How to file for divorce in Georgia depends on many factors, such as where the spouses reside and whether the divorce is contested or not. You must also follow specific court rules. A defective filing for divorce in Georgia could cause big issues and delay. Thus, it is important to be familiar with these requirements and rules when filing for divorce in Georgia.
How to get a divorce in Georgia
In order to get a divorce in Georgia, you need to go through the court system. You would initiate the divorce action by filing a complaint or petition for divorce with the appropriate court in Georgia. The following paragraphs explain which specific court in Georgia you would file for divorce in Ga.
Where would you file for divorce in Ga?
You cannot just file for divorce anywhere. There are specific Georgia divorce laws and rules regarding where and how to file for divorce in Georgia.
How to file for divorce in Georgia: In which court would you file?
There are many different types of courts in Georgia. Examples include the Magistrate Court, State Court, and Superior Court. For divorce, you would file in the Superior Court. This is because under the Georgia Constitution, superior courts have exclusive subject matter jurisdiction in divorce cases. Subject matter jurisdiction means the power of a court to hear specific types of cases, such as a divorce case.
Whoever files for divorce in Georgia would be called the “plaintiff” or “petitioner”, and the other spouse would be called the “defendant” or “respondent.”
How to file for divorce in Georgia: In which county would you file?
Under the Georgia Constitution, divorce cases must be filed in the county where the other spouse resides, if the other spouse is a Georgia resident.
However, a divorce case may be filed in the plaintiff’s county of residence if the defendant has moved from the plaintiff’s residence within six months from the date of the filing of the divorce case and that county was the location of the marital residence at the time of the separation of the parties.
Further, if the defendant is not a resident of Georgia, Georgia divorce laws allow the plaintiff to file in the plaintiff’s county of residence. Determining which superior court would hear the divorce action means determining the venue.
What is the 6-month residency requirement for filing for divorce in Ga?
The 6-month residency requirement for filing for divorce in Georgia generally means you must have been a bona fide resident of Georgia for six months in order to file for divorce in Georgia. Here, “resident” means “domiciliary.” A domicile is acquired when there is both actual residence in Georgia and the intention to remain in Georgia indefinitely. If a person actually removes to another place, with the intention of remaining there for an indefinite time as a place of fixed domicile, such place becomes that person’s domicile.
What is uncontested divorce in Ga?
Uncontested divorce is where both spouses have come to an agreement on all issues pertaining to their divorce. Their written settlement agreement would be incorporated into the final judgment and decree of divorce.
How can I get a quick divorce in GA?
One quick way to get a divorce in Ga is to negotiate a settlement agreement resolving all pending issues. A written settlement agreement containing the terms of the spouses’ agreement would be submitted to the judge for approval.
Although litigants in Georgia are generally free to contract and settle their cases without a trial, certain purported agreements may not be approved by the court. For example, an agreement between the spouses to make the amount of child support zero will not necessarily be approved by the court. This is because child support belongs to the child, and child support cannot be waived by a parent.
Do I need a lawyer when filing for divorce in Ga?
You may file for divorce in Georgia without a lawyer. In other words, Georgia divorce laws do not require you to hire a lawyer to get a divorce in Georgia. However, you might benefit from at least consulting with a Georgia divorce lawyer and then deciding whether to hire a Georgia divorce lawyer or not.
How long does divorce take in GA?
Divorce may take anywhere from a couple months to several years. How long a divorce takes in GA depends on many factors, such as whether the divorce is uncontested or contested and whether there are minor children from the marriage or not.
How much does divorce cost in GA?
How much a divorce case will cost in the end depends on many factors. Some of these factors may not be foreseeable. There will be a filing fee that you pay to the court. There will also be a fee for serving the Georgia divorce papers on the other spouse. The cost for divorce may also depend on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.
Chat with a Georgia divorce attorney about your options.