Going through a divorce is an overwhelming and stressful time in a person’s life. That is why most couples going through this separation hope to get through the ordeal as quickly as they can. However, this is not always possible, especially in Georgia, where there is a mandatory divorce waiting period.
To help you understand what this waiting period is and how it may affect how long your divorce may take, we have prepared the following blog post. In it, we will go over everything you need to know about Georgia’s laws regarding divorce and how a skilled and knowledgeable family law attorney can ensure your interests are protected when going through this challenging experience.
Georgia’s Divorce Laws—Everything You Need to Know
Georgia’s divorce laws indicate that to file for a divorce in the state, at least one spouse needs to be a resident of Georgia for at least six months. In addition, divorce in the state is mainly no-fault-based, with the most common grounds of divorce being irreconcilable differences. These specific grounds mean that the spouses cannot get along, and their marriage is at an end. However, other grounds for divorce can include habitual intoxication, forcible or fraudulent marriage, imprisonment, abandonment, incurable mental illness, and adultery.
The Divorce Waiting Period in Georgia
According to Georgia courts, the waiting period to get a divorce in the state is 30 days after serving the spouse with divorce papers. This means that even if the other party responds to the documents earlier than 30 days, the parties still need to wait the mandatory 30 days before they can schedule a hearing date. This time limit was created to allow couples to have time to possibly reconcile.
Typically, each spouse is entitled to an equitable share of the marital property according to Georgia law. This does not mean an equal division of the property but instead a fair split between the spouses. As a result, any property acquired by the couple during their marriage, including bank accounts and retirement, will be divided in a way the court believes is just and fair. That is why most parties will retain their own separate property.
Visitation and Child Custody
The spouses will need to try to resolve their child custody and visitation issues by themselves. If they cannot resolve them on their own and are unable to come to an agreement, the court will often make a decision based on what is in the best interest of the children.
In addition, a couple will also need to determine child support and spousal support. If they cannot agree to these issues, the court will need to resolve these issues for them.
Why Does It Take so Long to Finalize a Divorce in Georgia?
Not only is there a divorce waiting period in Georgia that couples have to abide by, but if the divorce is contested, it often implies the couple is having serious disagreements that they cannot settle by themselves, and they will often require legal assistance. As a result, these legal matters will take time, especially since the couple will have to:
- Discuss the situation with their own lawyers
- Come up with outcomes that are realistic and sensible
- Gather evidence that can help prove their case
- Determine asset evaluations
- Try to communicate with the other spouse and see if they can settle
- Finish paperwork required for a divorce and prepare for trial
Additionally, if the divorce case goes to trial, this process alone can last for months. Depending on the seriousness and gravity of the issues presented and the willingness of the parties to cooperate with the process, the whole divorce can become an extremely long and costly endeavor.
Thinking about a Divorce? Get the Legal Help You Need— Work with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
With so much at stake when it comes to a divorce, especially when children are involved, do not try to take on this challenge alone. Rather, reach out to an experienced family law attorney to get the legal help you need. These lawyers can:
- Go over all the questions you have about your case, including property distribution, child support, and asset division
- Explain the state’s laws and how they apply to your situation
- Help you start the divorce process and ensure everything is prepared according to state regulations
- Make sure the divorce agreement fits your specific needs and that everything is completed correctly so you do not have to worry about anything being left undone or forgotten
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Georgia, do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Instead, contact a skilled Atlanta divorce lawyer today for a case consultation, and let these attorneys show you how they can fight for your rights.