December 02, 2021

How Much Will My Divorce Cost?

 

Divorce fees vary by state, county, and law firm. In all divorce cases in Georgia, you will have a filing fee paid directly the Clerk of Court when your divorce is filed. Filing fees in Georgia vary by county, below is a list of local Superior Court filing fees for divorce (as of December, 2021):


If you have a shared minor child with your spouse, you may also be required to attend a parenting class/ seminar for an additional Court fee. Programs and fees vary by county. See my post on parenting classes here: bechtold-law.blogspot.com.

Finally, you will have attorney fees for your divorce. Divorces vary greatly from family to family which in turn impacts attorney fees. “Be sure to get your fee arrangement in writing from your attorney before you enter into any attorney-client relationship.” bechtold-law.blogspot.com.

The Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC offers reasonable, clear, and up-front flat fees for most uncontested divorce cases. bechtold-law.com. This process allows you to know your fees ahead of time. Although the firm attempts to provide flat fees for most services, every case is different and may not completely fit into the pricing schedule below (as of December, 2021):

 

  • Uncontested Divorce Document Production: $1,000

  • Uncontested Divorce with Child(ren) Document Production: $1,500

 If your divorce turns into a contested divorce, meaning that you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, then The Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC works on a retainer fee agreement. bechtold-law.blogspot.com. Your starting retainer deposit amount will be based on your case and is billed against at $300/hour (as of December, 2021 bechtold-law.com). Every contested divorce is different and it is difficult to determine final legal fees, however, it is important to get an estimate from your attorney before you enter into any attorney-client relationship.

Contact the Law Office of Christine M Bechtold, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation and obtain a quote for your legal needs. 770-466-2700, Christine@Bechtold-Law.com.

November 01, 2021

Divorcing Parenting Class - Updated November 1, 2021


If you have a shared minor child and plan to be divorced in the State of Georgia you will likely be required to attend a parenting class or seminar. Requirements, schedules, and fees vary by county. “The superior court judges, under whose authority the program shall function, may require any or all parties to attend an educational seminar of no more than four hours in and domestic relations action before the court. The program may be administered by the court or by contract with a private agency. The seminar shall be conducted by qualified personnel whose professional and educational experiences include a knowledge of children and families. " Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.8(B).

The goal of this program is to assist the parents in understanding the impact of divorce on children, reduce potential conflicts, and offer practical solutions to future problems.“ alcovycircuit.com. “The seminar focuses on the developmental needs of children, with emphasis on fostering the child's emotional health during periods of stress. The program is informative, supportive, and directs people desiring additional information or help to appropriate resources.gwinnettcourts.com.

Information on local county parenting classes are listed below:

Alcovy (Newton and Walton Counties):

  • Website: www.alcovycircuit.com
  • Fee: $25.00, cash or money order.
  • Attendance: Divorce action must be filled with the Court prior to attending the class.
  • Completion: Must be attended by both parties within 60 days of the filing date of the divorce.
  • Court Note About Attendance: “Attendance is MANDATORY. FAILURE TO ATTEND MAY RESULT IN A DELAY IN THE RESOLUTION OF YOUR CASE, SANCTIONS AGAINST YOU AND POSSIBLY AFFECT YOUR VISITATION WITH THE MINOR CHILD(REN)!”  www.alcovycircuit.com
  • Location: Note due to COVID19 dates for classes have changed. Please call Ms. Claire Treadwell at 770-267-1343 to register and confirm dates, times and locations of classes. After registration, a letter will be sent to you confirming the date, time and location of your class. 
  • Dates: see above.  
  • Time: see above.  

Fulton County:

  • Website: www.fultoncourt.org
  • Fee: $50.00, online.
  • Attendance: Can be attended at any time.
  • Completion: Must be completed within 30 days of service of the original complaint upon the original defendant.
  • Court Note About Attendance: Parties must attend the entire seminar to obtain credit.
  • Location: online only.
  • Dates: most weekdays, some Saturdays.
  • Times: o9:00am, 12:00pm, or 5:00pm.

Gwinnett County:

  • Website: www.gwinnettcourts.com
  • Fee: $50.00, credit or debit.
  • Attendance: Can be attended at any time.
  • Completion: Must be completed within 31 days of service of the original complaint upon the original defendant.
  • Court Note About Attendance:Appropriate action, including but not limited to contempt, may be taken upon a party's failure to successfully complete the seminar.”
  • Location: online only.
  • Dates: most weekdays, some Saturdays.
  • Times: 9:00am, 12:00pm, or 5:00pm.

Be sure to check with your Superior Court for parenting class information, requirements vary by county and most require registration prior to the class.

October 22, 2021

Tricks to a Happy Co-Parenting Halloween

Sharing custody of your child with your ex is challenging, holidays can make that challenge even more difficult. Here are some tricks to have a happy co-parenting Halloween: 

1. Confirm your visitation schedule as soon as possible. Even if you think you know the visitation plan for Halloween, it is always a good idea to confirm at least one week in advance.  

 2. If you have a Parenting Plan through the Court, follow that schedule, however, you can adjust Halloween visitation if both parties agree.  

3. Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, which can impact regular visitation schedules. Confirm visitation drop-off and pick-up times to ensure both parties have a chance to enjoy the holiday with your child.   

4. Think outside the box. There will be Halloween activities around town all weekend. Be open to visitation on days other than just October 31st. For example, on Saturday, October 30, 2021 “Trick or Treat on Main Street in Loganville will take place this year from 4-6 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Loganville.” https://news.monroelocal.org/24th-annual-trick-or-treat-on-main-street-in-loganville-scheduled-for-oct-30-2021/.  

