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How to Get a Georgia Divorce
If you live in Georgia and you feel your marriage is in trouble, then a Georgia divorce may be the best option for you. Although it is not always an easy decision to make, the divorce process does not necessarily need to be difficult, especially if you rely on Georgia divorce lawyers to assist you.
Each state has its own rules regarding how to divorce. The following is an overview of how to divorce in Georgia.
Requirements for a Georgia Divorce
Georgia has a number of requirements that one or both parties in the marriage must meet in order to file for divorce in the state.
First, you must be a resident of the state for six months and a current resident of the county in which you want to file for divorce. If you live outside of Georgia, you may still file for a Georgia divorce. However, your spouse must have lived in-state for at least six months.
In addition, there must be some reason cited for the divorce. The simplest reason to cite is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." In such instances, neither party needs to prove wrongdoing or fault, and both parties agree the divorce should take place.
If both spouses are also in agreement with regard to asset and debt allocation and there is no child custody dispute, then this is called an uncontested divorce. A Georgia uncontested divorce is by far the fastest and most affordable form of divorce in the state.
However, if one party does not agree to the divorce, then the spouse filing for divorce must prove one of the following:
- Habitual drunkenness or drug use
- Mental illness
- Desertion for one year
- Domestic violence
- The marriage was attained via fraudulent means or under duress
Georgia Divorce Petition
Once you know you have grounds for a divorce, you will have to initiate the actual divorce case. Hiring a Georgia divorce lawyer will make this process much easier. A divorce attorney can help ensure that you have all the proper documentation filed with the proper court at the proper time.
You will need to file a petition for a divorce with the Superior Court. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse will be served with the divorce paperwork. It is at this point that the spouse being served has time to respond. Under Georgia divorce law, the courts will not grant a divorce until 30 days after the spouse has been served with papers.
After the petition is filed, if the parties agree on the terms of the divorce, they can proceed without a trial. Otherwise, a judge will set a court date. It is during this time that either party may request temporary assistance from the court. This temporary assistance can be a temporary custody order, providing one parent with temporary custody of children throughout the duration of the trial. Temporary child support orders may be given as well, which end once a new order is put into place at the end of the proceedings.
Other Georgia Divorce Considerations
Besides hiring a lawyer, meeting the necessary requirements and filing a petition, there are a few other things you should think about when filing for divorce in Georgia.
Specifically, the property-both assets and debts-of the two spouses will need to be divided. Under Georgia law, all assets and debt acquired during the marriage will be divided as fairly as possible. When filing for divorce, you should gather all the information you have about your property including when you purchased it, its approximate worth, and any serial numbers or account numbers you have that are associated with that property.
Alimony is another element of divorce you may have to deal with. Alimony is payment made to a spouse for financial support purposes. A court will look at a number of factors, including the spouses finances, and length of the marriage before making a decision regarding alimony.
Finally, the court will also make decisions regarding child custody, visitation, and support. In Georgia, all decisions are made with the best interests of the child or children in mind.