Filing for an uncontested divorce in Georgia can save you THOUSANDS of dollars on your divorce.
Everyone wants to have an easy divorce that doesn’t ruin them financially and emotionally.
If you think you and your spouse are in a position to file for an uncontested divorce, you’re in the right spot.
Our goal is to give you a guide that will take out all of the guess work out of navigating an uncontested divorce.
This article is going to teach you:
- What is an uncontested divorce?
- How much uncontested divorce cost.
- Uncontested divorce laws you need to know.
- How to hire the best uncontested divorce lawyers.
- How to save thousands on your divorce.
- How to file for an uncontested divorce on your own.
- And much more.
So, let’s dig in.
What You Will Learn In This Guide
We know that not every person is completely new to the concept of how to file for an uncontested divorce.
To help you with specific concepts, we’ve put together an interactive table of contents.
Click each link to be transported to different sections.
(Or, you can scroll down and start from the beginning.)
- What is Uncontested Divorce?
- How Much Does Uncontested Divorce Cost?
- Uncontested Divorce Law You Need To Know
- Hiring An Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
- Save Thousands With Uncontested Divorce Papers
- How To File Uncontested Divorce
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take?
- Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce
Uncontested Divorce In Georgia
For your divorce to truly be an uncontested divorce, this means that you and your spouse have resolved all of your issues pertaining to your divorce settlement agreement.
When both spouses agree to a divorce and the settlement, uncontested divorce can save time and money through expedited divorce processes.
What Is Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is where both spouses agree on child custody, child support, alimony, and property settlement.
When both spouses agree to have an uncontested divorce, this can save them thousands in legal fees and months of waiting for the divorce to be finalized.
When you are filing for uncontested divorce, you have to agree with the settlements on:
- Child custody (who gets the kids and how often)
- Child support (how much one spouse will pay in child support and how long)
- Alimony (how much one spouse is going to be paying for alimony and how long)
- Splitting assets in divorce (how will you split the house, cars, retirement accounts, etc)
- Splitting debts (how will you split the credit card debt, car loans, mortgage, etc)
Uncontested divorce is available to spouses who have zero disagreements on these issues.
Having an amicable divorce is a good way for couples to save substantial amounts of money during the divorce process.
Just like when you file a contested divorce in Georgia, one spouse has to file the Divorce Petition at the local Superior Court. (It doesn’t matter which spouse files.)
Uncontested divorces have more streamlined paperwork.
This is because negotiations are not drawn out for months by the spouses and divorce lawyers.
The two spouses can simply fill out the uncontested divorce papers themselves and submit them to the courts when they file the divorce petition and grounds for divorce.
If one spouse files for divorce and the other side agrees to the uncontested divorce or fails to make an appearance at the court hearing, then the courts will grant a divorce to the couple.
But if the other spouse doesn’t agree (they contested the divorce), an uncontested divorce cannot be granted.
Uncontested Divorce Meaning
The meaning of uncontested divorce is that;
- There are no disagreements over financial or divorce-related issues.
- Your spouse agrees to the divorce or fails to appear in the initial divorce hearings.
Failure to show up to divorce hearings goes like this (Yes, even for uncontested divorces):
When Jane serves divorce papers to Tim, she submits that receipt to the Superior Court.
Once the divorce courts have that proof of serving papers, they will schedule a date and time for Jane and Tim to show up in divorce court.
If Jane shows up to the court hearing, but Tim fails to show up, then the judge will rule in favor of Jane.
How Much Does An Uncontested Divorce Cost?
An uncontested divorce costs, on average, $4,100 when they hire a divorce lawyer.
For uncontested divorce costs without an attorney, you’re looking at spending about $300 in fees.
These fees include:
- Georgia filing fees for the petition for divorce
- Sheriff’s department serving divorce papers to your spouse
Uncontested divorces are 5x cheaper than contested divorces that end up in court.
Cost for Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse disagree on anything pertaining to the divorce, the cost of your divorce can skyrocket.
This is because the divorce becomes contested and you will need an attorney to represent you throughout the divorce process.
The average cost of a contested divorce that is settled outside of court is $10,600.
But the average cost for uncontested divorce lands at $4,100.
