What to Expect in a Divorce

Lawrenceville Divorce Lawyer Answers Your Questions

All divorce cases go through a certain sequence. If you are considering divorce you are probably wondering what to expect, or may have questions about how long does a divorce take to be completed. In the state of Georgia, you have the right to file divorce if you have been a bona fide resident of the state for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing. A person who has not been a resident of Georgia who is married to a person who has lived in Georgia for 6 months also has the right to file for divorce. Military divorce has specific rules and you can find out more on our military divorce page.

Grounds for Divorce

Georgia allows for a no fault divorce. This is when the marriage is "irretrievably broken." There are also grounds for divorce based upon various other situations, including intermarriage of those who are related by blood within the limits imposed by state law; mental incapacity at the time that the marriage took place; impotency; the use of force, menace, duress or fraud in a marriage; cases in which a woman was pregnant with another man's child at the time of the marriage, and the husband was not aware that this was the case; adultery; desertion for a year or longer; a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that included a penalty of 2 years of more of incarceration; drug or alcohol addiction; cruel treatment (such as spousal abuse); or a spouse that has a mental illness that is believed to be incurable.

Filing for Divorce: The Documents

The documents that must be filed for a divorce include the Petition for Divorce. This document could be for an uncontested or contested divorce. This is only the first of many documents that will need to be filed to finally end a marriage. The person filing divorce is called the plaintiff, and the other spouse (on the receiving end) is called the respondent. The other party must be legally served, and this document is also required. The petition is called a "complaint." This document outlines all of the basic information about the marriage, including the current living arrangements of both parties, the children, assets, debts and the legal grounds for the divorce. These divorce complaints are filed in the Superior Court of the County in which one or the other (or both) parties reside. If you have received a divorce complaint, you need to get a Lawrenceville divorce lawyer immediately. You then can contest the issues presented by your spouse in the divorce complaint, which usually include child support, spousal support and other critical issues involving finances and property distribution.

The Time to Complete a Divorce: Marriage Dissolution in Gwinnett County, GA

An uncontested divorce will be much more quickly resolved than a divorce that is going to be resolved at trial. An uncontested divorce is possible when both parties are in agreement with all of the issues in their divorce. All matters involving child custody must be approved by the court. When you submit your documents, even in a simple divorce, it is best to have legal support to ensure all of the matters are submitted correctly. A simple uncontested divorce can be granted in 31 days if all of the important paperwork is submitted without error. A contested divorce could take many months, as it will not be granted until the trial takes place. Some very difficult divorces have continued for even longer. The fastest divorce is the uncontested divorce. Any litigated divorce will be variable in the length of time it takes to resolve.

Contested Divorce

When a divorce is contested, there are temporary court orders that can be issued. This temporary hearing addresses the critical issues of child custody, visitation, support, responsibility for debts and property, all on a temporary basis, as these issues cannot be left unresolved during the period prior to and during the trial. The Court often issues temporary orders restricting the transfer or sale of any assets and many other details. A trial will include just a judge, or a judge and a 12 person jury. The final decisions about all matters, including child support, child custody, parenting time, division of assets and debts, property and any other financial matters, including the family home, will be decided at the trial. A final court order will be issued and both parties will be required to adhere to the orders or face legal problems. A trial will vary in length. It is often far more beneficial to engage in mediation to get these issues resolved and avoid the dangers of a trial. In some cases, this is not possible, and it is important that you are represented by a litigator with extensive experience in divorce cases.

Call upon the legal team at Fox Firm, P.C. for information about filing for divorce and protecting your rights.