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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

No-Fault divorce can be as contentious as the parties make it

Many divorces may start out as amicable, but getting them to stay that way may involve a bit of luck and a lot of good faith effort by both parties. Although a divorce may be filed as a no-fault divorce, that does not mean that the parties are agreeing to an uncontested divorce. A no-fault divorce in Georgia is based on the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and most divorces ultimately end up being based on that ground.

However, although the parties do not choose to base the divorce on fault grounds, such as adultery or indignities, they may still be contesting other aspects of the process. For example, issues of child custody, child support, alimony and property division may turn out to be hotly contested when the process gets into high gear. Numerous pitfalls may arise to change previously acceptable terms.

Despite the initial commitment to have an amicable divorce, the major legal issues can take the parties down to re-living the conflicts and disappointments of the relationship. Despite good intentions, a so-called ‘amicable’ divorce is a tough order and a rare commodity due to the need to resolve some complex issues in which each party has a vested interest in obtaining the most favorable terms. This requires tough negotiations that sometimes stir up bitter memories and a whirlwind of emotions.

The parties can choose an alternative method, such as mediation, which uses a more dispassionate procedure of communications and problem-solving. However, where a divorce gets off to an adversarial, contentious beginning, it is less likely that both parties can be influenced to start using the “high road” in a meaningful manner. The chances for emotional triggers during the divorce process are a high probability factor.

There is always hope, however, that emotions can be controlled. Common sense logic makes it clear that a more practical, business-oriented approach to the process will produce better results in the settlement, and preserve one’s mental health at the same time. That is the best way to approach a no-fault divorce in Georgia and to keep it as amicable as possible under the circumstances.    

Source: The Huffington Post, “9 Reasons An Amicable Divorce Could Turn Ugly in a Heartbeat“, Jackie Pilossoph, July 21, 2015