Georgia Divorce Laws and How to File

Georgia Divorce Laws and How to File

Georgia Divorce Laws and How to File

Georgia Divorce Laws – Divorce involves going to court to legally dissolve your marriage. Generally, you must file for divorce in the state where you or your spouse lives. You can file for divorce in Georgia only if you meet the state’s residency requirements.

If you or your spouse lives in the Peach State, check out this guide on how to file for divorce in Georgia about the process involved in ending your union and your rights after your marriage ends. Can find out

Who Can File for Divorce in Georgia?

Before determining how to file for divorce in Georgia, you must be sure you can file for divorce in the state.

Georgia requires that you or your spouse have been a state resident for at least six months before you petitioned the court to end your marriage.

What are the grounds to file for divorce in Georgia?

Georgia allows both no-fault divorces and fault divorces. If you file for a no-fault divorce, you petition the court to end your marriage because it is irreversibly broken. If you file for divorce at fault, you must have a specific justification for ending the union.

Examples of grounds for a fault divorce in Georgia include:

  • Prohibited intermarriage between close family members
  • mental incapacity at the time of your marriage
  • your spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage
  • adultery during marriage
  • one spouse has become pregnant during the marriage by a person other than the other spouse, your spouse has left you for at least one year and continues to do so
  • habitual drinking or drug addiction
  • cruel treatment
  • your spouse is mentally ill

There are 12 grounds for a fault divorce in Georgia, each with specific requirements you must prove. A no-fault divorce can be more complicated, so it is a good idea to speak with an experienced Georgia divorce attorney before determining whether you should opt for a no-fault divorce rather than a no-fault divorce.

How to File for Divorce in Georgia

In most circumstances, you need to file for divorce in Georgia in the county where your spouse lives. You can find the Superior Court Clerk’s office for the appropriate county using the online map.

In some cases, you can file for divorce where you live. This is possible if:

  • Your spouse does not live in Georgia, but you still meet the residency requirements
  • You and your spouse lived together in the county where you currently live and where you are filing for divorce

You will need to submit specific court forms to file for divorce. You can find them on the Georgia Courts website; the site includes instructions for filing for divorce in two different situations:

  • divorce without minor children
  • divorce with minor children

Serving Divorce Paperwork in Georgia

After you file a petition to end your marriage, Georgia divorce laws require that your spouse receive personal information.

Typically, the papers must be served on your spouse. A private process server or sheriff’s office may help with the documents for a fee. If you do not know where your spouse is, you can also give notice through publication in a newspaper.

If your spouse is willing to cooperate, you may be able to avoid the reporting process. You get your spouse to sign an acknowledgment of service and file it with the court.

If you cannot locate your spouse, you may serve by a publication with the court’s permission. It involves publishing a notice in a newspaper.

Your spouse has 30 days to respond after the papers are served (or 60 days if they live outside Georgia but are still in the US). If your spouse doesn’t respond, the court can proceed with a default divorce and grant the requests you made in your divorce paperwork. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

Disputed or uncontested divorce

In Georgia, you have the option of a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce does not require a trial. You and your spouse agree on the issues raised by the dissolution of your marriage, such as how custody and property will be divided and child support and alimony (if any) will be paid.

A contested divorce requires a trial. You and your spouse go to court and present evidence to help the judge determine unresolved issues related to custody, property and debts, and alimony or child support.

Ideally, you and your spouse will be able to get an uncontested divorce because it can be less expensive and often leads to better results.

This is because you and your spouse—not the court—are making decisions that most intimately affect your life in an uncontested divorce. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

What is the waiting period for a Georgia divorce?

If you seek a no-fault divorce because the marriage has broken down irretrievably, the divorce cannot be granted until at least 30 days have passed from the date the papers were served. There is no waiting period for the divorce. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

Getting Legal Help With a Divorce Case in Georgia

Knowing the basics of filing for divorce in Georgia can be helpful, but ultimately your best option is to get an attorney to guide you through the process.

Experienced attorneys representing clients going through a divorce in Georgia can assist you every step of the way, protect your rights, and ensure that your marriage ends as smoothly as possible. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is marital property divided in a Georgia divorce?

Georgia is a state with an even distribution. In states that follow equitable distribution rules, the court’s objective is to divide marital property fairly.

This does not mean that each spouse necessarily receives 50% of the marital property. Instead, the court decides what is appropriate by considering the contributions made to the marriage and the length of the wedding.

You and your spouse can work together to agree on how you will divide assets and debts acquired during the marriage. If you decide on this and other issues, you can proceed with an uncontested divorce in Georgia. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

Can You Get Alimony in a Georgia Divorce?

Alimony or spousal support is available under certain circumstances in a Georgia divorce. Maintenance is either temporary (ordered for the period in which the case is ongoing) or permanent.

Permanent alimony does not continue throughout life. Instead, the court considers several factors, including the length of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage, as well as what education or training the recipient spouse needs to become self-sufficient. (Georgia Divorce Laws)

How long does a Georgia divorce take?

The amount of time it takes to get a Georgia divorce depends on several factors, including whether it is contested or uncontested.

However, the minimum period for a no-fault divorce is 31 days after the papers have been served on your spouse. In most cases, the divorce process will take longer than this minimum period.

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