Divorce in Georgia: How Long Until Finalization?

Divorce in Georgia: How Long Until Finalization?

Moving on after a failed marriage can be challenging for many spouses. But if the couple has no other option left but to get separated then they have to go through the process of filing for a divorce in Georgia. Your divorce settlement should address child support, and division of property, alimony, and child custody agreements.

You may be wondering how long the divorce process will take. The short answer is that it depends. We look into the issue in detail here.

An Uncontested Divorce in Georgia Is Faster

When following through with a divorce, there are many decisions that need to be made. These decisions mostly relate to alimony, child custody, asset/debt division, child support, and other issues. In cases where the couple is able to come into an agreement about these major issues before trial, this is referred to as uncontested divorce.

Conversely, if the couple is unable to agree on one or more significant matters, it becomes a contested divorce. Keep in mind that a divorce could start out contested and then become uncontested later on as the couple works out their disagreements.

One major difference between contested and uncontested divorces is the amount of time it typically takes for the divorce process to be finalized. Generally, uncontested divorces are significantly quicker than contested ones.

How Long Will an Uncontested Divorce Take?

The time needed to complete an uncontested divorce process in Georgia (and any other state) will depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. It will mostly rely on the case details and how cooperative the couple will be in reaching full agreement.

It will also depend on the courthouse that will be considering and approving the divorce. Some Georgia courts will generally be better equipped and staffed, enabling them to handle divorce cases faster than others. However, no matter which courthouse is handling the uncontested divorce matter, the law in Georgia requires a minimum waiting time of 31 days. This waiting period doesn’t start until the case is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court.

Theoretically speaking, an uncontested divorce could be finalized in about a month after the divorce papers are filed with the court. However, this almost never happens. Typically, it takes around two months for an uncontested divorce to be finalized. However, we have seen uncontested divorce cases taking over a year to complete.

The Steps for an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia

In Georgia, there are a number of steps you need to follow to obtain an uncontested divorce.

You start by completing a “Complaint for Divorce,” which is also referred to as “Petition.” The person filing the complaint is commonly known as a “Petitioner” or the “Plaintiff.” The other party is the “Respondent” or the “Defendant." The divorce complaint forms are more complicated if the couple has children.

Once the complaint is completed, the next step is to file it with the court. You can do this by delivering it to the County Superior Court’s clerk.

After filing the complaint with the clerk, it will be served on or delivered to your spouse, along with a “summons." Once you serve your spouse with divorce papers, they are allowed 30 days to respond.

After you and your partner have resolved the issues in your divorce, you will incorporate the terms you agreed upon in a divorce settlement agreement, also known as a “marital settlement agreement” or a “property settlement agreement.” The agreement is a written contract between you and your spouse and will be binding for both of you. Every Superior Court in Georgia has agreement forms that you can fill out and provide the court as part of the uncontested divorce process.

It's wise to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you with writing the divorce settlement agreement.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

If you want to learn more about the benefits of filing an uncontested divorce in Georgia, contact Cheap Uncontested Divorces today. Our lawyers have the skills and experience needed for these kinds of cases. They can effectively guide you through a process that’s not only quick but also one that can save your family from going through unnecessary stress and tension.

Our team of divorce lawyers is prepared to act strategically and aggressively when necessary to represent your best interests, though we always try resolving difficult divorce cases amicably. When drafting your uncontested divorce settlement, we will make sure that all your decisions comply with Georgia law, and that the agreement will protect and represent your rights in the future.