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GEORGIA DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Georgia. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in Georgia Made Easy (See Georgia Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: The court may issue an uncontested divorce 31 days after the petitioner serves the divorce papers to the respondent.
- Where to File: Superior Court. "In the Superior
Court of ___________ County, Georgia." (See Georgia Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Code of Georgia Annotated; 19
- Name of Action: Petition for Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Petitioner, the party who files; respondent, the non-filing spouse.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both no-fault and fault offered.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Divorce and Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce. (See GA Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: To file for a divorce in Georgia, the petitioner swears that he or she is in a state of separation, which means that he or she no longer engages in marital activities and considers himself or herself separated.
- Separation Time to File: Separation has no time frame. The spouses can be legally separated even if they reside in the same house but do not share the same room or have sexual relations.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Georgia offers separate maintenance, which allows the court to rule on the marital issues surrounding the partnership, such as property division, finances, and custody of children, but does not have to grant a divorce.
- Grounds: No-fault, which is the "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage," and 13 traditional fault grounds. (See Georgia Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: one spouse must have lived in Georgia for six months or Georgia must have been the last residence of the couple resided together.
- Mediation Required: The court may refer any contested divorce to alternative dispute resolution.
- Counseling Required: There is no requirement for marriage counseling.
- Parenting Classes Required: Some Georgia counties require a four-hour parenting class that teaches the correct approach to parenting during and after a divorce.
- Filing Fee: The cost of filing a divorce petition is about $80, but it varies from county to county, plus an extra $30 fee for a mandatory parenting class (if you have minor children) and about $25 more for sheriff's service of process. (See GA Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: The Division of Child Support Services, which has 80 offices across the state and can be reached by phone at 1-877-423-4746. A parent can access information about payment history, debit card balance, arrears balance, court information including date and time, and license suspensions.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Income shares model, based on parents' gross income.
- Property Division: Georgia is an equitable distribution state.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is separate.
- Attendance at Hearing: Most likely. Some counties require the parties to attend a hearing; some do not.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Yes. Fault may reduce the share of marital property.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: Process may be served by the sheriff deputy or marshal, or by any citizen appointed by the court who is not a party to the action and at least 18 years in the county of filing or where the respondent resides.
- Divorcing spouses may have a jury trial in Georgia. The judge or a jury decides the financial issues, such as division of property and alimony.
- Learn More About Georgia Divorce.
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