When a married couple reaches an agreement that resolves all the issues that the court considers legally relevant in the ending a marriage, including the division of property, alimony, child support and the custody of children, then the parties may present the settlement agreement to the court for approval. If the superior court approves the terms of the settlement agreement, the settlement agreement can become part of a court order, granting the divorce and bringing an end to the marriage.
Will I Have to Go to Court for My Uncontested Divorce?
Many Georgia Superior divorce courts, allow the parties to waive a court hearing and ask for the uncontested divorce to be granted based solely on the pleadings, affidavits and other necessary documents filed with the court. However, these rules vary by county, and many counties have local rules and procedures that must be followed as to the process of requesting a waiver of the final court hearing. To further complicate things, even if all the rules are following for requesting a final court hearing to be granted are perfectly followed, the court has the discretion to still require a hearing for the divorce to be granted.
As a general rule, if an experienced attorney prepares the divorce paperwork and files it with the court, and includes the following documents with the filing you will not usually have to go to court for most Georgia Uncontested Divorce Cases:
- Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
- Consent to Try After Thirty-One (31) Days
- Affidavit of Plaintiff in Support of the Motion for Judgment
- (Proposed) Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce
- Standing Orders
- Several Other Miscellaneous Administrative Forms the Court Requires
It Depends on the Georgia County the Case is Filed, Examples:
In Fulton County Georgia, the court automatically schedules a hearing approximately thirty (30) days following the filing of the case. If the case is uncontested, they divorce can frequently be granted at this hearing. If the divorce is not granted, another hearing will be rescheduled approximately thirty (30) days later to review the status of the case. However, if an experienced Georgia uncontested divorce lawyer has filed the case, these hearings can usually be cancelled and the divorce case can be granted without anyone having to attend court.
In Cobb County Georgia, uncontested divorce hearings are common. The court will usually require a Rule Nisi be completed and filed with the case, which the court will use to assign a hearing date and time. Cobb County divorces hearings are frequently rescheduled if cases have errors in the paperwork filed or if other small or significant issues are found in the case. A case can even be dismissed if the Rule Nisi is not filed with the court in a timely manner. However, if an attorney has prepared and filed your case, hearings are much less common. Cobb County Rule Nisi >
In Gwinnett County Georgia, uncontested divorce cases can frequently be granted without a hearing being scheduled. However, as in all other Georgia courts, defects and even minor errors in the divorce paperwork can require the parties to attend a court hearing, and frequently one or more follow-up court hearings. Also, Gwinnett County courts, the filing of a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings cannot always be filed at the same time as the original case, and may need to be filed thirty (30) days or more after the filing of the initial case.
Forsyth County Georgia divorce cases can also be frequently granted without a hearing being required. However, Forsyth County may or may not grant a divorce unless the parenting classes are complted and the certificates filed in cases involving minor children. In addition, a hearing will be scheduled in all cases in all finalized divorce cases if the parenting class certificates are not filed in a timely manner. Therefore, in Forsyth County Georgia, you might get a Final Decree of Divorce, and still be called into court for failure to complete the required parenting classes.
DeKalb County will frequently grant a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce in most uncontested divorce cases without court attendance being necessary. However, hearings are still not not uncommon depending on which judge the case is assigned to and the complexity of the case. While the hearing are usually brief, it is important to know that a hearing may be required in DeKalb County, even if the divorce case is simple.
In Cherokee County Georgia, uncontested divorce hearings are common. Also, Cherokee County divorces hearings are frequently rescheduled if cases have errors in the paperwork filed or if other small or significant issues are found in the case. However, if an attorney has prepared and filed your case, hearings are much less common.
Other Georgia counties also vary by local rules, county requirements, and the judge your cases is assigned to. An experienced Georgia divorce attorney that practices in the cournty your case needs to be filed in can usually tell you the likelihood a hearing will be necessary in your uncontested divorce case.
Situations that are more likely to require a final divorce hearing include:
- The divorce case involves minor children
- The divorce case involves child support that has been deviated (adjusted) and is not the presumptive amount the state considers the default amount
- The divorce case involves custody of the children that is not the standard in Georgia (i.e. – joint custody)
- The divorce case involves unusually high income or asset issues
- The divorce case involves a large discrepancy of income and assets between the parties
- The divorce case involves any circumstances such as division of assets, division of debts, child support, alimony or other issues that may not appear to be totally equitable or in compliance with Georgia law.
- The court will frequently require in-court testimony to establish the fairness of the agreement.
Also, some counties and judges within certain counties will rarely grant an uncontested divorce without a hearing; or draw strict lines that any case involving minor children will require a hearing. But other counties, may routinely grant divorces without hearings even if the case involves complex issues and minor children.
Finally, it is important to note, that even if a county that usually grants divorces without final hearings, individual judges in that same county may frequently require hearings in the cases they are assigned. So their can be no guarantee that you will not have to go to court to have your divorce granted, but an experienced uncontested divorce attorney and law firm can certainly improve the odds that the hearing can be waived.
If you have a specific question about the court and local rules you would be filing your uncontested divorce case under, call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced Georgia uncontested divorce attorneys today. Contact >