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Understanding the Georgia divorce process

Georgians who have never been through a divorce will likely be blindsided, if their marriage ends. Many Georgians are accustomed to believing what they see on TV, and while the media may make divorce sound as easy as signing some paperwork, it is much more complex than that. Divorce is an extremely complicated undertaking, especially if there are children involved. Read on to differentiate myth from reality.

First of all, a divorce takes time and money. One does not simply walk into a lawyer's office, sign some papers and be done. It is a lengthy process that involves many steps, even if the split is amicable. Also, not everything is split 50/50. Each state has its own laws regarding property distribution. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets are split fairly.

Times have changed, and mothers do not always get child custody. While men are getting custody more often than in the past, it often boils down to who is the child's primary caregiver. Many men are now stay-at-home dads, while the mother works. In these cases, they are often the ones who will get custody.

Another myth: cheaters will get their day in court. No fault divorce is now available in all 50 states, so the judges no longer necessarily care about cheating spouses. They will not be punished for their actions and given fewer assets, for example.

Moreover, do not hide any assets. Disclose everything or face punishment.

Divorce is a powerful legal action, and while it distributes assets and determines who gets custody of the children, it is not a cure-all for all of the issues within a marriage. Divorce ends a significant relationship, and this can leave emotional wounds. Only time and counseling can heal these.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Divorce Myths to Legally Separate From (Even If You're Single)," Jessica Mason, April 10, 2015

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