At Brenner Law Group, divorce and family law is all we do – and we do it really well.
At Brenner Law Group, we understand how difficult the divorce process can be, but it is our goal to make the process as smooth as possible for you and your family. Attorney Emily Brenner has more than 30 years of legal experience, and is seasoned in handling both simple and complex divorce cases.
Attorney Emily Brenner shares her expert insight into the divorce process.
Going through divorce is hard, and facing an uncertain future is scary and overwhelming. Brenner Law Group can help provide you the certainty and direction that you are looking for. We recognize that every family is unique and that you need answers that consider your specific circumstances.
The first questions we ask are, “What would a win look like to you? What are your priorities?” Once we know the answers to these questions, our team makes a preliminary assessment of the facts of your case so that we can determine a strategy. Depending on your circumstances, there may be steps we recommend you take before filing for divorce, particularly where complex assets are involved or where protective measures are called for. Remember, the steps you take in the beginning can have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce case. Understanding the different aspects of divorce will prepare you for the divorce process.
Below we’ve provided useful information to help you understand the basics of the Georgia divorce process, but this information is in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Four Issues of Divorce
In Georgia, there are four issues that must be decided before a final decree of divorce can be issued:
• Child custody*
• Child support*
• Alimony, and
• Property division
* only if you have minor or dependent children
A Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce will only be granted after all issues have been decided either by agreement of the parties or by trial before a judge or jury. Brenner Law Group can help you find resolutions to these issues and any others that arise during your case. We encourage you to contact us today!
While many divorces in Georgia are complicated, some are more complex than others. A complex case is one that needs expertise beyond local legal expertise and/or is one that crosses jurisdictional lines (e.g., multi-state and international assets, complex custody issues, etc.). If you are involved in a complex divorce case, you need the representation of attorney Emily Brenner who has experience with these unique types of cases.
Ms. Brenner has represented family law clients in Georgia for more than 30 years, and has extensive experience in complex and contested divorce proceedings. Additionally, Brenner Law Group has access to a variety of experts in forensic accounting, adult and child therapy, private investigation, appraisal, business valuation, financial planning, Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) law, estate planning, and wealth management. With your permission, we will secure whatever expertise is needed and cost-effective to preserve your rights, assets, and lifestyle. This is a quality service that comes with hiring the best divorce lawyer in the Metro-Atlanta area.
Our dedicated family law team at Brenner Law Group provides aggressive representation for complex divorce matters.
Our dedicated family law team at Brenner Law Group provides aggressive representation for complex divorce matters, including:
– High-net-worth and high-asset divorce
– Divorce for business owners and professionals
– Division of real estate holdings, including foreign holdings
– Division of retirement, pension, and investment accounts
– Substantial non-marital property
– International divorce with ties to Georgia
– Military divorce
– Highly contested child custody disputes
– Complex alimony disputes
“Emily Brenner really fought for me. Ms. Brenner is very smart, has integrity, and is a real bulldog! She did what needed to be done. From start to finish, my case was handled in a fair and just manner. I highly recommend Emily Brenner for anyone struggling through a divorce.”
Contested divorce cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve. A seasoned divorce attorney can help you understand and prepare for each stage of a contested divorce. The procedural flow of the case is set out by law, and in general goes as follows:
The Complaint (Petition)
All divorces start by filing formal papers known as the “Complaint,” or the Petition for Divorce, in the Superior Court of the couple’s jurisdiction. The complaint sets out your issues with regard to ending the marriage, as well as child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, personal and real property division, division of debt, and any applicable attorney fees.
When the complaint is filed, the Court generally issues a standing order prohibiting you or your spouse from making any major changes to your assets or debts, or removing your children from the jurisdiction of the Court.
The sheriff or a private process server will serve a copy of the complaint on your spouse. After a complaint has been served, your spouse files documents in response, denying or admitting every paragraph in the complaint. In the State of Georgia, you have 30 days from when you were served or acknowledged service to file your answer.
Divorces can take months and even years to resolve. It can take time to learn about all the assets and debts, and to develop the evidence you will need to properly present your case. The law anticipates that the parties may have interim needs that must be addressed on a temporary basis, like parenting and support issues. For just that reason, either party can request a hearing to seek temporary relief.
“Discovery” is the legal word for fact-finding and developing the evidentiary basis for presenting your case and/or challenging your spouse’s case in court. The law provides us with a way to ask written questions and ask for documents, requiring responses under oath. Sometimes an attorney will elect to ask questions and review documents in front of a court reporter so that all communication is documented.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation, Arbitration, Settlement Negotiation)
Once our firm has the information we need, we will meet with you to review your expectations. The financial and emotional costs of going to a trial should be weighed against the realistic expectations of what could be won or lost at a trial.
