How To Have A Successful Divorce In Georgia

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You’re considering getting a divorce in Georgia.

But you have no idea what to expect, how much it’s going to cost, or what you should do.

You’re not alone.

Getting a divorce in Georgia is full of complexities.

And most divorce lawyers don’t take the time to explain anything thoroughly to you.

That’s why we made this comprehensive and practical guide to divorce in Georgia.

Let’s dig in.

What You’ll Learn About Divorce In Georgia

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How To Get A Divorce in Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

How To Get A Divorce in Georgia

There are a couple of ways you could go about how to get a divorce in Georgia.

You can:

  • do it yourself
  • hire a divorce lawyer

If you’re filing for divorce in Georgia on your own, it’s a pretty simple process (more on this below).

If you and your spouse agree on EVERYTHING, you can file for an uncontested divorce in Georgia.

Let’s chat about contested divorce because most divorces get contested.

Some of the struggles you’re going to face are:

  • filling out the Georgia divorce papers correctly
  • serving your spouse the divorce forms
  • negotiating with your spouse’s divorce lawyer
  • proving that you deserve more custody
  • proving that you’re a fit parent
  • proving that you need more alimony to get on your feet
  • or proving that your spouse deserves less alimony
  • discovering hidden assets

You get the point.

Figuring out how to get a divorce in Georgia is the easy part.

The divorce process in Georgia is the tough part.

To get a divorce, start by consulting with divorce lawyers.

Once you find the one you like, hire them.

They will start the divorce process for you.

But if you don’t want to hire a divorce lawyer, let’s talk about how to file for divorce in Georgia.

Related: I Want To Leave My Husband

How To File For Divorce in Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

How To File For Divorce in Georgia

Okay, so you want to know how to file for divorce in Georgia.

(Or maybe you just want to know what your divorce lawyer is going to do.)

Either way, to file for divorce in Georgia, you will:

  • fill out the Georgia divorce papers
  • choose your grounds for divorce
  • file for divorce at your local Superior Court
  • serve your spouse the divorce papers

When you file for divorce in Georgia, you will need to include:

  • information about your spouse
  • where you got married (date and city/state)
  • the legal reasons for divorce
  • a list of your assets and debts
  • a description of how you’d like to split those up
  • who will remain in the marital home
  • information about your children (if any minors)
  • a proposed parenting plan

Even if you are having an uncontested divorce in Georgia, you will still need to follow these steps.

If you have a contested divorce, you may not agree with your spouse on:

  • the parenting plan
  • who keeps the marital home
  • how to split assets and debts

If you’re filing for a contested divorce, you either:

  • are discussing it with your spouse before you file for divorce
  • are filing for divorce and your spouse doesn’t know

Either way is fine.

You can file for divorce in Georgia without informing your spouse.

When you do this, fill out the divorce papers with your desired outcomes.

Meaning, inform the courts of your ideal:

  • parenting plan
  • division of assets and debts
  • situation with the marital home

When you serve your spouse with the divorce papers, they have an opportunity to respond.

Their response is their opportunity to:

  • challenge the information (i.e., the grounds for divorce)
  • challenge the proposed division of custody, assets, and debts

If they do not submit a formal response to the courts, you can get a default divorce judgment.

This means that the judge will grant you the arrangements you asked for in the divorce papers.

Meaning you get what you wanted for:

  • the marital home
  • child custody
  • child visitation
  • division of assets and debts

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

Where Do I Go To File For Divorce in Georgia

Where Do I Go To File For Divorce

Wondering where do I go to file for divorce in Georgia?

You will file for divorce at the Superior Court in the county that you live in.

If you don’t meet the residency requirements for Georgia, you will file in the county your spouse lives in.

If you have a divorce lawyer handling your case, they will file for divorce for you.

We will deliver the divorce petition to the appropriate Superior Court.

But some of our clients ask how to file for divorce when a spouse is out of state.

Related: How a Mother Can Lose a Custody Battle

How To File For Divorce When Spouse Is Out Of State

How To File For Divorce When Spouse Is Out Of State

To file for divorce when a spouse is out of state, you will file in the state of residence.

You can only file for divorce in the state where you or your spouse meet the residency requirements.

Let’s say you have lived in Georgia for 3 years.

But your husband just relocated to Tennessee for work during your separation.

And he moved to Tennessee 7 months ago.

Even though your spouse is out of state, you are still a resident of Georgia.

You can file for divorce in Georgia when a spouse is out of state and you’re a resident of Georgia.

