Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. As a doctor, you may face additional stressors, such as long work hours, demanding patients, and a hectic schedule. It’s essential to recognize that divorce can be emotionally draining, and taking a step back and focusing on your well-being during this time is okay.
One of the most significant worries doctors may face during a divorce is its impact on their careers. You may be concerned about how the divorce will affect your reputation and how it may impact your ability to provide quality patient care. You may have questions about how much spousal support you will pay or how you will protect your practice when marital assets get divided.
An experienced Atlanta divorce attorney can answer your questions and work to protect what you value most. Divorce is never easy, but it can be significantly easier when you have legal support and guidance from the start.
Doctors and the Divorce Process
Like other Georgia residents, doctors must follow specific laws when seeking a divorce. In Georgia, divorce laws and regulations fall under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Code Title 19. In Georgia, you can file for divorce on either fault-based or no-fault grounds. The fault-based grounds include adultery, desertion, mental or physical abuse, and addiction to drugs or alcohol. The no-fault ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences, meaning that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be repaired.
To file for divorce in Georgia, one spouse must be a state resident for at least six months before filing.
In Georgia, doctors can choose between three types of divorces:
- Uncontested divorce: When both spouses agree on all issues, including property division, child custody, and support, they can file for an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is generally faster and less expensive than a contested divorce.
- Contested divorce: When spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, such as property division or child custody, they must go through a contested divorce. This type of divorce can be more time-consuming and expensive, as it often requires a trial.
- Collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both spouses work with their own attorneys to reach an agreement outside of court. This type of divorce can be less stressful and more amicable than a contested divorce, but it may not work for all couples.
It’s important for doctors going through a divorce in Georgia to understand the laws and regulations that apply to their case and the types of divorce available to them.
Protecting Your Practice and Finances During Divorce
While doctors must go through the same processes as other Georgia residents, some issues are unique. Protecting their practice is one of them.
Protecting your practice during divorce is essential for doctors who own medical practices. This includes taking steps to safeguard the practice’s assets, such as creating a buy-sell agreement and ensuring that the practice continues to operate smoothly during the divorce process. Working with a family law attorney with experience in high-asset divorces can help doctors protect their practice and ensure their interests are represented throughout the divorce process.
You must first separate personal and professional assets to protect your practice during a divorce. This can be challenging, as doctors often have complex financial situations involving personal and professional assets. Working with a family law attorney with experience in high-asset divorces is important to ensure that all assets are properly identified and divided.
Identifying and valuing assets is another important step in protecting personal and professional assets during a divorce. This includes tangible assets, such as real estate and vehicles, and intangible assets, such as investments and retirement accounts. Doctors may also have unique assets, such as medical practices or partnerships, that require specialized valuation methods.
Business valuation and appraisal are essential. Valuing a medical practice can be complex, as it involves assessing the value of intangible assets, such as your reputation, as well as tangible assets. A qualified business appraiser can help doctors determine the value of their medical practice and ensure that it is properly protected during the divorce process.
Alimony and Spousal Support for Doctors
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a form of financial support paid from one spouse to another after a divorce. Alimony is intended to help the receiving spouse maintain their standard of living after the divorce, especially if they were financially dependent during the marriage.
For doctors who are the primary breadwinners in their marriage, alimony can be a substantial financial obligation. In Georgia, the court may award alimony based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage. Depending on the length of the marriage and the earning capacity of the spouse requesting alimony, the amount and duration of alimony payments can be substantial.
Doctors going through a divorce should work with a family law attorney with experience in high-asset divorces and alimony cases. A skilled attorney can help doctors understand their rights and obligations regarding alimony. They can also develop strategies for negotiating or contesting alimony payments.
Contact Our Atlanta Divorce Lawyers Today
At Hobson & Hobson, P.C., our divorce attorneys understand that ending a marriage can be overwhelming and confusing. As experienced Atlanta divorce lawyers, we’re here to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions. We provide compassionate yet assertive legal guidance that will address all your concerns and help you move toward a brighter future.
To schedule a consultation and explore your legal options, call us at (770) 284-6153 or fill out our confidential contact form. We know that this is a challenging time, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Attorney Sarah Hobson at Hobson and Hobson, P.C. are powerful advocates for those who fight for better futures for those going through divorce and custody law matters.