A divorce is a very difficult period in a one’s life that no one ever expects, but, considering that Georgia has one of the higher divorce rates in the country, many Georgia marriages end in divorce, divorce can become a very real possibility. Uncontested divorce is a specific method of divorce that’s great for ensuring that the divorce process is relatively seamless, avoiding as much conflict as possible. The article below serves to give an understanding of the divorce process in general as well as show the benefits of an uncontested divorce.
Please note: divorces have different constraints and regulations depending on the U.S. state in which you’re currently residing. The information presented here regards the particulars of Georgia-specific divorces. It is always recommended to have an experienced Georgia divorce attorney present when dealing with a Georgia divorce and other related legal matters.
How Can I Divorce My Spouse in Georgia?
Although a party can act pro se, that is, representing oneself in a court, in some divorce cases, it is highly, highly recommended to have an attorney present for all stages of one’s divorce. This is because many Georgia pro se divorce cases that have no attorney input get rejected by the court, have multiple hearings or just outright dismissed by the court. Many parties trying to divorce without the assistance of an attorney leave out important documents from their filings, and the documents that are filed generally have many significant mistakes in the. However, all divorces begin with one party filling out a petition for dissolution of the marriage (a document filed with the court), generally called a Complaint for Divorce. This is essentially a written document that expresses desire to terminate the marriage, complete with an explanation of proper cause for termination. Following the petition, the other spouse would usually have to fill out an acknowledgment of service and consent to jurisdiction, a document that essentially waives formal service of the petition and expedites the process of the divorce.
How Does a Georgia Divorce Work?
Divorcing a spouse takes a large amount of communication between parties and between attorneys. In the state of Georgia, in addition to the petition for dissolution and acknowledgment of service and consent to jurisdiction, much additional paperwork is required. The smoothest divorces take approximately 31 days to carry out, and divorces can be “fault” or “no-fault.” A fault divorce is one in which one spouse claims the other almost single handedly led to the breakdown of the marriage, whereas a no fault divorce is one without blame of termination. Spouses separately work with attorneys to fill out the necessary paperwork, and the whole divorce process can take a relatively long time, sometimes many months. The grounds for a Georgia divorce, including the fault and no-fault grounds are detailed under Georgia law: Georgia Divorce O.C.G.A. § 19-5-3 – Grounds for total divorce
What is a Georgia Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties agree on how to split assets and debts. Very little in-court argumentation is needed by this method. If the parties involved have children, the uncontested divorce includes an agreement on child custody as well. Even if you and your spouse disagree on certain assets or ideas, you can always negotiate and compromise with your spouse and still file an uncontested divorce. Any agreement must be memorialized in one or more documents that make up what in Georgia is called a Divorce Settlement Agreement. Georgia law is very strict as to the requirements for Divorce Settlement Agreements, and many cases will be rejected by Georgia courts for even small discrepancies and violations of county local and Georgia state rules. Example: Georgia Uniform Superior Court Rules
How does the Uncontested Divorce Process Work in Georgia?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties are in constant communication with each other in order to keep the compromise and negotiation as fair as possible. Even if the divorce is uncontested, the two spouses still need separate attorneys to represent their individual, separate interests. Spouses separately and jointly work together to come to terms, and attorneys help complete specific paperwork. Specifically, on top of the petition for dissolution and acknowledgement of service and consent to jurisdiction, both parties have to sign a marital settlement agreement, the document contracting both parties to the previously agreed upon terms.
Pros and Advantages of a Georgia Uncontested Divorce
- Lower Average Cost – Georgia uncontested divorces are usually less expensive than contested cases. Reduced attorney cost can really help your wallet in such a financially stressful time.
- Better Relations Between the Parties – If the tensions are low, uncontested divorces keep the tensions low and keep the relationship between two spouses civil. This is great for when you would need to keep relations post-divorce.
- Reduced Stress – Even if you and your partner don’t agree on everything, an uncontested divorce is the easiest way to minimize costs, stress, and exasperation. Uncontested divorces take far less time, energy, and money than regular divorces because of expedited processes and the nature of the compromise.
When is a Georgia Uncontested Divorce Not the Best Option?
- Domestic Violence – If one partner is abusing the other, then there’s no room for negotiation or communication. The divorce shouldn’t be one without contest; the abused partner deserves more than simple compromise. In this case, uncontested divorce is not an option.
- Refusing Communication – If your spouse is refusing to have any talks of divorce, since an uncontested divorce is based on communication and compromise, an uncontested divorce is impossible in this scenario.
- Ignorance and Greed – If one partner is both ignorant to the law and greedy regarding assets, an uncontested divorce, which is based on rational relations between spouses, is extremely difficult.
- Complex Assets in Dispute – If you both hold rights to certain properties that you are unwilling to give up, such as a house, or even more difficult, if you have children, then an uncontested divorce can become difficult. It’s not impossible in these scenarios, but it takes a little more work from both parties.
Getting Help From an Experienced Georgia Uncontested Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a tricky, strenuous decision in one’s life; don’t make the choice alone. To see if an uncontested divorce is right for you, call 770-709-1247 to have a helpful discussion with one of our highly experienced divorce attorneys today. To quickly see if an uncontested divorce may be the right option for you, call us today. We offer free consultations to qualifying potential clients and offer weekend appointments.