These days, more than half of all married couples get divorced, and the divorce rate for people in their second or third marriage is even higher. Whether your spouse was engaging in marital misconduct or the two of you together decided you had grown apart and it is time to move on, the experienced divorce attorneys at The Gleklen Law Firm can guide you through the Georgia divorce process, advising you at every step and representing you inside and outside the courtroom to make sure your rights are protected and interests reflected in the final divorce decree and related court orders.
Learn more about divorce in Georgia below, and contact The Gleklen Law Firm in Atlanta for answers to your questions or immediate assistance with divorce and related issues.
The Process for Divorce in Georgia
The divorce process begins with one spouse filing a petition for divorce in the county court where either spouse is residing. The Georgia residency requirement requires that at least one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for at least six months in order to file for divorce here.
In the petition asking for a divorce, the petitioner must set forth the applicable ground for divorce. Grounds for divorce in Georgia include:
- Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity (incest)
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
- Impotency at the time of the marriage
- Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage
- Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband
- Adultery in either of the parties after marriage
- Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year
- The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, under which the person is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer
- Habitual intoxication
- Cruel treatment, which shall consist of the willful infliction of pain, bodily or mental, upon the complaining party, such as reasonably justifies apprehension of danger to life, limb, or health
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual drug addiction
- The marriage is irretrievably broken
This last ground is what is known as a no-fault divorce, while the other grounds are based on the fault or marital misconduct of a spouse. In any event, the complaining spouse must be able to prove the alleged grounds exist in order for the court to grant the divorce.
After filing the petition in court and serving the other spouse with a copy of the divorce papers, that other spouse should file a response in court to avoid a default judgment. The response could admit or deny the allegations in the complaint or include counterclaims.
At this point, the court can enter temporary orders to keep the parties in status quo while they build their cases, submit required financial disclosures, and respond to requests from each other for information related to the case. If the parties can’t work out contested issues on their own during this phase, the case will go to trial, and after a court hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the divorce and also make orders regarding matters such as the equitable distribution of marital property, alimony if it was requested, and child custody and child support arrangements if the couple has minor children.
The entire process from filing the petition to obtaining a divorce decree can take many months or over a year, depending on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the complexity of the issues, whether the parties can settle without a trial, and the backlog in the court system for getting a hearing date. By law, a divorce cannot be granted sooner than 30 days from the date the petition is served on the other spouse, although it is unlikely the proceeding would conclude that quickly anyway.
The Gleklen Law Firm is the Law Firm You Need for Your Atlanta Divorce
The attorneys at The Gleklen Law Firm can assist you in all phases of the divorce process, including filing the complaint or response, gathering evidence and building your case, representing you in mediation or trial, and making sure you are well represented in matters such as custody, support and property division. Our lawyers have 30+ years of experience in divorce and family law matters, including handling some of the most complex, contentious, and high-asset divorce cases in Metro Atlanta. Whatever your case needs, you can count on The Gleklen Law Firm to provide you with sound advice and effective representation to reach your goals.
For help with divorce in Atlanta, call The Gleklen Law Firm at 678-236-0444, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.