Georgia Divorce Law FAQ
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about divorce law in Georgia. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 706-383-7581 to set up a consultation.
Do I need an attorney to file for divorce?
Georgia law does not require that you hire an attorney when filing for divorce; representing yourself is known as filing “pro se.” However, representing yourself can carry great risks if you don’t thoroughly understand divorce law and the rules of civil procedure. The courts typically show little patience for people who are unprepared or uninformed. People representing themselves often suffer negative consequences due to agreeing to things without understanding the repercussions of their decisions.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
The cost of your divorce is unique to the circumstances of your situation. Determining a price at the outset is next to impossible. You can try to control fees by being honest with your attorney, agreeing to a realistic litigation strategy and sticking to it.
What is the difference between a fault and a no-fault divorce?
In a fault divorce, the spouse who files alleges that the other has caused their marriage to end and must then prove that accusation. This often leads to a larger share of the marital property and higher spousal support if the accusation is proven. Common reasons cited as grounds for a fault divorce include desertion, adultery, drug addiction and cruel treatment.
A no-fault divorce is defined by a spouse simply stating that they believe the marriage is broken due to “irreconcilable differences.” No specific reason for the breakup of the marriage is required.
How long does a divorce take to get through court?
In an uncontested divorce, meaning the spouses agree on everything, a divorce can be granted in as little as 31 days after filing. The more complicated the divorce, the longer the trial. It is not uncommon for divorce trials to go on for months or even years.
How is the amount of alimony determined and how long does it last?
Alimony, or spousal support, is not always granted. Several factors are considered in decided if and how much alimony will be paid. These factors include the assets and income of each spouse, the health of each spouse and contributions to child support, among other things. When alimony is awarded, the court decides how it is distributed based on your specific situation. Typically, alimony is granted either for a limited time determined by the current circumstances of the marriage or until the receiving spouse dies or remarries.
How is child custody decided?
Most of the time, parents share custody of the children until the divorce is final. A custody plan is created by the court based on the age and sex of the children, the ability of each parent to take care of the children, and other factors. Children 14 and older can choose a parent, but can be overruled by a judge.