5. Consider a different exchange time or location. If your child is interested in participating in a trunk or treat with your ex or if they want to go door-to-door with their friends in another neighborhood, try to be flexible. 

6. Get it in writing. Once you have an agreement, be sure to confirm that schedule in writing, this can be done via email or text with both parties.

7.  Make a new Halloween tradition. Halloween is not just trick or treating, there are lots of fall activities and events to enjoy around the holiday. Find something new to make Halloween fun for you and your family.      

8. Communicate. Discuss visitation details with your ex in advance so your child can have an enjoyable Halloween.  

9. Remember your child is watching your interactions with your ex. Be a good example for your child and try to avoid conflict.

Although it may be frightening to work with your ex, the trick of communicating prior to Halloween weekend will help ensure that everyone has a happy co-parenting Halloween.

November 21, 2019

It’s Not Too Late to Get a Thanksgiving Custody Schedule

 


If you share a minor child with your ex it is important that you have a schedule for your child this upcoming Thanksgiving break. The State of Georgia requires that separated parents have, “a parenting time schedule, with an outline making clear who the child will spend time with for each day of the year.” https://georgia.gov. The State does not require that parents follow a specific holiday schedule; this allows parents to be creative and follow a schedule that works for them.

Most schools in Georgia have off for Thanksgiving the entire week from Monday, November 25, 2019 through Friday, November 29, 2019, including: Barrow, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton, and Walton Counties. www.barrow.k12.ga.us, www.fultonschools.org, publish.gwinnett.k12.ga.us, www.newtoncountyschools.org, portal.walton.k12.ga.us.

Some parents follow their regular schedule during the Thanksgiving break, while others divide up the week. “You can divide Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving weekend so one parent has the child on Thanksgiving Day and the other parent has the child for the weekend.” www.custodyxchange.com.

Whatever schedule you organize, it is important that you have it in writing in advance. If you coordinate via phone, be sure to follow-up with a text, email, or hand written documentation of the agreement prior to Monday, November 25th. Don’t wait until the Thanksgiving break starts, contact your ex today to get a Thanksgiving custody schedule in place.

If you have problems communicating with your ex, you should follow your Court Ordered Parenting Plan or contact a local lawyer today to assist you with a plan that will work for everyone.

 

November 01, 2019

Divorcing Parenting Class


If you have a shared minor child and plan to be divorced in the State of Georgia you will likely be required to attend a parenting class or seminar. Requirements, schedules, and fees vary by county. “The superior court judges, under whose authority the program shall function, may require any or all parties to attend an educational seminar of no more than four hours in any domestic relations action before the court." Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.8(B).

“The goal of this program is to assist the parents in understanding the impact of divorce on children, reduce potential conflicts, and offer practical solutions to future problems.” alcovycircuit.com. “The seminar focuses on the developmental needs of children, with emphasis on fostering the child's emotional health during periods of stress.” gwinnettcourts.com.

Information on local county parenting classes are listed below:

Alcovy (Newton and Walton Counties):

  • Fee: $25.00, cash or money order.
  • Attendance: Divorce action must be filled with the Court prior to attending the class.
  • Completion: Must be attended by both parties within 60 days of the filing date of the divorce.
  • Court Note About Attendance: “Attendance is MANDATORY. FAILURE TO ATTEND MAY RESULT IN SANCTIONS AGAINST YOU AND POSSIBLY AFFECT YOUR VISITATION WITH THE MINOR CHILD(REN)!” www.alcovycircuit.com
  • Location: Social Circle Public Safety Building in the Community Room, 138 E. Hightower Trail, Social Circle, Georgia 30025.
  • Dates: 2nd Thursday (Plaintiff) and 3rd Thursday (Defendant) of every month.
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
  • Schedule, based on filing date: www.alcovycircuit.com.

Fulton County:

  • Fee: $30.00, money order, cashier's check or cash, Credit and Debit cards are also accepted through PayPal with a $2.00 Admin Fee. Online $50.00.
  • Attendance: Can be attended at anytime.
  • Completion: Must be completed within 30 days of service of the original complaint upon the original defendant.
  • Court Note About Attendance: “We also offer FIT Seminars entirely in SPANISH.”
  • Location: Weekday: Dorothy Benson Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs, Georgia/ Saturday Morning: Downtown Justice Center Building, 160 Pryor Street, SW, Courtroom G33, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Dates: once per month for weekday/ once per month Saturday.
  • Times: 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. / 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
  • Schedule: www.fultoncourt.org, can also be attended online learning.familiesfirst.org.

Gwinnett County:

  • Fee: $40.00, cash, credit card, debit or money order.
  • Attendance: Can be attended at anytime.
  • Completion: Must be completed within 31 days of service of the original complaint upon the original defendant.
  • Court Note About Attendance: “Appropriate action, including but not limited to contempt, may be taken upon a party's failure to successfully complete the seminar.” www.gwinnettcourts.com.
  • Location: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Conference Room A West Wing, Second floor, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046.
  • Dates: 1st, 2nd, and 4th Thursday a.m. sessions and 3rd Thursday p.m. session.
  • Times: 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. / 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
  • Schedule: www.gwinnettcourts.com.

Be sure to check with your Superior Court for parenting class information, requirements vary by county and most require registration prior to the class.