Ask The Experts: What To Know About Uncontested Divorce
Going through a divorce is never easy. However, it doesn’t have to be an arduous and frustrating process. There is the option to pursue an uncontested divorce, where issues like alimony payments, child custody, parenting time, and division of property, assets and debts are worked out by the respective parties without the need of legal intervention. In many cases, an uncontested divorce is faster, cheaper, and less emotionally taxing than the potential of a contested divorce. Our family law experts wanted to answer a few questions about uncontested divorces in Georgia to help our readers gain a better understanding of this process.
Question #1: What is required to be eligible for an uncontested divorce in Georgia?
To file an uncontested divorce in Georgia, there are certain legal requirements that must be met. First, you or your spouse must be a legal resident of the state for at least 6 months. Next, you must select the “grounds” (or legal reasons) for your divorce. In almost all uncontested divorce cases, the “grounds” for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This absolves either side of legal fault in the divorce and allows an uncontested divorce to proceed to final resolution.
Question #2: What formal steps must be taken to officially enter into an uncontested divorce?
The first step is to prepare the divorce settlement agreement. This is a written, legally-binding contract signed by both parties agreeing to the terms of the uncontested divorce. Once this is finalized, the next step is completing a “Complaint for Divorce” (sometimes referred to as a petition). There are also several additional supporting pleadings that will need to be drafted and signed by one or both of the parties to allow the uncontested divorce to proceed. Once all of the necessary documents are executed, the action is submitted to the Court via the eFile system used by the County of filing. Once the action is filed, there is a 30 day statutory waiting period before the judge can execute the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.
Question #3: Will I still need a lawyer while entering into an uncontested divorce?
While this is up to each individual, we would certainly say yes. It’s important to consult with a professional to determine if an uncontested divorce is the most beneficial path for your specific situation. Additionally, having a family law attorney on your side to ensure correct and timely filing of all legal documentation and payment of fees can be extremely helpful during this process.
The process of an uncontested divorce may sound simple enough, but even in the case of an uncontested divorce, there is incredible value in having family law experts like the pros here at Oxendine Law on your side. For more information, contact Oxendine Law at (770) 497-8688 today to schedule a meeting in-person, over the phone, or by video conference. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for additional family law tips, news, and more helpful information.