That means that a contested divorce is 258% more expensive, on average, than an uncontested divorce.
But what about the cost of an uncontested divorce vs contested divorce that goes to trial to settle disputes?
Contested divorces that go to trial double the cost of a contested divorce where the spouses settle their disagreements outside of court.
Litigation, multiple court appearances, and negotiations between lawyers can drag out the contested divorce process.
As you can imagine, paying your divorce lawyer $300 per hour for all of this adds up fast.
The average cost of a contested divorce that goes to trial lands at $20,400.
That makes a contested divorce that goes to trial 497% more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
Cost of Uncontested Divorce In Georgia
So, what are going to be your costs for uncontested divorce in Georgia?
Get used to hearing this from your attorney… “It depends.”
Every divorce is different.
Every couple fights about different aspects of their divorce.
Some couples can let things go while others hold onto what they think is important with white knuckles.
Only you know how difficult or easy your divorce is going to be.
But let’s assume that you truly are going to have an amicable, uncontested divorce.
If you have an uncontested divorce, you can expect to pay, on average, $4,100 for your divorce.
You can pay up to $1,600 in expenses such as court costs and fees for child custody evaluators, real estate appraisers, tax advisors, and other experts.
If you have a contested divorce that gets settled, you’ll end up paying about $10,600.
But if you go to trial for any disagreements, then you’ll end up forking out about $20,400.
Cheap Uncontested Divorce
If you want a cheap uncontested divorce, skip the divorce lawyer, fill out the divorce paperwork with your spouse, and file the papers at your local Superior Court.
This is going to cost you about $300. That’s the bare-bones minimum amount you could possibly pay for a divorce.
Uncontested Divorce Law You Need To Know
There are a couple of requirements that you have to meet before filing for an uncontested divorce in Georgia.
The first requirement is a residency requirement for divorce.
The residency requirement for divorce is six months in Georgia.
You must file for divorce in your spouse’s county of residence.
A non-resident of Georgia may file for divorce against a spouse who has been a resident of Georgia for six months.
Grounds For Divorce In Georgia
The second requirement for filing for divorce is that you have “grounds” for divorce.
Georgia is NOT a no-fault divorce state.
For you to obtain a divorce, even an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must choose one of the 13 Grounds for Divorce in Georgia.
Several grounds for fault divorce include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, mental illness, and criminal conviction.
There are, however, additional grounds for divorce that are acceptable in Georgia such as drug abuse and impotency.
The grounds for divorce are:
- The marriage is irreparable.
- Being too closely related (cousins).
- Impotency or inability to have kids at the time of marriage.
- The mental capacity of your spouse at the time of marriage.
- Forced or fraudulent marriage.
- Wife getting pregnant by another man.
- One of the spouses were cheating.
- Desertion, meaning the spouse left the house over a year ago.
- 2+ year prison sentence.
- Addiction to drugs.
- Addiction to alcohol.
- Abuse and cruel treatment.
- Incurable mental illnesses.
If you claim any other grounds for divorce than “the marriage is irreparable,” then you must prove one of the spouses is at fault and prove their misconduct.
Uncontested Divorce Process
The uncontested divorce process makes the costs of divorce in Georgia much cheaper on couples.
This is because couples who work together to agree on the terms of the divorce will experience less expensive and less expensive divorces than those who cannot agree and refuse to work together.
Some things that spouses need to negotiate on for divorce are:
- child custody
- child support
- property division
- debt allocation
- spousal support
Let’s talk about the uncontested divorce process.
1. Filing The Divorce Petition
Whether you’re dealing with a contested divorce or uncontested divorce, this step is the same for every person filing for divorce.
To start the divorce process, one spouse must file a Petition for Divorce, which asks the courts to terminate the marriage.
Since you and your spouse are having an uncontested divorce, either one of you can file the divorce paperwork.
The person filing for divorce must include the following information:
- The divorce petition – signatures must be notarized.
- A statement proving that you have been a resident of Georgia for at least 6 months.
- What the grounds for divorce are.
To prove residency for divorce, the courts will ask you to sign a Petitioner’s sworn authentication.
