Georgia divorce details
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Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Georgia
An uncontested divorce is a marriage cancellation without any claims. Both partners agree not to argue with each other and attempt to negotiate regarding the issues of divorce. A contested divorce on the other hand, is when a couple fails to settle the situation and requires help from an attorney or mediator in resolving their differences.
Here are several more disadvantages of a contested divorce:
The cost of a contested divorce is far higher than an uncontested one.
In Georgia, the cost of a contested divorce starts from $2,000 and can go much higher, while the average cost of an uncontested divorce is $900.
A contested divorce takes much longer as it involves issues such as:
The entry of temporary orders
The status conference
The discovery and depositions
The trial procedure
A contested divorce requires the help of a third, independent party who will be responsible for the rights and liabilities of both spouses.
Hiring an attorney will increase the cost of divorce substantially. As a result, an uncontested divorce is recommended, if possible.
Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
As we have already mentioned, this type of divorce is the most preferred and it is important to know the grounds for one.
Grounds for the Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
- Imprisonment of over 2 years of one of the spouses
- Alcoholism and/or drug addiction
- Incurable insanity
- Mental illness
- Cruel treatment towards one of the spouses
All these are valid grounds for an uncontested divorce in Georgia. The Superior Court will take into consideration all the small peculiarities of your case.
Uncontested divorces are usually not a very painful process as even if fault is discovered in the relationship, it is not presented in court. This really simplifies the divorce proceeding.
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Georgia Residency Requirements to file for the divorce
The most popular type of divorce in Georgia is a no-Fault one. According to Georgia legislation, the divorce proceedings can only be completed if you have lived for at least six years in the State of Georgia. You have to file for divorce in the particular county you got married. If you wish to get a divorce in a county other than the county you got married, you have to ask the Superior Court for official permission. Moreover, you will need to present to the court the original document of your Marriage Certificate.
After you and your spouse file for the divorce proceeding, you can stay anywhere within the state until the documents are ready. Moreover, you do not need to point out your address in the papers for the Court. If you want to change the number of the house or the street, the Superior Court will not forbid you to do it.
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia?
In order to file for divorce accurately, you should follow the following steps:
- Provide the Court with the special Petition for marriage cancellation.
- Serve your spouse all the forms and documentation for the court. You can do this either via post or email, or deliver them yourself.
- Provide the Superior Court with important information such as:
- Common debts
- Property division
- Child support
- Spousal support
Deal with the Marital Agreement
Wait for the Final Judgement
Although these are all important steps in the divorce procedure, they can vary depending on your individual case. If you are unsure of the process and have any questions, we are more than happy to answer them for you.
DIY Divorce in Georgia
Do It Yourself divorce (DIY) stipulates that all the filing of the documents are complete without the help of an attorney. This process is rather controversial and has its pros and cons.
- Relatively cheap process without any additional fees
- Independent - you can complete all the steps of the process on your own
- Risk of making a mistake when filing the documents and facing rejection from the court.
- Risk of misunderstanding something because you are not aware of all the nuances of the county court.
DIY is a pretty good choice if you want to apply for the online divorce website for the help. What is the online divorce? We will comprehend it together a little bit later.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Georgia?
An uncontested divorce will cost you approximately $4,000. The cost will be higher if you decide to hire an attorney. If you complete all the steps of divorce process yourself such as filing the documents, you will pay less. On average, such a process costs $900.
The spouse who serves all the required documents will also have additional costs. It costs around $100 - $200 to use the help of the Sheriff for this procedure.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Georgia?
In general, an uncontested divorce in Georgia lasts anywhere from 1 to 6 months. Due to a number of different factors and court stipulation, the waiting period can vary as well. A contested divorce on the other hand, takes much longer. It can last up to a year or even more, according to Georgia legislation. Now is a good time to discuss the required documents and paperwork to file for divorce in Georgia.
If you order the preparation of the documents online, you will save yourself a lot of money by avoiding the need to hire an attorney. Furthermore, you are guaranteed that the documents will be 100% approved by the court.
How to serve your spouse in Georgia
Spouse serving is a very important step of the whole divorce procedure. As the divorce initiator, you are required to supply your spouse with all the required documents. You must make at least two copies of all the required documents and send one to your spouse. Make sure that they receive them.
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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Georgia
- Domestic Relations Filing Information Form (GA-813D)
- Petition for Divorce (GA-803D)
- Verification (GA-805D)
- Non-Military Affidavit (GA-806D)
- Acknowledgment of Service (GA-807)
- Acknowledgment of Service/Waiver of Issue (GA-808D)
- Separation Agreement (GA-810D)
- Consent to Trial 31 days After Service (GA-812D)
- Final Judgement and Decree (GA-810D)
- Domestic Relations Case Final Disposition Information Form (GA-819D)
- Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (GA-820D)
- Motion for Judgements on the Pleadings (GA-821D)
- Report for Divorce, Annulment or Dissolution of Marriage (GA-824D)
You may not necessarily need to fill out all the forms mentioned above, as it really depends on your case. You may even have to complete forms that are not listed. You should make sure that you are aware of the required documents for your specific case beforehand.
Online Divorce in Georgia
Online divorce helps make your divorce process far easier quicker. You just need to visit the online website, order the documents that fit your individual case, and file them at court. You must file them physically at the court as emails are not accepted. There is no need to hire an attorney.
All our documents are 100% approved by the court. A number of lawyers constantly recommend us, so you can fully trust in our expertise.
Rules for child support in Georgia
Regardless of whether parents live together or not, they are both responsible for their child’s wellbeing. The court calculates the percentage of child support based on the combined total income of both parents. If parents have any issues that may affect their ability to pay for child support, they must provide the court with the valid documents to prove it.