It is often beneficial to see if we can resolve the case between the parties without having to go to a hearing. In fact, most judges require divorcing spouses to take this step. It’s important to understand that negotiation is every bit as much an art as is trying a case, so you want an attorney who is experienced in negotiating divorce and family law cases.
Even if you have an uncontested divorce, or even if you think that you have worked everything out, you should not sign any papers without having a skilled divorce attorney review the documents with you to make sure you are protected and that you are truly getting or giving what you think you are getting or giving.
Sometimes the option that seems cheap is very, very expensive in the long run. Too often, people wind up litigating over terms in sloppy settlement agreements, and it can cost more than if things were done correctly in the first place. We encourage you to make sure that your settlement agreements are handled by an experienced divorce lawyer like Emily Brenner.
If you can’t settle your case, the next step is a trial. The trial may be in front of a judge only, or either party may ask for a trial by jury. If one of you asks for a jury trial, the judge alone will first determine the issues of child custody and visitation. The jury then decides the financial issues of the case (property division, debt allocation, child support, and alimony). After the jury trial, the judge alone will decide whether to award attorney fees.
At Brenner Law Group, we are always open to settling your case if that is in your best interest, but we prepare all our cases as though they are going to trial. Our team gathers all evidence that would be needed for trial so that we can make the best possible case for our clients. We have found that by always being prepared to go to trial, our clients are able to negotiate from a position of strength.
Appeals are uncommon in divorce cases because the judge has very wide discretion in deciding your case. If you have gone through a divorce and are thinking of appealing the judgment, get in touch with our firm immediately. We can evaluate your situation and determine your legal options to pursue an appeal.
A Seasoned Divorce Lawyer for High-Conflict Cases
Ms. Brenner can help you understand your legal options so we encourage you to get in touch with our firm immediately to discuss the issues involved in your unique divorce situation. If you are worried because you have a complicated case or a case involving a bullying, litigious or abusive spouse, we urge you to call us right away. We can go into court early to seek protection for you, your children, and your assets.
Divorce is never an easy situation, even when both parties agree that it is the best decision for the family. Some divorce cases are completely uncontested. That means that the divorce is sought on no-fault grounds (irretrievably broken with no hope of reconciliation) and the parties have agreed on all issues.
Uncontested divorce can still be complex, as many issues surrounding property division and children need to be resolved. Brenner Law Group represents clients in the Metro Atlanta area. Our Roswell divorce lawyer has more than 30 years of experience and a commitment to helping our clients through an extremely stressful and challenging time.
“Emily is a caring, knowledgeable, and dedicated attorney. Not only does she deeply care about my case, but she also cares about me as a person and how I am handling it all. I have always felt that my needs were met and that she is invested in me and my case.”
Family Law & Divorce Issues
Assuming that everything is really uncontested, all the paperwork, schedules, and agreements can be filed with the Court and the divorce can be finalized 31 days after the papers are served. It is often not necessary for both parties to appear in court to settle an uncontested Decree. Before entering into a settlement agreement in an uncontested divorce, it is important to make completely sure that your agreement is well-written. Unfortunately, we have seen many cases that were supposedly uncontested wind up in court later on because the agreement is either ambiguous or silent on an important point.
Whether a divorce is contested or uncontested, important decisions must be made regarding the equitable distribution of assets, alimony, and child support. Ms. Brenner has the knowledge of the legal system and experience to anticipate what is most likely to happen in a specific situation. Representation for matters that include:
– High-asset and high net worth
– Professionals and business owners
– Couples with multiple real estate holdings
– Substantial non-marital property
– Division of investment accounts, retirement, and pensions
Ms. Brenner is a seasoned mediator. She has mediated well over 100 cases and has extensive experience in negotiation and litigation. In addition to more than three decades as a lawyer, she has a Master’s Degree as a professional counselor, which allows her to effectively and compassionately guide you through the process of making decisions that will impact your family for many years into the future.
Thorough Preparation for Every Divorce
At Brenner Law Group, every case is thoroughly prepared. It is always better to negotiate a settlement from a position of preparedness and strength. Our firm is intentionally small and intimate. This allows Ms. Brenner to personally work on every case and for each client to receive personal attention and quality time in the office, by telephone, and video chat. If you or your spouse are pursuing an uncontested divorce we encourage you to contact us today!