They will also ask you to bring documentation to prove your residency, such as driver’s license, utility bills, tax returns, or pay stubs.
When you get a divorce, you have to prove that you have been a resident for more than 6 months before you can get a divorce.
What is included in a divorce petition?
The following is what is included in a divorce petition:
- Date and place of marriage
- Date of legal separation in Georgia
- Information on children
- The basis for seeking a divorce
In your divorce petition, you can also include the outcome that you wish to have for the divorce settlements.
2. Asking For Temporary Orders
When you file for divorce, not getting any financial support for 6-12 months may be impossible.
For example, let’s say you are getting a divorce as a stay at home mom, raising your children, and being financially supported by your spouse.
It would be impossible for you to wait 6-12 months for the divorce to be finalized.
So that you don’t have to wait, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support.
What does temporary orders mean?
Temporary orders are a way for financially dependent spouses to get child support, alimony, health insurance, and possession of the home DURING the divorce process.
They allow the dependent spouse to have financial stability until the divorce is finalized.
Do temporary order become permanent?
Temporary orders do not become permanent orders without the judge creating a new, permanent order.
Temporary orders last until the date noted in the order or until the judge makes a new divorce order.
3. Serve The Divorce Papers To Your Spouse
After you file the petition for divorce and request for temporary orders, you need to provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse.
Once your spouse signs the divorce papers, you can file proof of service with the court.
Proof of service is a document that tells the courts that you met the legal requirements of giving a copy of the divorce petition to your spouse.
If you don’t properly serve divorce papers to your spouse (or you don’t file the proof of service), then the judge cannot move forward with your divorce case.
If you are having an uncontested divorce, then getting your spouse to sign the acknowledgment of service will be pretty easy.
How do I serve my husband with divorce papers?
The most common way to serve your husband with divorce papers is to have the Sheriff’s department hand them the paperwork.
The sheriff will then send you a copy of the service sheet, indicating the date they either served or attempted service, to your husband.
Why do divorce papers have to be served by someone else?
For divorce in Georgia, you can serve your divorce papers to your spouse.
Your spouse must sign an Acknowledgement of Service and have it notarized.
This is the easiest and cheapest route to take when filing an uncontested divorce.
You only NEED to hire the Sheriff’s department if your spouse will not accept or sign the divorce paperwork from you.
4. Wait For A Response
Once you have served the divorce papers,
Are you forced to sign divorce papers?
You are not forced to sign divorce papers.
But not signing divorce papers means that you will have to show up in divorce court to settle your divorce.
If you don’t show up to divorce court, the judge will rule in favor of your spouse.
What happens after you serve your spouse divorce papers?
After you serve your spouse divorce papers, they have two options.
They can ignore the divorce filing or they can file their response to the petition for divorce.
If the divorce papers are ignored by your spouse, then the divorce case will proceed “by default.”
By default means that the judge will grant you the property settlement, child custody, child support, and alimony that you requested in your petition for divorce.
If your spouse responds, they have the ability to rebuttal what you submitted to the divorce courts.
Meaning, that you submitted how you would like your property settlement, child custody, child support, and alimony in Georgia to be divvied up between you and them.
They have the ability to respond with a different way to split everything.
Or they can just accept what you have submitted, which is most likely to happen with an uncontested divorce.
5. Finalizing Uncontested Divorce
Yes, even if you have an uncontested divorce, you still have to show up to divorce court.
Your divorce settlement will have to be approved by a judge before they can finalize it.
With uncontested divorces, the judge will usually approve the proposed divorce settlement unless the terms of the settlement are not fair to one spouse.
As soon as the legal divorce time period has elapsed, your divorce will be final.
How Will I Know When My Divorce Is Final?
You will know when your divorce is final because the court will give you proof of written judgment that lets you know when the divorce is final.
You will not be legally divorced until you have this proof of divorce.
Can An Uncontested Divorce Be Reversed
An uncontested divorce cannot be reversed after the judge has finalized the divorce.
If the judge has not finalized the uncontested divorce, then you can withdraw your petition for divorce.
If you decide that you want to reverse the uncontested divorce AFTER the judge has signed, you will have to get remarried.
Feels pointless, right?
