Are you in the process of going through a divorce right now? If so, you are likely seeking out as much information about divorce as possible. Obtaining a divorce can be a complex process, and it may be necessary to seek legal advice. The article below is written to educate you on the basics of divorce. The article will discuss the frequently asked questions that couples often ask when they are in the process of going through a divorce. As always, it is generally advised to consult your local family law attorney if you are unsure about the divorce procedures in the state of Georgia.
Top Questions About Georgia Divorces
Question 1: Why do we need a settlement agreement when obtaining an uncontested divorce, if there is nothing to settle, and I only want a divorce?
Answer: Generally, you do not need a settlement agreement. However, a settlement agreement is generally used in divorce cases where the spouses are interested in workout out the issues without going through litigation. Furthermore, by having a settlement agreement in place, you will be able to better communicate with the Court about your preferences such as if you do not have marital property, the court would like to know that. Additionally, if there are no joint debts, the Court will only find out when there is a settlement agreement in place. Therefore, even in an uncontested divorce, it is generally advised to have a settlement agreement in place to make it easier for court to understand your intentions.
Question 2: I have an order for child support. Would I still be required to fill out a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit and child support worksheet?
Answer: The simple answer is yes. If you have a child support order in place, you will still be required to fill out the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit and child support worksheets. The Court will not accept your documents for filing if there is not a complete Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit in place. It is important to remember that the Divorce laws change frequently; therefore it is important to make sure that the child support amount complies with the current laws. Additionally, by having a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit in place, it will be easy to keep a track of all the expenses as well.
Question 3: How long does it take to get a divorce?
Answer: To determine the duration of the divorce, it is important to keep in mind whether the divorce is being classified as contested or uncontested. In other words, are you and your spouse on the same page in terms of getting a divorce or are you two in a disagreement to get a divorce. If you two are in an agreement, the divorce can be granted as soon as thirty-one (31) days after you file for the divorce. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are not willing to sign the settlement agreement, it may take up to anywhere from forty-six (46) days to sixty (60) days to finalize divorce. It is important to keep in mind that it may take little bit longer if the court is busy. Lastly, if there is any dispute as to the child custody or property division, the divorce may take months or even years to finalize.
Question 4: How do I get a divorce if I have not seen my spouse for years and I do not know their whereabouts?
Answer: If you are interested in getting a divorce and are not aware of your spouse’s whereabouts, you will have to tell the court that you did make an effort to find your spouse. You will be required to sign a sworn affidavit where you will state the following:
1. To the best of your knowledge, you tried to locate your spouse and your spouse’s whereabouts are unknown.
2. You have used the reasonable diligence in trying to find where your spouse
3. You will be required to state the last residence of where the spouse is located
After signing the affidavit, you will be required to file a motion where you would ask the court’s permission to serve/notify the spouse by publication. Once the permission is granted, you will have to publish the ad in the newspaper for four (4) consecutive weeks. If the spouse fails to answer within these four (4) weeks, the court has the discretion to grant the divorce as soon as sixty (60) days after the notice is ran in the paper. You will be required to come before the judge so a divorce can be granted. It is important to remember that in a divorce by publication the court cannot award alimony, child support or property division located outside of Georgia. If you misrepresent any material information about your spouse’s whereabouts, the divorce can be overturned and you will be subjected to perjury.
Question 5: What happens if my spouse is not located in the state of Georgia, like me? Can I still obtain a divorce in the state of Georgia?
Answer: You can get a divorce in Georgia if your spouse lived in Georgia at one time. You will need to do additional reading about Georgia’s “Domestic Relations Long Arm Statute” to make sure you meet the special requirements in this situation.
Question 6: My spouse has never lived in Georgia. Can I still get a divorce in Georgia?
Answer: Yes, you are still eligible to receive a divorce in the state of Georgia if you have been a Georgia resident for minimum of six (6) months or more. However, if the court is unable to obtain personal jurisdiction over your spouse, the court will not have the discretion to award alimony, child support or property in another state. For the Court to have the power to hear the case, minimum contact is required between your spouse and the state of Georgia.
Question 7: How long do I have to wait to get a divorce in Georgia?
Answer: You have to be a resident of the state of Georgia for six (6) months before filing for divorce in Georgia. However, if you are living on military base, you will be required to be a resident of state of Georgia for minimum of one (1) year.
Question 8: In the state of Georgia, am I allowed to obtain legal separation?
Answer: In the state of Georgia, legal separation is granted when you show the intention of not living with the spouse and you stop having any sort of sexual relations with your spouse. No formal court ordered separation is required before filing for divorce. In the state of Georgia, you may be eligible to file a separate maintenance action.
Question 9: Can I represent myself in a divorce action?
Answer: Yes, you do have a right to represent yourself, if you like. However, representing yourself comes with its own cost. When you represent yourself, you may have limited legal knowledge. Your spouse on the other hand may be represented by a lawyer, and will likely be familiar with court rules, putting you at real disadvantage. So, generally its recommended to hire a lawyer to represent you.
Question 10: What is no-fault divorce?
Answer: During traditional days, the only way one could get a divorce was by showing that your spouse had done something which was a justified reason to grant a divorce. In other words, a party had to be at fault. The most well-known reasons for divorce were adultery, spouse abuse, being sentenced to prison for a felony, and insanity. Proving reasons made it difficult to obtain a divorce and lot of energy and money was spent proving that the other spouse was at fault. However, nowadays, in the state of Georgia, divorce can be granted when marriage is irretrievably broken.
Question 11: What is an uncontested divorce?
Answer: During an uncontested divorce, both parties are in an agreement as to obtaining a divorce. Both parties agree to the terms of divorce including property division, child custody, alimony etc. Generally, uncontested divorce is granted quicker than contested divorce.
Question 12: What is the general process for a divorce?
Answer: To begin the divorce process, a complaint or petition is filed with the Court. Once the complaint is filed, the action is started. The complaint is served on the opposing party through a process called service. However, this may not be necessary if you and your spouse are in an agreement as to divorce terms. Your spouse will have certain number of days to respond to the complaint.
Question 13: Can I get alimony?
Answer: You may be eligible to receive alimony depending on the need and the your spouse’s ability to pay. Court looks at several factors when deciding whether alimony should be granted or not. Alimony can be granted for short period of time or longer period of time depending on the need of the spouse.
Question 14: Can my spouse and I choose not to have child support?
Answer: No. The right to have child support cannot be taken away from children. Obligation to pay child support needs to be abided by court order. Georgia has established an official site and agency to administer child support when needed. Link >>>
Question 15: Can you help me with my divorce case?
Yes we can. the experienced divorce and family law attorneys Going through a divorce can become complicated process. However, you do not have to go through it alone. The experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Coleman Legal Group, LLC are here to help you through every step of the way. We take every case seriously and have helped people like you go through this emotional process. The questions listed above are designed to provide you with the fundamentals of divorce. These questions in no way serve as legal advice. To have your questions answered today, call us at 770-609-1247 and let us help you today!