If one of the parents does not wish to provide child support, the court will examine all the provided documents and announce a final decision.
In regards to child visitation, both parents have equal rights to visit the child if there are no restrictions put out by the court.
In any case, the court makes sure that the child does not suffer from the consequences of the parents’ mistakes or issues. Since 2007, the government implemented a new set of rules that imposing harsh punishment for parents who attempt to deceive the court in regards to child support issues.
Rules for spousal support in Georgia
There are several aspects that affect spousal support:
- Disability of one spouse
- The marriage term
- Where and with whom the child will be living with
- Health state of both spouses
Spousal support is a rather individual issue, so you should previously discuss with your spouse before going to court. This will help save you a lot of time and from any misunderstandings.
Division of property in Georgia
Division of property is also a very important issues of the divorce process, and it can take some time to understand all the items of the proceeding. The court aims to make the division as fair as possible. There are some factors that affect the decision regarding property division:
- Duration of marriage
- Financial state of each spouse
- Education level of each spouses
- Income of each spouses
- Health state of each spouse
- Debts, tax rate and separate property of each spouse
Marital property includes all items that were obtained during the legal marriage. If one spouse attempts to claim that a property belongs to them without any proof, the Court of Georgia will not take it into account.
If the property is mixed (marital and separate), the Court will check other documents and confirm.
Divorce Mediation in Georgia
Mediation is a special negotiation process with the presence of an independent, third party. The Superior Court allows each spouse to have a lawyer to help with the divorce procedure. The mediation process has the following steps:
- Couple attends the first scheduled mediation hearing to discuss the issues of divorce. It will take place with the presence of an attorney.
- If the couple reaches an agreement, the lawyer signs a settlement on the terms of each spouse.
In the case of a Contested Divorce, the Superior Court will not accept the documents for divorce without the completion of the mediation process.
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How to divorce a missing spouse in Georgia
Sometimes, you may not be able to serve your spouse because you are unaware of their location. If this is the case, you must first try your best to find them. If all your attempts fail, you can request a Service by Publication from the court.
Service by Publication allows you to publish a Petition to find your missing spouse in the local newspaper. This method will only be allowed by the court if you provide sufficient evidence of their absence.
In Georgia, you must attempt the following actions in order to locate your missing spouse before requesting a Service by Publication:
- Search for the spouse wherever they might be
- Ask the relatives and friends of the missing spouse for their possible locations
- Request help from the local police
If everything fails and your spouse remains missing, the court will grant the divorce without their presence.
Default Divorce in Georgia
A default divorce occurs if your spouse disagrees to resolve all the issues amicably. According to the Georgia legislation, a marriage is terminated when the court puts out a Final Judgment and Decree (Certificate of a Marriage Dissolution). In Georgia, a default divorce includes a stipulated waiting period of approximately six months before the deal is completed.
Grounds for the Default Divorce in Georgia
Traditionally, the Grounds for Default Divorce are as follows:
- Each spouse had a husband or wife living at the meantime of the marriage from which the divorce emerged
- The impracticable absence of a spouse for a term of at least 1 year
- Extraordinary violence or cruelty
- A deceitful contract
- Absence of non-negotiable duties
- Excessive drinking
- Imprisonment of a spouse in a state or federal correctional institution at the same time of filling out the Petition
- Cultural/Religious/Health issues
- Criminal Conviction
- Financial Backing
All these grounds are discussed in detail before you receive the Final Decree. The Petitioner must prove all the evidence and divorce grounds in court. All these grounds implicate the default divorce process with some extra money. The only exception is the first reason for getting a default divorce when your spouse is silent in response to your Petition. In the State of Georgia, the estimated cost of a Default marriage termination is $14,000.
Annulment of the marriage in Georgia
In Georgia, the process of annulment carry the same rights as a divorce. If you want to annul your current marriage, you must grant a Petition of the marriage termination to the Court. The annulment of marriage stipulates that a marriage is void, or it never even occurred.
The court divides a couple’s common property and debts fairly when they agree with the annulment process.
The grounds for an annulment are:
- One spouse was mentally ill at the time of the marriage
- One spouse was not 18 years old at the time of the marriage
- The marriage was a result of a fraud
- The spouses are blood relatives
Legal Separation in Georgia
The State of Georgia does not permit legal separation. In Georgia, legal separation just means that the spouses do not have marital relations. The spouses can start living separately anytime, and in such a case, do not need to go to court to begin the legal divorce process. The spouses can just sign the Separation Agreement, where they agree on the regular issues such as property division and child custody. However, the court also does not recognize such an Agreement as a legal one.
Same-Sex Divorce in Georgia
Same-sex couples have the same rights and liabilities as traditional, heterosexual couples when it comes to divorce; it involves the same steps and terms.
Military Divorce in Georgia
Military divorce is exactly the same as a civil divorce in Georgia. Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS section 521 and the discretion of the local Georgia court, divorce proceedings are put on hold during active duty and postponed for up to 60 days afterwards. Even if the military spouse is also willing to terminate the marriage, the conditions can be different. You still need to serve the military spouse with all the divorce documentation either by hand or via the post or email. If you are unable to serve them for some reason, you must submit a claim to the court and request its help.
How to divorce a spouse in jail
You must notify the court if you wish to divorce a spouse in jail. You can deliver the Petition to the jail where your spouse resides and wait for a response. A No-Fault Divorce with a spouse in jail is the same as for a regular divorce case: you have to be sure of the disposition of the jail, along with the conviction of your spouse.
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Divorce filing fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
Can a fee be waived?
In Georgia, the fee for the divorce may be waived.
You need to fill out the Sheet on Waiver of the Superior Court Fees, sign the Request to Waive Court Fees (Form FW-001) under penalty, obtain and make at least 2 copies of the required forms, and file them at court.
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