• Home
  • McDonough:
    (770) 957 3937
  • Stockbridge:
    (770) 389 4864
  • Jackson:
    (770) 775 3188
  • Barnesville:
    (770) 358 3630

Divorce in Georgia - Answers to Common Questions

Article by Megan Pearson
Article Date: 1/8/2013 10:03:09 AM

In Georgia, where does one file for divorce? How do I file for divorce? Is there a way to live apart without getting a divorce? What should I do if I receive a complaint for divorce in Georgia that my spouse has filed?

How does one file for Divorce in Georgia?
The person seeking the divorce (the plaintiff) will file a document called a “complaint” with the appropriate Superior Court. This complaint includes information on the marriage including present living arrangements, children of the marriage, assets and debts, and the specific reason claimed for seeking a divorce. A copy of the complaint will be served on the other spouse (the defendant) by the sheriff.
Where does one file for Divorce in Georgia?
A complaint for divorce should be filed in the Superior Court of the defendant’s county of residence or, if the defendant has recently moved from the state of Georgia, in the county of the plaintiff’s residence. This would be considered the domicile of the marriage. Upon the defendant’s consent, the complaint may be filed in the plaintiff’s county of residence regardless of whether the defendant has moved from the state of Georgia or not.
What should I do if I receive a complaint for divorce in Georgia that my spouse has filed?
The spouse who receives the complaint should promptly consult a lawyer. The spouse may contest the reason claimed for the divorce or contest the claims for child custody, child support, and alimony or property division by filing an answer with the court. However, if an answer is not filed within 30 days, the right to contest the complaint may be lost.
Is there a way to live apart without getting a divorce?
A party who wishes to live apart permanently, but who does not want to get a divorce, may file a “separate maintenance” action. The spouses will remain legally married although living apart. The court may order that alimony be paid by one spouse to the other, and the court may divide property between the parties.
What is an annulment?
Unlike a divorce, which dissolves a valid marriage, an annulment is a legal decree that the marriage is now void and was invalid from its inception. If there are children born of the marriage, an annulment may not be granted, and the marriage may only be dissolved by divorce.
Must I go to court to get a divorce?
Not necessarily. Spouses may be able to reach an agreement resolving all issues arising from the marriage, including finances, division of property and custody and visitation of children. The agreement is presented to the court as a settlement agreement and, upon approval, made an order of the court. The court’s order, called a final judgment and decree, concludes the lawsuit, If, however, the parties cannot reach an agreement, the issues will be resolved by the judge or the jury. However, a judge always decides matters of child custody and visitation.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
If there is an agreement between the parties, the divorce is considered uncontested. An uncontested divorce may be granted 31 days after the defendant has been served with the complaint for divorce. If there is a disagreement as to any matter, the divorce will be obtained when the case reaches the court, which can take up to several months.

What happens while I wait to go to court?
Either of the spouses may request a temporary hearing. However, in most jurisdictions this will not take place until mediation occurs. This hearing is not a final trial. A temporary hearing resolves the issues of child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, debts and possession of property on a temporary basis until the final trial. The judge will issues a temporary order that applies only until the time of the final trial. The temporary order may also prohibit one party from interfering with the other party or the children and prevent the transfer and selling of assets.

What Is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third person or “mediator” works with the parties to settle the issues before the court. Mediation focuses on the needs and interest of both parties rather than on rights and positions. The mediator has no authority to make a decision or impose a settlement upon the parties. While the parties may be ordered to a mediation session, any agreement reached is entirely voluntary. If a settlement cannot be reached, the parties lose none of their rights to a hearing in the matter, and the case will be released from ADR for placement on the next available court calendar.
Keywords: Divorce, Georgia, Stockbridge, Henry County, McDonough, Clayton County, Attorney, Lawyer, Attorney, Hampton, Locust Grove
Megan Pearson Megan Pearson

Megan Pearson specializes in civil litigation, criminal defense, employment and domestic law. Megan’s civil experience includes contract disputes, land lord tenant disputes, and defense of employers in benefit claims appeals. Her office is in McDonough, Georgia.

Other articles
Where is the Henry County Superior Courthouse located?
Henry County Georgia - Where do I file for divorce? Which county's Superior County do I file the complaint? Which attorneys at SWWW handle divorce and child custody? How do I get to the Henry County Superior Court? Read more »
Article Date: 2/12/2013 10:42:21 AM |
Divorce in Georgia - Answers to Common Questions
In Georgia, where does one file for divorce? How do I file for divorce? Is there a way to live apart without getting a divorce? What should I do if I receive a complaint for divorce in Georgia that my spouse has filed? Read more »
Article Date: 1/8/2013 10:03:09 AM |
What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved In A Car Accident?
What should you do if you have been in a car accident in Georgia? Do I need a personal injury attorney? Who should pay for your medical bills resulting from the auto wreck? Who should talk to your insurance company when they start calling you? Should you talk with the other party involved in the accident if they call you? Read more »
Article Date: 9/17/2012 12:00:00 AM |
Divorce in Georgia - What About The Children?
In Georgia, how does child support work? With a divorce, can the parents share custody? Can payment for college be part of the divorce agreement? Does the age of the child matter when getting a divorce? Read more »
Article Date: 8/15/2012 5:16:56 PM |
Who Should Pay For My Medical Bills, My Car Repair And A Rental Car?
You are involved in an auto accident or car wreck, who is going to pay for your hospital bills, car repair, and other damages? Should I accept my insurance company's offer for damages to my car? Read more »
Article Date: 6/21/2012 9:39:50 PM |