But getting remarried is as easy as just filing for a marriage certificate.
Uncontested Divorce With A Child
You can have an uncontested divorce with a child.
If you and your spouse agree on child custody and child support, then you can still have an uncontested divorce with children.
When you file for divorce with children in Georgia, you will have to fill out some extra divorce paperwork for the children.
In this paperwork, you will outline the details related to the child’s living arrangements moving forward.
This includes a complete parenting plan, laying out the custody and visitations.
You will also need to sit down with your spouse and run some numbers on a Georgia Child Support Calculator.
Do I Have To Go To Court For An Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse completely agree on the issues surrounding the divorce and that’s laid out in the property settlement, then you do not have to go to divorce.
When someone does not show up to divorce court, the judge will rule in favor of the settlement agreement that’s filed.
If the divorce is contested, you need to show up to divorce court.
Since the judge rules in favor of the filed petition proposed property settlement, you could stand to lose a lot of things in the divorce.
Hiring An Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
If you are planning on hiring an uncontested divorce lawyer in Georgia, it’s important that you get one that’s going to be able to navigate your case properly.
Even though you are planning on having a contested divorce, hiring an attorney can help you set everything up correctly in the beginning.
This way, you don’t potentially mess anything up and potentially have your case thrown out by the judge, forcing you to start all over.
Hiring an uncontested divorce attorney will help save you money and speed up your divorce.
Lawyer for Uncontested Divorce
Getting a lawyer for uncontested divorce may FEEL like you’re wasting money.
I mean, you already know that you don’t need an attorney to go ‘at-bat’ for you against your spouse.
So, why on earth would you need to considering hiring a lawyer for uncontested divorce?
1. Uncontested Divorce Attorney Can Help Get Your Agreement Approved
Even though you and your spouse are not contesting the divorce, the divorce will be presented to the judge to be finalized.
Have an attorney for uncontested divorce create the paperwork for you can help make sure that your divorce gets approved immediately by the judge.
This decreases the likelihood that your judge rejects the divorce, making you start the whole process over again.
Even if you don’t want them to create the divorce papers for you, having a divorce lawyer review your uncontested divorce paperwork can flush out things you forgot or did not consider.
This will make your uncontested divorce process go MUCH faster and smoother.
It also makes sure that you don’t give up any of your legal rights accidently or lose anything that you deserve in the divorce.
2. Attorneys For Uncontested Divorce Know Everything That Needs To Be Done
When you hire an attorney for uncontested divorce, you are making sure that you are covering all of your bases.
Divorce lawyers fully understand the entire divorce process and all of the steps that you need to take to finalize your divorce.
Even if you and your spouse both want a divorce, there is a required process that you have to follow for your divorce to be legally recognized by the divorce courts.
If you forget to complete any of these steps in the process for an uncontested divorce, you may find your divorce getting rejected by the courts.
Hiring an uncontested divorce attorney is the easiest way to make sure that you have a smooth sailing divorce so you can be done faster and cheaper.
3. Uncontested Divorce Lawyers Can Work Through Property Settlement Issues
Let’s be real.
While you and your spouse are on the same page about splitting assets in divorce and property, doing so can be difficult.
Transferring real estate, dividing up investments, splitting up retirement accounts, and transferring debts can all be very complicated.
Division of retirement accounts in divorce is particularly hard.
Most of the time, it requires that the divorce lawyer send in a special order, called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
This is a complicated process that is actually pretty difficult to pull off without a divorce lawyer on your side.
Then, we have the beloved tax issues.
Splitting assets in divorce incorrectly can have significant negative consequences if not done correctly.
This is an area where not hiring an uncontested divorce attorney will cost you more than it’s going to save you.
Your divorce lawyer can help you by:
- sorting through legal ownership and your options in a divorce
- helping you change ownership of assets when necessary
- advising you on joint financial situations
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce
You do not need a divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce.
But, to make sure that you have a smooth divorce without any financial hiccups, it’s important that you consider hiring an uncontested divorce lawyer.
It also helps to have a divorce lawyer who understands alimony laws in Georgia, who are good child custody lawyers, and who are pros at contested divorce in Georgia, JUST in case things HAPPEN to turn bad during the negotiations.
