Question: I think we can do an uncontested divorce because my husband and I agree on everything and my friend said that she got an uncontested divorce. We lost the house and we depleted all our retirement accounts like the IRA and the 401 (k). He invested our savings in a flower shop in Woodstock and bowling alley in Dunwoody and a business in Sandy Springs. But they all went out of business. I think his gambling problem caused them to fail.
We live in Alpharetta and have been married for 16 years. Things have not been good for about 10 years when my husband got arrested for a financial crime by the F.B.I. He was working with some men on Wall Street and they did something wrong. That put a lot of stress on our marriage and he had issues with impotency. So he started taking a lot of Viagra and Cialis, which really cost a lot of money.
Luckily he didn't go to jail but he paid a big fine and lost his job at the bank. When I had twins that put even more stress on him and I went back to school to become a teacher. Then he got a job managing a restaurant in Alpharetta but he doesn't make the money he did at the investment bank. The only thing we really need to split is the debts. The only assets we have are some furniture, his gun collection and some stock that he got when he consulted for Google years ago. Can one attorney handle our divorce or do we both need to hire lawyers?
Answer: Each party in an uncontested divorce should have their own lawyer. It would be a conflict for the same attorney to represent both parties. It is common for one party to engage a lawyer and for the other party to review the documents himself or herself – but that is not advisable. Divorce is a complicated area of the law and it is best to have an experienced professional on your side.
Uncontested divorces save spouses time, aggravation and money. Many times a divorce can be handled relatively quickly and easily and without great rancor. A good uncontested divorce lawyer will guide you through the entire process. Other times, however, issues do need to be decided by a judge or jury.
As for your specific situation, you should have an expert determine the value of the firearms collection. Guns are a major collectible and you need to value the collection properly. There are auction houses and independent experts who can value the collection. We have seen weapons collections valued very highly. The Google stock is also intriguing. If he was paid in Google stock “years ago,” that stock has seen a substantial rise in value over the years. You need to determine exactly how many shares are owned and you need to value those shares correctly.
With the difficult economy, it is common for divorcing couples to have to split debt (credit card, mortgage, loans, foreclosure, etc.) in an equitable manner.
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