Anyone getting a divorce in Georgia needs to comply with some basic rules. It is important to consult a divorce attorney as soon as possible when you realize you are a party or potential party to a divorce.
Even if you feel that your divorce is friendly, emotions still tend to run high. Divorce is stressful and has a large impact on your life, and the advice of a good divorce lawyer will make the process less stressful and help preserve your peace of mind.
You could be treated unfairly if you don’t have an advocate who will help you. A local divorce lawyer can help people in and around Lawrenceville and Norcross.
The first requirement is that one of the parties must be a resident of Georgia for six months before the filing. It doesn’t matter which party is the resident, the one filing or the respondent.
After the original petition is filed, either party is free to move anywhere.
The Divorce Petition
Georgia law allows for both fault and no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce states that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Other grounds for divorce include adultery, desertion of at least a year, impotency, fraud in obtaining the marriage and drug addiction. If a party chooses to file based on one of these reasons, there must be proof provided to the court and the other party will be allowed to defend him or herself against the allegations.
Most people choose the no-fault divorce, because it is easier and faster. Your divorce lawyer can help you prepare the petition or respond to it. Responding to the petition can help preserve your rights.
A party who has been served a petition to dissolve the marriage will need to respond within thirty days, if he or she wants to argue against the petition. The court will not grant the divorce for at least 30 days.
Dividing up the Assets
Georgia is an “equitable distribution state,” so any property accumulated during the marriage, including retirement benefits, is subject to being split up between the parties. However, property that one party already had can be retained by the person who brought it into the marriage.
The Court can also consider other factors when dividing up the marital estate, such as how much each party can earn. Debts will also be divided up as fairly as possible.
Final Hearing and Decree
When the divorce is granted, the judge may order both parties to attend a hearing, particularly if there are issues in dispute.
The Final Decree will be the official written end to the marriage. In it, the judge will grant the divorce and make rulings on other important matters.
The final document may restore the wife’s maiden name and address custody of the children. Finally, the judge will order the end of the marriage.