If you happen to have one, it’s important to find an attorney who understands common law marriage in Georgia.
Save Thousands With Uncontested Divorce Papers
If you and your spouse are agreeable on the divorce settlements and you have all issues resolved, then you are lucky enough to have an uncontested divorce.
(Here’s a divorce preparation checklist to help out.)
This means that you can eliminate the costs of a divorce attorney and end up having a cheap uncontested divorce.
No matter what your case looks like, you should understand Georgia’s uncontested divorce laws and know these steps to file a Do It Yourself uncontested divorce.
1. Meet Residency Requirements
When you want to file divorce papers in Georgia, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirements for Georgia.
Whether you are a resident or non-resident of Georgia, you must file the divorce papers at the Superior Court in your spouse’s county of residence.
For example, if you lived in Savannah and your spouse lives in Atlanta, you would have to file the uncontested divorce papers at the Fulton County Superior Court.
The Georgia divorce laws absolutely require that you or your spouse has to have been a resident for at least 6 months prior to filing.
If your wife or your husband wants a divorce, they would have to file the divorce papers at the Superior Court of the county you live in.
2. Fill Out The Divorce Forms
At a minimum, you will have to fill out the Petition for Divorce.
When you fill out this divorce form, you will have to fill it out completely.
Even if you have an amicable divorce, the divorce process can be overwhelming, stressful, and easy to mess up.
An uncontested divorce attorney can save you time, money, and anxiety down the road.
But be aware that hiring a lawyer will put your spouse on guard and potentially ruin your chances of having an easy-ish divorce.
But you can get a free divorce consultation and just see how you should approach the divorce and see what divorce paperwork you need.
Even getting a divorce lawyer to review your documents and explain any risks can be super beneficial to ensure you are NOT exposed to losing custody, alimony, child support, or any assets.
Doing this is a good way to at least head down the right path and not mess up your divorce.
3. File and Serve the Divorce Papers
Now that you have filled out your divorce papers it’s time to file the divorce papers at your spouse’s county’s Superior Court.
When you file these papers, you fill have to pay a filing fee.
After you have filed the papers, you have to serve divorce papers to you spouse.
Unfortunately, you cannot do this yourself.
To properly serve divorce papers to your spouse, you can hire the local sheriff to serve the papers to your spouse.
After you have your spouse served, your spouse must file a response.
4. Finalizing The Uncontested Divorce
Whether you have to show up to court depends on your local county’s Superior Court.
You will have to reach out to ask them on whether uncontested divorce cases need to show up in front of the judge.
If you don’t have to show up to court, then the courts can grant a divorce any time starting:
- 31 days after the Defendant was served (or signed) acknowledgment of the divorce papers.
- 46 days from the date of serving the papers if the Defendant did not respond (acknowledge) the divorce papers.
- 61 days from the date of the first publication if the Defendant was served notice by publications like a Newspaper.
5. Showing Up To Court (If You Have To)
If you don’t want to go to court for your uncontested divorce, you can file a “Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.”
This basically tells the courts that you are okay with the judge making decisions on the divorce without you showing up.
These decisions are based on the information in the uncontested divorce papers that you and your spouse filled out together.
The courts have the power to make you come to court or not after you have filed these papers.
If you do have to show up to court, just know that hearings for uncontested divorces are usually short.
The judge will determine whether you’ve met all the necessary requirements for the divorce.
If you have met all of the conditions for divorce, the court will issue the final divorce decree.
Uncontested Divorce Forms
If you and your spouse have both agreed to divorce, and you agree on how to divide your property and assets, you can fill out a divorce settlement agreement to file for divorce.
This is the main form for divorce in Georgia and it may also be used to define child custody, visitation, and child support if you have children under 18.
It is important to know that the Georgia uncontested divorce forms are just one step in the divorce process.
Fill out the form on this page if you want a free divorce consultation to make sure that nothing serious is messed up with your divorce, which could cost you thousands of dollars.
If you fill out the divorce forms incorrectly you may be able to amend them later on, but there is always the possibility that won’t be allowed.
Consult with a divorce attorney if you have any doubts on how to fill out, file, and serve papers.