But your spouse is now a resident of Tennessee.

(They have been there 6+ months.)

That means that they can file for divorce in Tennessee.

When one spouse files for divorce when a spouse is out of state, the respondent has to travel back to that state for court.

For instance, if you filed for divorce in Georgia, your spouse would have to come back to Georgia for any court hearings.

They would also have to come back and hire a divorce lawyer in Georgia.

This is because lawyers can only practice in the state they are licensed in.

They cannot hire an out of state attorney to represent them.

Related: Questions to Ask A Divorce Lawyer

How To Get Divorce Papers In Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

How To Get Divorce Papers In Georgia

You can get your Georgia divorce papers from the Superior Court or you can buy divorce papers online.

If you are filing for divorce with a divorce lawyer, they will provide you with your divorce papers

Related: Georgia Child Support Laws for Non Custodial Parents

Separation Agreement Georgia

Separation Agreement Georgia

To file for divorce in Georgia, you have to first be legally separated.

But there is not a required amount of time that you have to be separated before filing for divorce in Georgia.

And the legal separation does not have to be a formal agreement.

There are two ways that you can have a “separation agreement” in Georgia.

  • either spouse moves out of the marital home
  • either spouse moves into another bedroom

But you are not legally separated unless you do one of these two actions with the intent to divorce.

Again, you do not have to have a separation agreement in Georgia.

Related: How to Leave Your Husband

How To File For Divorce In Georgia Without A Lawyer

How To File For Divorce In Georgia Without A Lawyer

So, you’ve legally separated from your spouse.

Now you’re able to file for divorce in Georgia.

If you’re hiring a divorce lawyer, they will do this for you.

But for this section, I’m assuming you’re not hiring a divorce lawyer.

So, you’re wondering how to file for divorce in Georgia without a lawyer.

If you are filing for divorce without a lawyer, you are representing yourself.

I’m hoping that you and your spouse are having an uncontested divorce.

Filing for divorce without a lawyer for a contested divorce is risky.

To file for divorce in Georgia without a lawyer, sit down with your spouse and:

  1. discuss, negotiate, and agree on the terms of your divorce
  2. decide on your parenting plan, division of assets, alimony, child support, and the marital home
  3. fill out the Georgia divorce papers
  4. file the divorce papers at the appropriate Superior Court
  5. serve your spouse the divorce papers
  6. provide proof to the courts that you served your spouse
  7. schedule a divorce court hearing
  8. present your case to the judge
  9. obtain your final decision from the judge

If you and your spouse are having an amicable divorce, this is how to file for divorce in Georgia without a lawyer.

If you are having a contested divorce, you should hire a divorce lawyer.

Fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.

Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody

Divorce Process In Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

Divorce Process In Georgia

The divorce process in Georgia is pretty straight forward.

It’s all the emotional turmoil that happens during the divorce process that’s hard.

So, what can you expect during the divorce process in Georgia?

  1. File your divorce forms.
  2. Get your temporary divorce orders.
  3. Do your divorce discovery.
  4. Attend divorce mediation.
  5. Show up to divorce court.
  6. Complete the divorce.
  7. Appeal the divorce (if you want to).

That’s the divorce process in Georgia in a nutshell.

Next, let’s talk about how long does a divorce take.

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

How Long Does A Divorce Take - Georgia Divorce

How Long Does A Divorce Take

How long does a divorce take depends on the type of divorce you’re having.

You’re either having a contested or uncontested divorce.

While every divorce is different, there are averages we can apply to how long does a divorce take.

From our experience, the averages are:

Uncontested Divorce~ 2 Months
Contested Divorce6 – 12 Months
Contested Divorce with Kids9+ Months

Now that we know how long does a divorce take in Georgia, let’s talk about the types of divorce more in-depth.

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

Types of Divorce In Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

Types of Divorce in Georgia

We’ve touched on the types of divorces in Georgia already.

Let’s go into more detail about how they will affect you.

Legal Separations In Georgia - How To File For Legal Separation In Georgia

I know, legal separations are technically not a type of divorce in Georgia.

But you have to be legally separated in Georgia to get a divorce.

So, I wanted to cover it a little more for you.

In a legal separation, the couple can establish boundaries and responsibilities, such as:

  • custody of the children
  • child support
  • division of assets and debts
  • alimony

For legal separations in Georgia, you do not need a formal agreement.

When either spouse moves out or moves into another bedroom with the intent to divorce, it’s a legal separation.

The key part here is “with the intent to divorce.”

