In order to get a divorce one of the 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. Minimum time to get a divorce is 30 days. Courts in Georgia like to allow each spouse 30 days to change their mind about getting divorced.
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 which is your reference number if needing to refer to your divorce.
Likely, you and your significant other have already talked about the divorce, however the spouse has to be legally notified about the divorce in order to have the ability to find representation. The legal notification is know n 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 towards 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 or details of the Petition the divorce becomes a contested divorce. Contested divorce 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 attorney whenever splitting assets and liabilities is concerned – attorney’s can help provide a fair solution.