The Basics of Getting a Divorce in Georgia
How do you file for divorce in Georgia? In order to file for divorce, one of the divorcing partners must have lived in Georgia for at least six months prior to filing. The divorce documents must be filed in the Superior Court of the county where you live. The forms will include information about assets, debts, living arrangements, children, and the reason for getting divorced. This information will be located in the Petition for Divorce document that you and your attorney fill out. Spouses must be separated prior to divorce, whether that means living in separate rooms or separate homes, the separation provides evidence of a docile relationship. The minimum time to get a divorce in Georgia is 30 days. Courts in Georgia are pragmatic and provide each spouse 30 days to change their mind about getting divorced.
The first step is to gather the necessary documents to file a Petition for Divorce. The spouse who files will be known as the Petitioner and the person will be labeled as the Respondent. Once you have filed the Petition with the Superior Court, you will pay a filing fee and receive a case number. The case number is the official reference number you need when referring to your divorce case.
Likely, you and your spouse have agreed to file for divorce. However, the non-filing spouse has to be legally notified about the divorce in order to have the ability to find representation. The legal notification is known as a Service of Process. It gives them up to 30 days to respond. If they do not respond within the allotted time frame, they will lose the ability to fight the case. The judge tends to favor the filer in most decisions spelled out in the Petition by default. Once the judge hears the case they will sign a Final Judgement and Decree finalizing the divorce.
If a spouse disagrees with the divorce document or details of the Petition, the divorce becomes a contested divorce. Contested divorces are more expensive due to the time and energy it takes to complete one. Both spouses will acquire representation to effectively argue their case in front of a judge. The judge will make the final decision on disagreements about the divorce. During preparation for trial, discovery will be conducted to investigate certain areas of the divorce.
In Georgia, you can represent yourself in a divorce. However most divorces either go to an attorney or go to mediation. Mediators try to offer advice and solutions to quarreling spouses. The most cost-effective way involves hiring an attorney whenever splitting assets and liabilities are concerned – attorney’s can help provide a fair solution.