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Divorce in Georgia

Macon GA Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce in Georgia can be very simple or extremely complicated. The key factor in determining how complicated a divorce is going to be is whether or not you and your spouse can agree on most issues.  Conflict is expensive and can lead to a long, drawn out divorce.


Cost of a Divorce


If you and your spouse can’t agree on anything, the cost of your divorce could be very expensive. If you agree on most things, your divorce should be considerably less expensive.


Many attorneys will charge a low flat fee for a simple divorce, but most of the time will charge by the hour for a more complicated one. Attorney fees will add up quickly when they have to spend a considerable amount of time preparing for court, the travel time to and from court, the time they spend in court, and many attorneys will even charge you for telephone calls.


Using an Attorney in a Divorce


In Georgia, you can get divorced without an attorney by filling out a Complaint for Divorce and Settlement Agreement and filing it with the court.


In a Settlement Agreement you and your spouse must state specifically how any property is going to be divided, how any debts are going to be handled, and who is going to pay any court costs, etc. The employees of the courthouse are not allowed to give you any advice on how to complete this paperwork – only an attorney can do that. If this paperwork is not properly completed, the agreement may not be able to be enforced at a later date.


There is very specific rules regarding the language that must be included in any agreement regarding any minor children. If you use an attorney, they will make sure the language is correct according to current law, and that both of your rights are protected.


An attorney can only represent one side in a divorce. It would be highly unethical for an attorney to represent both the husband and wife in a divorce.


Going Through the Divorce Process


Once the Complaint for Divorce and Settlement Agreement are filed, the judge may grant the final divorce decree in as little as 31 days.


If you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement, a divorce case could last months or even years in some cases. If the 31 days has passed, and you and your spouse come to an agreement, once the agreement is filed with the court, the judge will review it and approve it. Until your divorce is final, you are considered to still be legally married.


If you can’t wait the 31 days, the judge may hold a hearing to temporarily decide some matters such as who will pay the mortgage and other household expenses. The judge can also order that neither party is allowed to sell or otherwise dissolve any assets that belong to you and your spouse, and may also temporarily decide who will get temporary custody of the children, visitation, and child support issues.


If you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce in the Macon, Warner Robins, Macon-Bibb County, and Fort Valley area, then call the Macon Georgia - Warner Robins legal offices of (Maconfirmname), an experienced divorce attorney.  Call (478-phone) or fill out the form on the right.


Filing for Divorce


You should file for a divorce in the Superior Court in the county your spouse resides in. This means that if  that if you live in one county, and your spouse is residing in a different county in Georgia, you should file the divorce in the Superior Court of the county your spouse resides in.


If your spouse has left the state of Georgia, you can file it in the county you live in. If your spouse has been out of the state for less than six months, of if your spouse agrees, the case can be filed in the county you live in.


You file for a divorce in the state that you live in, no matter where you were married. In Georgia, the law requires you to be a legal resident for at least 6 months before you file for a divorce. The court will still hear your divorce case even if one of you lives in another state.  However, the person who lives in a state other than Georgia, can petition the court to have the divorce case moved to the state they live in.


Appearing in Court to Finalize the Divorce


Both you and your spouse must appear in court in order for the judge to finalize the divorce and issue the final divorce decree.


In the case of a contested divorce, a judge or jury may handle any issues regarding money, but only the judge will rule on any issues that involve any minor children.


For example, if you can’t decide on child custody or visitation rights, the judge will make that decision. If you can’t agree on the amount of child support to be paid, either a judge or the jury can make that determination.


Either you or your spouse could ask for a jury trial if some form of agreement cannot be reached between you and your spouse. The decision by a judge or jury is final, but can be appealed to a higher court.


Receiving a Complaint for  Divorce From Your Spouse


If your spouse has served you with a Complaint for Divorce, you should contact an attorney immediately.  The Complaint must be answered in writing within 30 days and that answer filed with the court.


This is your opportunity to dispute any claims your spouse made in the complaint. You can admit the allegations, deny the allegations, or admit some and deny some. You can also file a counterclaim and sue your spouse for divorce.


The court will assume that if you haven’t filed an answer to the complaint within the 30 days that you agree with all the claims made by your spouse.



Macon Georgia Uncontested Divorce Attorney


If you want an uncontested divorce in the Macon Georgia - Warner Robins area, then call (Maconfirmname), an experienced divorce lawyer.


The “Grounds” for Divorce in Georgia


The law in Georgia recognizes 13 different grounds, or reasons for a divorce. The most common ground is to say that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This ground is also referred to as “no-fault. If you and your spouse files for a no-fault divorce neither of you will have to prove who is responsible for the failure of your marriage. All one of you has to do is tell the court that in your opinion the marriage is broken and can’t be fixed.


Other common grounds, called “fault divorces” is when one spouse accuses the other of some type of misconduct that are considered grounds for divorce according to Georgia law. That misconduct can be adultery, desertion, physical or mental cruelty, mental illness, alcoholism, or conviction of certain crimes.


The person who is found to be at fault for the breakdown of the marriage in a fault divorce case, may not be entitled to alimony.