If you are not intending to divorce, you will need to file a separation agreement in Georgia.

Legal separation is a different status compared to being divorced in Georgia.

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why would I get a legal separation instead of a divorce?”

With legal separations in Georgia, you can:

  • keep everyone on the health insurance
  • keep the family ‘together’ for the children
  • avoid divorce for religious purposes
  • avoid the costs of divorce
  • remain married if you’re unsure a divorce is a right solution

If you are legally separating without the intent to divorce, fill out a separation agreement.

The separation agreement in Georgia will have an expiration date.

After it expires, you are no longer legally separated.

If you do not include an expiration date, then the separation agreement is valid until:

  • you get a divorce in Georgia
  • the separation agreement gets modified
  • you get an order to dismiss the separation agreement

Related: Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

How To File For Legal Separation In Georgia

Let’s talk about how to file for legal separations in Georgia.

The steps to file for legal separation are:

  1. confirm you meet Georgia’s residency requirements
  2. consult with a divorce lawyer in Georgia
  3. file a Petition for Legal Separations in Georgia
  4. file your Legal Separations Agreement
  5. serve your spouse the Legal Separations Agreement
  6. settle unresolved issues you have
  7. sign and notarize the Legal Separations Agreement

The first type of divorce is an uncontested divorce in Georgia.

Related: If There Is No Custody Order In Place Can I Take My Child?

Uncontested Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

Uncontested Divorce In Georgia

An uncontested divorce in Georgia is one where neither party is fighting.

Filing for an uncontested divorce in Georgia can save time and money.

This is because the divorce process is streamlined.

To have an uncontested divorce in Georgia, both parties must 100% agree on all issues, like:

  • division of assets
  • division of debts
  • child custody (physical and legal)
  • child visitation
  • child support
  • alimony

You may not agree on everything when you decide to get divorced.

But as long as you agree on everything when you file, you can have an uncontested divorce in Georgia.

This is because when you file for divorce, you will need to include your desired outcome for the divorce.

Again, the issues you need to agree on when filing for an uncontested divorce in Georgia are the ones listed above.

Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement

Contested Divorce in Georgia

Contested Divorce in Georgia

A contested divorce in Georgia is one where the spouses disagree on one or more issues.

A contested divorce adds some steps to the divorce process in Georgia.

These extra steps, in no order, are:

  • divorce discovery
  • pre-trial motions and hearings
  • settlement proposals
  • negotiations with attorneys
  • divorce mediation
  • going to trial

When your divorce gets contested, it adds:

  • thousands of dollars to your cost of divorce
  • months to how long your divorce takes

Your lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf.

An experienced divorce lawyer can settle most of your issues outside of court.

This will save you thousands of dollars on your contested divorce in Georgia.

Related: How Can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child?

Annulment In Georgia - How To Start A Divorce in Georgia

Annulment In Georgia

If you are trying to file for an annulment in Georgia, you have to meet the requirements.

An annulment will void your marriage.

This means that it never existed per the law.

The grounds for annulment in Georgia are:

  • Marriage Prohibited By Law: The spouses are too closely related, which is considered incestuous.
  • Mental Illness: Either spouse was mentally ill at the time of marriage.
  • Mental Incapacity: Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They were not able to make an informed consent.
  • Bigamy: Either spouse was already legally married to another person at the time of marriage.
  • Forced Consent: One of the spouses was forced or threatened. They entered into the marriage under duress.
  • Fraud: The spouses consented to the marriage because of coercion or fraud.
  • Underage Marriage: One spouse was underage and the parents’ did not consent to the marriage.

There is no time limit to getting an annulment in Georgia.

You just have to meet the requirements for an annulment in Georgia.

Next, let’s talk about the grounds for divorce in Georgia.

Related: No Custody Agreement Father Took Child

Grounds For Divorce In Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

Grounds For Divorce In Georgia

When you file for divorce in Georgia, the courts will ask you to select a grounds for divorce.

The most commonly used grounds for divorce in Georgia is “Irreconcilable Differences.”

This means that neither spouse is at fault for causing the divorce.

But that the divorce is irretrievably broken.

There are 13 grounds for divorce in Georgia. They are:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Abuse and Cruelty
  • Abandonment or Desertion
  • Mental Capacity
  • Mental Illness
  • Criminal Conviction
  • Forced or Fraudulent Marriage
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Inability To Have Children
  • Married to Relatives
  • Pregnancy By Another Man
  • Irreconcilable Differences

The most common fault-based grounds for divorce in Georgia are adultery and abandonment.

