Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in Georgia
People have a number of misconceptions concerning the divorce process in Georgia. At The Siemon Law Firm, our attorneys are here to help clarify the process and to answer any and all questions about divorce in Georgia.
For help answering all your questions about divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-888-5120 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family law attorneys. We’re conveniently located, with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Cumming, Georgia.
Should I File For Divorce?
If you have grounds for divorce (such as adultery or habitual drunkenness), it can be helpful to hold that your spouse’s conduct is the cause of the breakup of the marriage when you file for divorce. If the court agrees with you, you may receive a greater share of marital property. If your spouse committed adultery, he or she may not be entitled to alimony.
If you don’t file for divorce after the conduct and you continue to act as husband and wife, the court can deem that you condoned the conduct, and it cannot be used as grounds for divorce or as a reason for denying alimony.
As soon as you file for divorce, the court will issue standing orders that will prevent you and your spouse from disposing of assets, changing insurance or otherwise disrupting the status quo. If you are concerned that your spouse is wasting or disposing of marital property, you should file for divorce as soon as possible. You may also want to cancel any joint credit cards you have with your spouse. Otherwise, you could be jointly responsible for credit card debt.
Is Georgia A No-Fault Divorce State?
For the most part, no. To obtain a divorce in Georgia it is generally necessary to prove that one party committed some sort of wrongdoing which has led to the end of the marriage. There is one ground for divorce that may be considered to be no-fault, which is discussed in further detail below.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce?
There are 12 grounds for divorce when one party accuses another of wrongdoing in the marriage. They are adultery, desertion, mental or physical abuse, marriage between close relatives, mental incapacity at the time of the marriage, impotency at the time of the marriage, marriage induced by force or fraud, pregnancy of the wife unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage, conviction and imprisonment for certain crimes, chronic intoxication or drug addiction, and mental illness.
Another ground for divorce is when a marriage is considered to be irretrievably broken. This ground is most similar to the types of no-fault divorce decrees that are available in some other states. In order to obtain a divorce on this ground, one party must show that he or she refuses to live with the other spouse and there is no chance of reconciliation. It is not necessary to show fault or wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse, and it is not necessary for both parties to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
What If My Spouse And I Are Seeking An Uncontested Divorce?
How you file for divorce can set the tone for everything that follows. There are more amicable ways to begin the divorce process than to have the complaint served on your spouse by a sheriff.
In Georgia, it is not necessary to have a sheriff serve the complaint if your spouse chooses to acknowledge service. Our lawyers can advise you about nonconfrontational ways to file for divorce.
Is It Necessary To Live In Georgia In Order To Obtain A Divorce In Georgia?
Yes. One spouse must have lived in the state of Georgia for at least six months prior to seeking a divorce or Georgia must be legally considered to be the last place of residence for the married parties within the past six months.
Is It Necessary To Go To Court In Order To Obtain A Divorce?
Not always. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement regarding all issues that arise during a divorce proceeding, including those concerning finances, property division and child custody, this agreement may be presented to the court for court approval. Upon approval, the matter will be resolved. However, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, even if it involves only a single issue, the matter will have to brought before a judge or a jury.
What Should I Do If I Receive A Complaint For Divorce Filing From My Spouse?
You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to file an answer to your spouse’s claims. You only have 30 days from the date you received the complaint to file a response with the court. You need to give your lawyer time to prepare your response. Even if you are guilty of the conduct claimed in the complaint, there are defenses you could use to keep the issue from affecting the outcome of your divorce. You can also contest your spouse’s claims for child custody, child support, marital property division and alimony raised in the complaint.