When spouses prepare to divorce yet cannot settle or agree, their divorce is “contested.” However, when two spouses mutually concur regarding the issues listed in their divorce settlement agreement, their divorce is “uncontested.”
Compared to a contested divorce, uncontested divorces cost much less, do not take as much time, and provide a more comfortable and smoother finalization process. But what questions do you have about the basics of uncontested divorces in Griffin, Georgia? Read on and discover if others had the same questions about uncontested divorces that you have.
What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
A divorce settlement agreement is appropriate for couples who have mutually and peacefully agreed to divorce and who have determined how to divvy up their property and assets. A divorce settlement agreement is a collection of divorce papers and worksheets that allow you to choose the parameters for child custody, visitation rights, and child support. The agreement also helps you figure out how much alimony gets paid out, as well as enables you to easily divide your assets (e.g., real estate, businesses, investment accounts, etc.) The divorce settlement agreement clearly defines the settlement terms you have with your spouse.
What is the Cost Difference Between a Contested Divorce in GA versus Uncontested?
Without a divorce lawyer, an uncontested divorce costs approximately $300, an amount that mostly consists of fees (i.e., Georgia filing fees for the petition of divorce and fees for the Sheriff’s department serving spouse the divorce papers).
With a divorce lawyer, an uncontested divorce costs approximately $4,100. Of that total, $1,600 is in fees allocated to court costs for child custody evaluators, real estate appraisers, tax advisors, and other experts.
Uncontested divorces are 5x cheaper than contested divorces in court. Remember that if you and your spouse disagree about anything regarding your divorce, it becomes contested and will skyrocket your overall costs.
If two spouses have settled their disagreements during the process of their contested divorce, the average cost equals approximately $10,600. On average, that is 258% more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
On the other hand, if two spouses have not settled their disagreements during the process of their contested divorce, and it ends up going to trial to resolve, the price doubles, costing approximately $20,400. That is 497% more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
Are There Requirements to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia?
Yes. The state of Georgia has two requirements:
- Residency. You must be a Georgia resident for a minimum of six months before you can file for divorce. When you file, you must file for divorce in your spouse’s county of residence.
- Grounds. Both spouses need to choose one of Georgia’s thirteen grounds for divorce. They include:
- Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
- Impotence at time of marriage
- Force, menace, duress, or fraud obtaining the marriage
- Pregnancy of the wife by another man at the time of marriage, unknown to the husband
- Adultery after marriage by either spouse
- Willful and continued desertion for a minimum of one year
- Conviction of a crime resulting in imprisonment for a minimum of two years
- Habitual intoxication
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual drug addiction
- Irretrievably broken marriage
If you file for divorce under any other grounds than “irreparable,” you must prove your spouse's fault and misconduct.
What is the Process to Get an Uncontested Divorce?
The uncontested divorce process consists of five steps:
- File the divorce petition.
- Ask for temporary orders.
- Serve your spouse the divorce papers.
- Wait for them to respond.
- Finalize your divorce.
What Are Temporary Orders?
You can request temporary orders from the judge, allowing you to receive financial assistance for child custody, child support, and spousal support in addition to keeping your health insurance and continue residing in your residence during the divorce proceedings.
Temporary court orders do not become permanent without a judge creating a new, permanent order and will only last until the date noted in the order or until the judge makes a new divorce order.
Do You Still Have to Go to Court for an Uncontested Divorce?
In short, yes.
Although no one will force you to sign the divorce papers, you will eventually have to settle your divorce in court by not signing. But if you do not show up, the judge will rule in favor of your spouse. The judge can grant the divorce anytime starting:
- 31 days after the defendant got served
- 46 days from the date your spouse received the papers but has not yet responded
- 61 days from the first publication date if publications served defendant notice
A spouse can ignore the divorce papers, leaving the divorce to proceed “by default,” or rebuttal what their spouse submitted to the divorce courts.
With most uncontested divorces, couples readily accept their spouse’s submissions and show up to the court to get their divorce quickly and easily finalized.
Contact a Griffin Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Today
You can significantly benefit from retaining a divorce attorney in Griffin, Georgia, like those from Cheap Uncontested Divorce, who can help you during your divorce proceedings. Their lawyers can help you get your divorce agreement approved, work with you through property settlement issues, and speed up your divorce process overall. They know everything that needs to be done and understand alimony laws, common law marriage, child custody, and more. So, if you need an uncontested divorce attorney from Georgia, contact the lawyers at Cheap Uncontested Divorce today!