Understanding some of Georgia’s legal requirements relating to divorce

Last updated on April 8, 2021

Once the difficult decision is made to pursue a divorce, chances are very good that a spouse will want to initiate the process as soon as possible.

While the reasons for wanting a split to proceed in an expeditious manner vary — from wanting to spare children from any unnecessary aggravation to wanting out of a bad relationship as soon as possible — the fact remains that anyone seeking a divorce in Georgia will nevertheless have to satisfy certain requirements.

First and foremost, people should understand that the state has a residency requirement such that the spouse filing for divorce must have resided in the state for at least six months.

While there is no legal advantage to being the spouse to file for divorce, the residency requirements here in Georgia and other states are nevertheless designed to prevent forum shopping, meaning scenarios in which people file for divorce in a particular state in order to capitalize on more favorable laws despite having no real connections there.

Another requirement of which those looking to divorce here in Georgia should be aware is that the state courts will not grant a divorce in less than 30 days from the serving of divorce papers — even if both spouses want to divorce as quickly as possible.

The reason for this requirement is simple: It recognizes that couples can get into heated arguments, and therefore allows them time to cool down and potentially reconcile. In other words it gives them time to reconsider any decisions made in the heat of the moment.

While these two requirements may not seem substantial, they can nevertheless serve to greatly complicate a person’s divorce plans. If nothing else, they serve to demonstrate why it’s so important for anyone considering a divorce to consider meeting with an experienced legal professional who can explain the law and outline options.

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