Divorce and Litigation

Wade Everett takes a holistic approach in his divorce practice and individualizes each case. Although most Georgia divorce cases address common issues, each of Wade Everett’ clients has specific needs and goals and we design a strategy that considers all of their personal needs and goals. We always thoroughly explain the legal options and the likely consequences so our clients can make an informed decisions about the best course of action for them. We discuss with our clients whether divorce litigation, or settling in mediation may be the best course of action to meet both short term and long term issues. A divorce trial is always an option if parties cannot come to an agreement.

Although litigation is always an option, if possible, litigation (going to trial) is something to avoid. The reasons are numerous and some of them are addressed in our Divorce Mediation page.However, there are times and circumstances where divorce litigation is not only unavoidable but the best option available.

Sometimes the other person is so dishonest or uncooperative that divorce litigation is essential. You can contact us for information or an initial consultation.

Divorce Litigation Documentation

For both mediated and litigated divorces much of the same documentation and many of the same processes are involved. The collection and documentation of marital assets, documentation of all financial assets, liabilities, and obligations are some of the common information.

In an adversarial environment, depositions may have to be taken and experts in valuation of property and businesses may be hired.  Forensic accountants not only utilize their accounting and auditing skills, but also use their investigative skills to determine what events actually took place in a financial setting.  When appropriate, we call on highly qualified financial experts to support our clients in divorce litigation proceedings.

Divorce Litigation Investigations

Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as theft, financial fraud, child or spousal abuse activities, either currently or in the past are involved. Forensic accountants may be retained to search for hidden assets in a divorce case. Private investigators may be hired to perform background or current activities investigations. Social services and psychiatric specialists may be called on to provide expert testimony or opinions where abuse has occurred. The Georgia Divorce Law Firm of Wade H. Everett maintains relationships with specialists in investigations and calls upon their services as needed to support their client’s divorce litigatio

Most investigations now occur using FACEBOOK.  We will discuss the use of social media by the parties, families, and friends.

Litigation Expectations

What can one expect in a litigated divorce? The likely answer is a long and expensive process. This is why we work toward a mediated divorce rather than a litigated divorce. Wade recognizes that there are circumstances when a trial (litigation) is either necessary or desirable and properly represents his clients interests when perusing either form.

  • Interviews – When you meet with Wade to determine a strategy or when he meets with potential witnesses in your case.
  • Depositions – Opposing party and/or third parties give testimony under oath in front of a court reporter.
  • Filing complaint for divorce and have a summons and copy of the complaint served on your spouse.
  • Mediation – Is required in all cases that are contested.  The parties will attend the mediation with their attorneys.  The mediator’s goal is help the parties reach an agreement.
  • Temporary orders are issued by the court after a hearing. Both parties have a chance testify and will be questioned by the other attorney. Temporary hearing are limited to issues of short term support, custody and possession of assets and housing.   If you have children, the order also includes a Parenting Plan relative to their care, custody and support.
  • Discovery and Exchange Financial statements and other information must be exchanged. The investigation or discovery of information relative to the case, like the identification and valuation of assets; psychological profiles of the parents and children, if custody is an issue; employ-ability of the parties, etc. occurs here. It is at the conclusion of this phase that many divorces pursuing a litigated path may be settled.
  • Request for Trial: The lawyers will request a trial date. Depending on the court’s docket, the parties must wait many months before the trial date is scheduled.
  • Trial: Divorce trials take place before a judge without a jury. Most divorce trials take one or two days.
  • Final Decree and Judgment of Divorce: Until the final judgment is issued, you are not legally free to remarry. This decree will govern your life as it relates to you previous spouse.  Property and Debt division will be spelled out and custody, parenting time and support of any minor children of the marriage will be ordered.  The child-related terms and alimony provisions of the judgment remain in effect until a material change in circumstances occurs, in which event you may file a complaint for modification. Property and debt issues are not subject to modification.
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