The Basics of a Georgia Divorce

Getting a divorce requires more than going to the court house and filing some paperwork in most cases. If you have never been divorced, here are some basic facts about Georgia divorce.

o In Georgia, you file for divorce in the superior court of the county that the couple considered their home. One of the spouses must have called Georgia home for at least six months. The plaintiff files a complaint. This complaint lists all of the information about the marriage including assets and children born of the marriage.

o Like most states, Georgia allows no-fault divorce. This cause is common called "irreconcilable differences" or the marriage is listed as "irretrievably broken."

o Georgia recognizes 12 grounds for at fault divorce where one of the parties is accused of wrongdoing. They include adultery, impotency at the time of marriage, pregnancy of the wife at the time of the marriage and the husband did not know, desertion, mental or physical abuse, marriage between relatives, force or fraud in obtaining the marriage, if one spouse has been convicted of a crime, drunkenness or a drug addiction, mental illness, and mental incapacity at the time of the marriage.

o Many spouses still live in the same home when they file for divorce. The court will recognize the couple as separated if the don't share a room or have a sexual relationship.

o Some people don't know they are getting divorce until a sheriff's deputy shows up at their door. The defendant is usually served with the complaint by a deputy.

o An annulment is different from a divorce. Annulments void the marriage completely based on a premise that one of the spouses was unable, unwilling or was fraudulent at the time of the marriage. An annulment cannot be granted if the couple has children.

o Many divorces do no require a hearing. If the spouses can reach agreements, they can file and the agreement that will be accepted as an order of the court. But if children are involved, a judge always makes the decisions regarding child custody and visitation.

o Uncontested divorces are final after 31 days. The time needed for contested divorces depends on how several factors:
1. If there is going to be a hearing and how long it will take for that hearing to be scheduled.
2. How many issues need to be decided. Contested divorces can take months to finalize.

o In some cases, a preliminary hearing may be held. This hearing allows the parties to reach a temporary agreement until the final hearing is held. Many judges will require these hearings to decide temporary custody issues involving children.

The biggest mistake people make in a divorce is not contacting an attorney as soon as they know that divorce is imminent. Even if you think your spouse is going to be fair, you need a Georgia divorce attorney to represent you and protect your rights.

Source by Michael Waddington

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