Regardless of which legal reasons for divorce you select, you will have to prove them.

Let’s say you choose adultery as your grounds for divorce in Georiga.

Then you will have to prove that your spouse had sexual intercourse outside of the marriage.

Fill out the form on this page and we can walk you through how to gather the right evidence.

Related: What Not To Do During A Custody Battle

Abandonment Divorce in Georgia

Abandonment Divorce

Trying to figure out if you have an abandonment divorce?

To use abandonment as your grounds for divorce in Georgia, your spouse has to have:

  • had the willful intent to desert you
  • be gone for 1+ years

Let’s say a spouse has children that are financially dependent on them.

Then an abandonment divorce can turn into criminal abandonment.

Let’s talk about the adultery laws in Georgia.

Related: Divorce as a Stay at Home Mom

Adultery Laws In Georgia

Adultery Laws In Georgia

Adultery is the most commonly used fault-based grounds for divorce in Georgia that we see.

Per the adultery laws in Georgia, adultery is a spouse having a sexual relationship outside of the marriage.

There are other nit-picky things with the adultery laws in Georgia.

Sexting, oral, or kissing another person is not considered adultery.

According to the adultery laws in Georgia, only intercourse gets considered adultery.

Next topic?

The Georgia divorce laws that are going to affect you the most.

Georgia Divorce Laws - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

Georgia Divorce Laws

Georgia Residency Requirements

Georgia Residency Requirements

To get a divorce in Georgia, you have to meet the Georgia residency requirements for divorce.

The Georgia divorce laws state that either spouse must have lived in Georgia for 6 months.

This 6 month period must be consecutive and must be the six months before filing for divorce in Georgia.

How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce - Equitable Distribution

How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce

A common question we get is how are assets divided in a divorce.

This is one of those, “It depends,” questions.

But, let’s go over some general guidelines of how are assets divided in a divorce.

If it’s separate property the owner will get the house.

If it’s marital property, it can:

  • be sold and the profits split
  • you can buy your spouse out
  • you can agree to sell it at a later date to maximize profits

Let’s say one spouse gets the majority of child custody.

The judge wants to keep the children in the marital home.

If there are enough assets, the judge will let the custodial parent keep the house.

But they will have to give up something of equal value.

Let’s say the equity in the marital home is $50,000.

If the custodial parent has $50,000 in their 401k, they can cash that out and trade it for the marital home.

When it comes to how are assets divided in a divorce, Georgia is an equitable distribution state.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution in divorce is how courts fairly split up the marital property when filing for a divorce.

Equitable distribution does not mean everything is split 50/50 in a divorce.

It means there will be a fair division of assets and debts.

Who Gets The House In A Divorce in Georgia

Who Gets The House In A Divorce

Who keeps the house in a divorce depends on:

  • alimony
  • child support
  • the income of each spouse
  • the reason for divorce
  • separate property

A custodial who lives with the children may get to keep the house in a divorce.

The judge could also order that the house get sold and the income get split between spouses.

When filing for divorce in Georgia, the judges factor in who has primary custody.

They want to provide the children with a stable environment.

If you have to sell your house in a divorce, this is usually based on the affordability of the home.

When you go from two incomes to one, each spouse may not be able to individually afford the house.

If you are selling a house in a divorce, the income from the selling of the home is not always split 50/50.

The couple will either get ordered to split the profits of the house:

  • equally between each other
  • based on what gets deemed fair by the judge

Our clients frequently ask us is Georgia a community property state.

Is Georgia A Community Property State

Is Georgia A Community Property State?

Georgia is not a community property state.

Community property states require spouses to split everything 50/50.

Georgia is an equitable distribution state.

Georgia divides assets up based on the equitable interest each spouse has in it.

Common-Law Marriage In Georgia

Common-Law Marriage In Georgia

Common-law marriage in Georgia got eliminated on January 1st, 1997.

Any common-law marriages that happened before this date get grandfathered in.

But common-law marriages in Georgia are no longer legal.

Is Georgia A No-Fault State

Is Georgia A No-Fault State

Georgia is a no-fault state for divorce.

The most common grounds for divorce is irreconcilable differences.

This means that the spouses cannot get along and they want to end their marriage.

How Much Is A Divorce In Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

How Much Is Divorce In Georgia

Everyone wants to know how much is a divorce in Georgia.

But how much is a divorce in Georgia is up to you and your spouse.

