Georgia courts cannot grant couples a divorce unless they complete all steps to divorce. Here are the steps to the Georgia divorce process.

In Georgia, you can file for divorce if you meet the residency requirements and prove grounds for divorce. You may hire a lawyer to determine your rights and assets during divorce. The court can finalize your divorce if you and your spouse agree to the divorce terms and the judge completes a divorce decree.

Georgia Divorce Laws

Georgia courts can grant a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces occur when you or your spouse file for divorce without blaming the other spouse for the failed marriage. In Georgia, spouses must prove the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Related: Ohio Divorce Laws: The Basics

Steps to the Georgia Divorce Process

Follow these steps when seeking a divorce in Georgia:

1. Determine if you meet the requirements for divorce in Georgia.

You can file for divorce if you or your spouse has been a Georgia resident for at least six months. You must prove grounds for separation to file for divorce. Georgia accepts no-fault grounds if you prove your marriage is impossible to fix.

Georgia judges may grant a divorce if you prove any of the following instances in the marriage:

  • Physical, emotional, or substance abuse
  • Adultery
  • Desertion for at least one year
  • Imprisonment
  • Mental illness or incapacitation
  • You or your spouse entered the marriage forcibly

If you can prove a ground to the court, a judge can grant you a divorce.

2. Determine your type of divorce.

Both parties must determine which type of divorce is best. Under Georgia law, you can file a no-fault divorce. You can file for contested or uncontested divorce depending on if both spouses agree to the divorce terms.

You also must decide if you seek a divorce attorney. A lawyer can assist the divorce process and determine property distribution in the separation. Some couples may choose not to hire a lawyer because they agree on the divorce terms and wish to avoid the high cost.

3. File for divorce using specific forms.

In Georgia, you must file for divorce at the county court where you or your spouse resided for at least six months. Individuals can find Georgia divorce forms online and file them at the county clerk’s office. The filing spouse must state the grounds for the divorce and sign the papers.

4. Serve your spouse with the divorce papers.

You may serve the divorce papers to your spouse yourself or through a county official. Your spouse must sign the papers and file them with the county court.

5. Divide assets.

You may work with a divorce attorney to determine your rights and assets during the divorce process. If you choose not to hire a lawyer, both spouses must agree on asset division. If you have a prenuptial agreement, the court will divide your assets based on the agreement’s clauses.

Related: What Is a Wife Entitled to In an Ohio Divorce?

6. Attend a court hearing if necessary.

You may have to attend a court hearing if you and your spouse disagree on your divorce terms. The state will hold a court hearing if your spouse does not sign the divorce papers or contests the grounds of divorce. If you and your spouse hire separate lawyers during the divorce process, you must attend a hearing to work out the divorce terms in court.

7. Finalize your divorce.

The court can grant a divorce once you complete all divorce forms and prove all the divorce grounds. The court will determine your divorce terms after hearing each party’s claims if your divorce goes to trial. The court will legally divide all assets.

How to Complete the Final Divorce Decree in Georgia

A Georgia court will not finalize your divorce until the judge signs and files a divorce decree. You must fill out the correct divorce decree forms based on your divorce type for the judge. You can find your county’s divorce decree form online.

The final divorce decree must state all divorce terms, including a settlement agreement, asset division, alimony, and child support if applicable. A judge will finalize the divorce if you and your spouse agree and the court approves all divorce terms.

FAQs About the Georgia Divorce Process

When is a divorce final in Georgia?

Georgia courts require a mandatory waiting period regardless of the type of divorce or grounds for divorce. The State may not finalize the divorce for up to two months.

Can I get alimony in Georgia?

Georgia judges can grant temporary alimony or indefinite alimony if one spouse proves financial need after divorce.

Can my spouse and I legally separate rather than divorce in Ohio?

Spouses can legally separate in Ohio. The court will consider the spouses separated and divide all individual assets. However, you will not legally divorce. If you or your spouse would like the option to remarry, you must legally divorce.

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