and the abuser is to have no contact with the victim of any kind. If the couple has children, the judge usually awards the victim full custody of the children. Certain safeguards then can be implemented to adequately protect the child/children during visitation. These safeguards can include appointing a supervisor.

Dreyer Law offers legal services for family law, criminal law, and personal injury. If you, or someone you know, is going through a domestic violence situation, please call our office for help. We offer free consultation and are here to help you in your time of need.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Before you walk down the aisle and say “I do”, you need to know what a prenuptial agreement is and why you may need one. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people who plan to marry concerning the ownership of their respective assets in the event of a divorce. The top five advantages of a prenuptial agreement in Georgia are certainty, debt protection, minimizes the divorce acrimony, protects the children, and cost of a prenuptial agreement.

Having a prenuptial agreement allows you to go into the marriage with a peace of mind that your spouse cannot decide to leave you suddenly and take all of your assets. When you both agree and sign the prenup, you are outlining the financial obligations and understandings of each spouse.

A prenup is the best way to protect assets that you have before the marriage. You can also set out the ownership of any increase in a pre-existing asset and set out the interest one party may have in an asset purchased after the marriage if pre-existing funds are used for the purchase.

A prenup is a great asset to have if your spouse will be bringing in a considerable amount of debt. This would be debt from previous credit cards, student loans, or old medical bills. With the prenup in place, you will not be responsible for any debt that was created before your marriage took place.

Having a prenup will relieve a considerable amount of tension if a divorce is ever an option. The divorce process would involve less conflict, stress, and resentment. In the case of a divorce, each spouse will know what his/her responsibilities are and make the divorce process go smoothly.

The prenuptial agreement is not just for the benefit of yourself and your spouse. This agreement will protect your children and any amount of money or assets they will be receiving. A prenup also protects any investments of children that were born before you were married.

To protect you and your spouse, both parties should retain a Georgia family law attorney who is skilled and experienced in drafting marital agreements. On average, a prenup costs about half of the average engagement ring price. A prenup will clarify all private agreements and help avoid extended court proceeding and additional legal fees.

Dreyer Law recommends creating a prenuptial agreement in advance of your wedding day. It will give you and your soon- to- be spouse the time to plan what needs to be in the prenup without taking away from your big day. Give Dreyer Law a call to set up a free consultation to learn more about prenuptial agreements or any of your family law needs.

What is the difference between divorce and separation in Georgia?

Many couples decide that their lives would have more value if they were no longer a couple. Once you choose to not stay with your spouse, you have to decide if a separation or a divorce is a better option for you.

There are many similarities between a divorce and separation. These include child support, alimony, custody, visitation, and property division. In both a separation and divorce, both spouses have to come to an agreement on how to provide support for both the spouse and the children.

Divorce in Georgia:

Under Georgia law, there are no requirements for spouses to live in separate households before a no-fault divorce can be granted. In Georgia, one spouse can file for a divorce and the divorce can be finalized in as little as 30 days after service upon the other party if both parties are in full agreement.

Separation in Georgia:

Married people in Georgia can separate by requesting a separate maintenance agreement order from the court. A separation can only occur if both spouses agree that a separation is best and that divorce is not an option at that time.

There are many different reasons some couples will choice to be legally separated instead of divorcing. Some reasons include:

  • Neither spouse desires to get remarried
  • Religious beliefs
  • The couple is not ready to end their marriage through divorce
  • Financial reasons
  • Healthcare

When considering a separation, remember that the court can still consider requests for child and spousal support just as it would during a divorce. Couples that are happy with their separation agreement can later opt for divorce and use their separation agreement as the template for their divorce.

For more information on separation, divorces, and other family law issues, contact Doug Dreyer with Dreyer Law for a free consultation to help you and your spouse decide what is best for you both.

Divorce and Debt

Did you know that all marital assets are separated during a divorce, even the debts? Debt is just like any other possession and has to be divvied up and redistributed during a divorce. Divorce is already a stressful time, but it becomes even more stressful when you add debt to the mix. Below is a breakdown of what happens to your debt during a divorce.