It depends on whether you have:

  • an uncontested divorce in Georgia
  • a no-fault divorce in Georgia
  • a contested divorce in Georgia
How To Have A Cheap Divorce in Georgia

How To Have A Cheap Divorce in Georgia

I just want to be blunt with you.

If you want a cheap divorce in Georgia, you need to have an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested divorces are the best route to have a cheap divorce.

Do whatever you can to negotiate and settle your issues before you file for divorce.

So, what is the cost of uncontested divorce in Georgia?

Cost Of Uncontested Divorce In Georgia

Cost Of Uncontested Divorce In Georgia

The cost of an uncontested divorce in Georgia can be as little as $870.

This is without an attorney and without children.

But if you hire an attorney, the average cost of uncontested divorce in Georgia is $4,100.

So, you’re probably thinking, why do I need a divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

The divorce laws in Georgia can be difficult to navigate.

You should at least have a divorce lawyer review your divorce papers in Georgia.

Cost Of No-Fault Divorce In Georgia

Cost Of No-Fault Divorce In Georgia

The cost of a no-fault divorce in Georgia averages about $15,000.

Basically, a no-fault divorce is just if:

  • you guys fell out of love
  • decided the marriage isn’t going to work out
  • someone decided to pursue a religion you don’t want
  • your life goals end up being different

Nothing drastic or bad has happened, but you just don’t want to be married anymore.

This type of divorce, after uncontested, is the divorce that requires the least amount of divorce attorney involvement.

Cost Of Contested Divorce In Georgia

Cost Of Contested Divorce In Georgia

The cost of a contested divorce in Georgia averages $20,400.

A contested divorce in Georgia encompasses issues like:

These are going to be issues where you and your spouse’s attorneys will:

  • spend numerous hours negotiating
  • formulate offers and counteroffers
  • show up in court

Next, let’s talk about alimony in Georgia and what you can expect.

Alimony In Georgia - Spousal Support Georgia

Alimony In Georgia

There are two types of alimony in Georgia. They are:

  • temporary alimony
  • permanent alimony

Temporary alimony in Georgia is only paid during the divorce process.

Once the divorce gets finalized, temporary alimony gets replaced by permanent alimony.

Permanent alimony in Georgia is alimony that gets paid after the divorce is final for a set period of time.

For alimony in Georgia, the courts will take into consideration:

  • the marital standard of living
  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s age, physical, and emotional health
  • each spouse’s financial resources
  • the grounds for divorce

Either spouse can request alimony in Georgia.

But to award alimony, the courts must determine that:

  • one spouse needs financial support
  • the other spouse can afford financial support

A spouse who abandoned the marriage or committed adultery will most likely not be awarded any alimony in Georgia.

Let’s assume there is:

  • no adultery
  • no abandonment
  • the financial need for alimony
  • the ability to afford paying alimony

In this event, the judge will weigh each factor equally to determine:

  • if alimony is appropriate
  • the type, duration, and amount of alimony in Georgia

Some clients ask us how long do you have to be married to get alimony.

How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony

For alimony in Georgia, a marriage of less than a year is rarely awarded alimony.

The length of alimony in Georgia is usually 1/3 the length of the marriage.

Meaning, if your marriage was 9 years long, one spouse would get alimony for three years.

How to Have a Successful Divorce in Georgia - Divorce In Georgia - Georgia Divorce

The Best Way To Actually To Have A Successful Divorce

We know that a divorce can leave your life in shambles…

And that divorce lawyers are not truly fighting for what’s in your best interests.

They are:

  • dropping the ball on your case
  • not communicating with you
  • negotiating for things you don’t even want
  • burning through your money

How they handle your case isn’t even the bad part.

It’s what a poorly ran law firm does to your life.

One bad lawyer can cause you to:

  • lose custody of your children
  • have reduced visitation time (if any at all)
  • lose marital property
  • not discover assets your spouse is hiding
  • get saddled with the marital debts
  • have an unnecessary highly contested divorce

With our reliable processes, our clients have been able to:

  • get more custody with their children
  • increase their visitation time
  • keep their fair share of marital property and debts
  • cut their divorce time down by months
  • save thousands in lawyer fees

Sign up for a free consultation below. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.

Get Your FREE Divorce Consultation

Get access to our attorneys with a free consultation to see how we can help you navigate your divorce and get a fresh start.
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Since we are a virtual divorce company, we are able to serve all of Georgia. We serve all of the major cities (and their surrounding cities), such as: Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Athens, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, and Warner Robins.

Splitting assets and custody in a divorce changes a lot about your life. Click the link if you want to update your wills and estate planning.