Business Owners & Professionals
High-net-worth individuals like CEOs, doctors, lawyers, certified public accountants, dentists, business owners, and their spouses often face complicated issues around the division of earnings and assets in divorce cases. Georgia courts will look for a means of “equitable division” of the marital property. However, “equitable” division does not mean “equal” division. There is much room for creative argument on both sides of high-net-worth cases about what might constitute equitable division.
If you or your spouse own a professional practice or business and you are contemplating divorce, the following questions may arise:
- What is that business really worth?
- How much income does it really generate?
- What is the value of a spouse’s contribution?
- What is the value of personal or business goodwill?
- How much of the business belongs to the marriage, and how much of it is non-marital property?
- Are assets or income being “hidden” in the business?
- Are there steps I should take to protect myself before filing?
Answering these questions strategically and being able to show evidence of these answers in court if necessary is essential to achieving the best outcome in your divorce case.
“My job as your attorney is to hold a safe space for you, so that you can fall apart without being compromised.”
– Emily Brenner
Strategic Divorce Solutions for High Net Worth Individuals
Any divorce involving a spouse or spouses with high net worth or complex assets calls for a lawyer with skills and strategies that are outside the usual divorce toolkit. The experience and knowledge that sets Brenner Law Group apart in these complex cases includes:
– Knowing how to work with multi-state holdings or assets in international jurisdictions;
– Using creative strategies to optimize your asset division by considering tax, estate, and trust laws;
– Deploying the tools to fully investigate the sources of income and assets, or locate where assets are hidden; and
– Teaming with experts in various fields to supplement our legal counsel in order to position your case for the most optimal resolution. We regularly work with business evaluators, forensic accountants, appraisers, tax professionals, tax attorneys, and private investigators to make sure that our clients get the very best outcome possible according to their priorities.
With more than 30 years of legal experience in Georgia family law and an exceptional track record, Ms. Brenner possesses the legal know-how and strategies needed to handle cases with complex property and asset distribution.
Elite Representation for Metro-Atlanta
No matter which side of the divorce you are on, you need an attorney who understands the relationship between business law, tax law, and family law to successfully advance your case and protect your financial position. Brenner Law Group specializes in high-asset divorce cases, and you can be confident that you will receive nothing less than the elite and professional legal representation you deserve. To learn more about how Brenner Law Group can help you protect your assets, call for an appointment today!
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
While it may not sound very romantic, signing a marital agreement before (prenuptial) or after (postnuptial) your marriage will guarantee that your assets and interests are protected in the case of divorce, separation, or death. Because the topic of asset division can be quite complicated and rarely meets each spouse’s interests, the best time to make an agreement is when a couple still has love for each other and can have a mature discussion about this difficult issue.
Marriage doesn’t always go as planned. Avoid the unexpected conflict many couples experience during a divorce by creating a marital agreement.
Understanding the Basics of Nuptial Agreements
When drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is highly recommended that both parties have a lawyer present to ensure that their rights are protected and the agreement is enforceable. Roswell-based divorce attorney Emily Brenner has more than 30 years of family law experience in Georgia and can provide you with the skilled legal counsel you need to create the right prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
The division of property, assets, debts, and spousal support are the most common issues outlined in the agreement, but it can also include any financial responsibilities during the marriage, how disputes are to be resolved, and if at any point a prenup will become invalid (sunset clause). Terms must be agreed to by both spouses. You and your spouse may want to reevaluate the terms of your agreement every five years and work with a lawyer to make any necessary changes.
Take the Necessary Steps to Protect Yourself in the Future
Marriage doesn’t always go as planned. Avoid the unexpected conflict many couples experience during a divorce by creating a marital agreement. Contact Brenner Law Group today to begin the process.
Are You Filing in Fulton County?
It’s important to know that Fulton County is the only county in Georgia with a separate family court. The Family Court Division has set up specific administrative procedures that must be followed in divorce cases in Fulton County.
Brenner Law Group can help nagivate this process so if you are contemplating a divorce, have been served with divorce papers, or need a divorce lawyer at any stage in the process, please contact our office.
If you are contemplating a divoce, have been served with divorce papers, or need a divorce lawyer at any stage in the process, contact us at (404) 751-8868 or schedule your consultation online.
As a lawyer and psychologist, Emily Brenner has a unique understanding of family law and the best options for your family.
We are committed to helping our clients protect or receive the property and assets that they are entitled to under Georgia law.