After talking with thousands of people about divorce in Georgia, certain questions come up often. Below is a compilation of some of the more frequently asked questions we answer for clients.
What is the fastest way to get a divorce?
The timeframe for a divorce usually depends on how fast the courts work and process the documents and whether or not the other spouse agrees with the divorce. If both spouses agree to the divorce then an uncontested divorce can be filed and all that is left would be for the judge to finalize it.
How long do we have to be married before we can get a divorce?
There is no time restriction on how long a couple has to be married before they can file for divorce, however, in the state of Georgia the one of the spouses has to be a resident for at least six months before they can file for divorce.
Can I get divorced without telling my spouse?
Before the divorce can proceed, the other spouse must be served and given an opportunity to respond. If the other spouse cannot be located with reasonable effort, the court will usually permit notification by publications in place of being personally served. If still the other spouse does not respond to the publication, then the divorce will proceed without the other spouse.
I lost our marriage license; do I need it for the divorce?
In most instances the court will not ask to see the marriage license. However, you may need to be able to tell your attorney when and where you got married.
Do I have to go in person to the court and file for divorce?
No, if you just need to drop off the paperwork someone else can go for you. It is recommended that if you do send someone else, that they have some knowledge about your divorce in case they are asked any questions.
My spouse and I have no property to divide, what are out options?
If there is no property to divide and both of the spouses agree to the divorce, then an uncontested divorce would be the best option. Once an uncontested divorce has been filed the other spouse must be made aware of the divorce, primarily through being served. If they choose to not respond or show up, the divorce will continue without them.
We got married in one state but we then moved to another, where do I file for divorce?
You should file for divorce in the state you are currently living in. Some states have requirements that must be met before a divorce can be filed. In the state of Georgia there is a residency requirement of 6 months. However, legal separations (separate maintenance actions) do not have a residency requirement – and can be followed with a divorce when the residency requirement is met.
My spouse and I separated and he moved to another state. He already filed for divorce in the state they live in. Can he do that and can I use my attorney from the state I live in?
As long as he has met the requirements for the state he lives in, he can file for a divorce. It is recommended that you find an attorney in that state unless the attorney you have can practice law in both states, then if you are willing to cover the potential travel costs or other expenses – you can use your attorney.
Do I have to have permission from my spouse to file for divorce?
No, you do not the consent of the other spouse to file for a divorce, however, for the divorce to proceed the other spouse has to be served. It is possible that they will argue against the divorce, this will make it a contested divorce. Contested divorces tend to take a bit longer than uncontested divorces to finalize.
Do I have to file for child support first and then file for divorce?
No, you can make arrangements on child support during the divorce.
What do I do if we have lived separately, haven’t had any relations, and we pretty much lead different lives now but are still married?
It sounds like uncontested divorce would be the best option for both of you if you are interested in getting a divorce. An uncontested divorce generally gets finalized in good time if both of the spouses agree over any issues that could be involved.
I filed for divorce and then she filed for divorce. Is that a problem and what can we do?
If one spouse has already filed for divorce and the other spouse also files for divorce, what is normally done is that one of the cases is closed while proceeding with the other one. If the issue is each petition was filed in a different county, maybe a negotiation can be me made to determine where the case will be continued. Ultimately, one of the divorce cases will need to be dismissed.
My wife and I have children and property but we also want to get a divorce, what can we do?
It depends on whether you and your spouse can reach an agreement on how the property will be divided, child support, custody, and visiting rights. If the spouses can agree on most things then an uncontested divorce should be filed. If no agreements can be reached, it will be up to the judge to determine how things will be divided.
This is not a comprehensive list of frequently answered questions and answers for Georgia divorces. If you have any questions about a Georgia divorce or family law issue – call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced and caring divorce attorneys.