A Comprehensive Guide to Filing for Divorce in Georgia

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Georgia’s divorce laws differ from those in the rest of the United States. Learn more about these laws in the article below.

Getting divorced is painful. Couples may find it difficult to stay together, especially in America, because of their growing egos, reluctance to commit, and desire for rapid fulfillment. It’s a bad situation, but that’s life. Nothing lasts forever.

The average marriage in America lasts for 12 years. It’s difficult to stay married in the United States, and this is especially true in states like Georgia. If you live in one of these splitsville states and find yourself in this unpleasant scenario, you should familiarize yourself with the state’s divorce rules.

Georgia’s divorce laws differ significantly from those in other states. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a complete guide on how to file for divorce in Georgia, as well as a list of some of the most relevant laws linked to it.

How to File for Divorce in Georgia

According to recent studies, the divorce rate in the United States is currently 16.9 per 1000 marriages, which is very high. The rate of divorce in Georgia alone is 11 percent, making it one of the states with the highest divorce rates. As per research, about half of all American marriages end in divorce. Don’t be discouraged if you’re part of this group.

With such alarming statistics, it is clear that everyone should be aware of and comprehend the divorce laws. Here are some things you should know if you live in Georgia.

Grounds for Divorce in Georgia

When it comes to divorce in Georgia, the government plays a big role. This means that you must provide a solid justification to the superior authority for why you should be allowed to divorce. The grounds for divorce are well-known.

Grounds of Divorce:

You can get a ‘fault’ or a ‘no-fault’ divorce in Georgia. If you apply for a ‘fault’ divorce in Georgia, the state will use one of 13 grounds to decide. If any of these grounds are proven, the marriage will be annulled completely. You can file for divorce on multiple grounds, such as adultery and desertion.

1.          Impotence

2.          Adultery

3.          Conviction/incarceration for a crime involving moral turpitude for more than two years

4.          Alcoholism and/or drug addiction

5.          Habitual drunkenness

6.          Confinement for incurable insanity

7.          Separation caused by mental illness

8.          Spouse was unable to consent as he or she lacked the mental ability

9.          Willful desertion

10.       Inhuman treatment endangering the spouse’s life

11.       Consent to marriage obtained by fraud, duress, or force

12.       At the time of marriage, the wife was pregnant by another man

13.       Incest

Contested or Uncontested Divorce

The two types of divorce are contested or uncontested. A contested divorce occurs when the couple is unable to agree on some or all of the conditions of the divorce. Pleadings must be filed, and a ‘discovery’ procedure, which entails both parties answering questions and obtaining documents and information, will be required.

After the case is set, witnesses are called, and the court decides on topics like property distribution, child custody, alimony, and any other issues related to the dissolution of the marriage. This can be very costly.

In contrast, in an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all issues necessary to end the marriage. As a result, there is no need for a judge to hold a trial, and neither party needs to appear in court. An uncontested divorce is a simpler, speedier, and less expensive option to end your marriage if the divorcing couple can work together and compromise on all of their divorce-related concerns.

Collecting Important Paperwork

If you’ve already hired a divorce attorney, they should have informed you of the many forms and paperwork you’ll need to obtain before filing for divorce. Being prepared and attentive is the best strategy to get a favorable hearing.

First and foremost, ensure that you have taken steps to keep your bank accounts distinct from your spouse’s. If necessary, open a new checking and savings account as well as a credit card that is not linked to your spouse. Make a list of all of your assets and liabilities. Include any memberships, rewards, or other benefits that could be considered assets.

Start gathering your personal information, such as bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, and so on, and double-check with your lawyer to ensure you have all of the required documents. If necessary, make a checklist. Maintain a high level of organization at all times.

Proof of Service is a Must 

If you are quite certain that your spouse will cooperate, you can just send your divorce papers to them via email. In exchange, they must sign in front of a notary (a public official appointed by the state) to acknowledge the service. You can petition for divorce once your spouse has signed and returned the paperwork.

If your spouse refuses to comply, you can either hire a sheriff or engage a private server to serve the papers to them. It is usually better to send a sheriff since it just costs $50, which is far less than employing a private server.

If you are unable to accomplish service in any of these methods, service by publication is a possibility. The clerk of the court will submit a notice to a local newspaper, which will then publish a divorce notice four times within 60 days, each time 7 days apart. It may take two to three months to accomplish this approach.

Be Sure Before Filling for a Divorce

Filing for divorce will not only cost you money, but it will also harm your emotional and physical health. Do not file for divorce unless and until you are completely certain that your marriage cannot be saved and you have exhausted all other options. 

However, if you are certain, you should go ahead and do it. If you live in Georgia, some of your worries should have been addressed by now. Just remember to think carefully about what you want to do.

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