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The Divorce Process.

You’re considering divorce in Georgia, what to expect?

divorce lawyer

The  time has come after thoughtful consideration, you’re ready to file for a divorce. What do you do next? You need to learn how the process works; this understanding can help you be prepared for what’s to come.

This article covers, where to file, serving and answering a divorce petition, , the general family court process, and Final Decrees of Divorce.

  1. Determine where to file for divorce

Most states have a residency requirements for people who wish to file for divorce in the state’s court system. In order to file, you or your spouse must be a resident of Georgia for at least six months. If you live in Georgia, you will file in the Superior Court in the county where you or possibly your spouse live. If you don’t meet the residency requirement, but your spouse does, you will file in the county where your spouse lives.

  1. Uncontested Divorce

For divorcing couples who meet certain eligibility requirements in Georgia (usually have no children and minimal property/assets), a streamlined process called uncontested divorce may be an option. Basically, this type of divorce is best suited for couples with no major disputes over property, child custody, child support or other issues related to the marriage. These proceedings, even simplified ones, can be a difficult undertaking, emotionally and legally. You’ll likely find that a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney can ease the process and help to address potential problems before they arise. If you don’t qualify for an uncontested divorce, you’ll go through the traditional route discussed below.

  1. Filing and Serving Divorce Papers

The divorce petition also called “Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage,” is a legal document filed in court by the spouse who is asking for divorce. This requires appropriate forms to be completed, a fee paid and the petition filed with the Superior court in the appropriate county. Normally, your attorney will complete the forms and file them. The court personnel will not answer legal questions or help ensure you have the correct paperwork. This step initiates the divorce process. Once you file the complaint, your spouse has to be notified, or served. You (or your lawyer) must submit to the court proof that your spouse has been formally served or in the alternative acknowledged service of the complaint.

  1. Temporary Hearing

Because a final hearing can be months away, there may be a “temporary hearing” to establish temporary child support, child custody, spousal support and other issues related to the divorce.

  1. The Agreement

Often the most important and difficult part of the process is agreeing on how to divide property and debts and establishing child custody, child support and spousal support. Those items have to be detailed in a written agreement, this document outlines the rules and states what conditions each spouse has agreed to. The signing of this document can be reach by negotiating, in mediation or by a Judge at a final trial.

  1. Court Approval and Divorce Decree

Once the Judge approves the divorcing couple’s settlement agreement, he or she gives the couple a divorce decree that shows that the divorce is final, and documents how key issues have been resolved. The decree dictates a number of things about the now-divorced couple’s rights and obligations.

Divorce issues, whether settled in or out of a courtroom, can be legally complex. This can be especially true when children are involved. If you have questions about settlement agreements, or divorce law in general, you want to contact an experienced divorce attorney. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call us to talk about your specific needs (770)-422-4142 or email us at

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