How To File Uncontested Divorce
When you file for uncontested divorce in Georgia, there are a number of steps that you need to take.
If you are representing yourself and not hiring an uncontested divorce lawyer, you want to make sure that you follow the steps correctly so you don’t mess anything up.
(Filing for an uncontested divorce is easy – you can do it yourself and save yourself thousands in divorce lawyer fees.)
File for Uncontested Divorce
When you file for uncontested divorce in Georgia, the party who starts the divorce action fills out the forms, files them with the county clerk, pays a filing fee, and has them served on the other party.
The first thing that you want to do is complete a “Complaint for Divorce.” This is also called the “Petition for Divorce.”
Check with the county clerk or with your divorce attorney so you know how to serve the papers correctly.
If you mess up and serve the divorce papers incorrectly, this means you have to start all over again and pay a second filing fee for starting another case.
Uncontested Divorce Online
For spouses seeking to do their uncontested divorce online, they are looking for an affordable divorce and a fast resolution.
Getting an divorce online works if you are planning to file uncontested divorce in Georgia.
The step by step process of preparing online divorce forms makes it easy for you and your spouse.
The Hive Law helps prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and will provide you with detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Georgia.
When you use our online divorce forms, you will get forms that are tailored to divorce laws in Georgia.
Not generic forms that you print off the big websites that don’t apply to your divorce.
Thousands of people use these uncontested divorce forms every year, allowing them to file for uncontested divorce online.
It allows you to save thousands of dollars in divorce lawyer fees when you file your own uncontested divorce papers online.
If you and your spouse 100% agree on the terms of your uncontested divorce, then hiring a lawyer may not be the best route for you.
Some divorce lawyers will draw out your divorce for no reason just to get paid extra.
Filling out and filing your own forms for uncontested divorce in Georgia will allow you to have a cheaper, quicker, and easier divorce.
When you fill out these uncontested divorce papers in Georgia, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire.
After we’re done putting your uncontested divorce paperwork together, you will get an email with the forms filled out.
You can just print these out, have your spouse sign them (get them notarized), and then file the uncontested divorce papers at your local Superior Court.
In Georgia, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside.
Uncontested vs Contested Divorce
Determining whether you have an uncontested vs contested divorce boils down to whether or not you and your spouse agree on:
- Splitting assets
- Splitting debts
- Child Support
- Child Custody
If you disagree, even in the slightest, it becomes a contested divorce.
With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will sit down and fill out the mutual separation agreement and property settlement agreement together.
Then one of you will file the divorce papers and then the other one ‘gets served’ the divorce papers.
I know, it’s weird, but it’s just how the Georgia divorce laws work (even for uncontested divorces).
When it comes to contested vs uncontested divorce, if you agree on all of the major issues, then you have an uncontested divorce.
If there are issues that you disagree on, then it is a contested divorce.
Differences Between Contested vs Uncontested Divorce
There are two main differences between a contested vs uncontested divorce.
- The divorce timeline
- Agreeable outcomes
For the divorce timeline, an uncontested divorce can be finalized very quickly.
Sometimes, they can be completed in as little as 6 weeks if you time everything correctly with when you file your divorce papers.
But, in reality, things always take longer.
The average uncontested divorce takes 8 months to complete.
For a contested divorce, just a dispute over one issue can bump up the timeline to an average of 12 months.
If you have multiple issues in your contested divorce, it can take over 2 years to finalize your divorce.
Over To You
Look, you have learned everything there is to know about uncontested divorces in Georgia.
You’ve even learned how to file the uncontested divorce papers yourself to skip hiring a divorce lawyer.
If you still feel like you’d like to have a free divorce consultation or hire an attorney to help you navigate your divorce, fill out the form below.
There is no obligation to use The Hive Law, but we would love the opportunity to chat with you and point you in the right direction with your divorce so that you have the best possible outcomes.
Even if you don’t have assets, your spouse is no longer your emergency contact and you might want to appoint a power of attorney in the event of a medical emergency.
You may not want doctors that you don’t know making major life decisions for you in the event of an emergency.
We provide estate planning attorneys in Atlanta and all over Georgia since we are a virtual law firm.