  • Credit Card Debt- This type of debt may be from either a joint account or an individual account. Division of this type of debt involves multiple factors including whether the debt was incurred after the separation, the type of item purchased, which party is awarded the specific item purchased by credit card, and other factors.
  • Mortgage- Usually, but not always, the court will want the children to remain in the home. However other factors and circumstances need to be taken into account. Is it financially feasible for the custodial parent to pay the mortgage? Are the children about to graduate to a new school soon? Could either party qualify to refinance the mortgage?
  • Medical Expenses- Equitable division property states the court will take a variety of factors into consideration when determining the responsibility of medical debt. This includes whether or not you and your spouse were living together at the time the debt was acquired, whether you were legally separated at the time, whether the debt falls under the umbrella of necessary care, and what impact the debt might have on any children you have had. Of course, of primary importance is for which party was the medical treatment. And resulting expense, necessary.

Divorce is a stressful process, but knowing how it might affect your financial situation can help you reduce some of the stress. Take the time to sit down and look through all of your financial documents, bills, credit statements, loans, etc. Contact Dreyer Law today for a free consultation and to discuss the best set of actions to take when contemplating a divorce.

Proper ways to tell your kids about divorce

Divorce is difficult on everyone, especially children.  When children are suddenly facing the divorce of their parents, they may feel like the divorce is their fault, and, as a result, they may become angry and begin acting out. These situations can make a divorce even more difficult to process for both spouses, but talking to your children strategically and effectively might prevent any confusion or anger.

Talking to your children about divorce may seem beyond your capabilities, but just remember that a lot of people have to go through this process and there are ways to make it easier on both yourself and your children. The following are a few strategies for making this process easier:

  • When you talk to your children, make sure that your spouse is present. This will help the children understand that you are a united team.
  • Carefully explain the reasons for the divorce, but leave out any details that are incriminating to you or your spouse.
  • Make it crystal clear that the divorce is not your children’s fault. This is between you and your spouse.
  • Remember to maintain eye contact and keep a calm voice and demeanor.
  • Avoid blaming your spouse and stay positive.
  • Allow your children to ask you and your spouse questions so they will have a better understanding of the divorce and the procedure.

Each of these strategies can make talking with your children about divorce easier. Please contact Dreyer Law with all of your Family Law needs. Remember, each family is different, so talking about your divorce with your children will be a different experience for everyone.

3 things you should avoid during your divorce

When you are going through a divorce, you have to step out of your comfort zone. Being an adult and non-childlike is very crucial to the success of your divorce. In the following blog, I will discuss 3 things you should avoid doing during your divorce.

  1. Don’t play silly childish games. This simply means to act your age. Don’t go out and rack up a ton of debt using a joint credit card; you are going to need some free space for divorce-related expenses. Also keep in mind that your ex could use your credit card purchases against you in court. Retail therapy isn’t a good idea during a divorce.
  2. Be modest when in public. I have seen cases where a spouse going through a divorce will use that time to “sew some oats”, so to speak. It is extremely important to not be drunk, nude, or lude in public where cameras or eyes can see you. Instead of showing childish behavior, have some me time. Receiving a massage and reading a good book in a bubble bath are all acceptable. Also be careful with the material that you post on social media. Do not include comments about the other spouse and do not include pictures of a new partner.
  3. Don’t make new mistakes. When you find a lawyer to take your case, he/she is taking your case after you have been upfront with them on everything you and your spouse have/are going through. This means you need to tell all of your dirty secrets to your lawyer, such as if you cheated on your spouse or if you keyed your spouse’s car when you caught your spouse cheating. Now that your lawyer knows what you have done, you should not go out of your way to jeopardize your relationship with your lawyer. If you do make a mistake during the divorce process, own up to it to your lawyer, learn from your mistake and more forward.

The Dreyer Law offers free consultations. Contact us today at 770-253-7256