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Steps towards getting a divorce in Newnan, Georgia.

How_to_start_the_divorce_process.jpgWe’ve written about many aspects of divorce here on our blog. Today we are going back to the very first question most unhappily married folks are asking, “How do I file for divorce?” First, it is always best to consult an attorney. A lawyer will be able to recognize issues that you are not trained to see. Even though your attorney will possibly be filing the divorce for you, here is a general outline of how to start the divorce process. If you are seeking to represent yourself, you may want to read this first.

Who:To get a divorce you can start by filing a Petition or Complaint for Divorce. This can be done whether or not the divorce will be contested. If the divorce is not going to be contested, you and your spouse agree on how to resolve all issues, the parties can first enter into a Settlement Agreement that can be filed at the time the Petition for Divorce is filed.

What: When filing, you will need to outline the major issues in the divorce. Things like child custody, the state of your shared assets and liabilities and the specific issues that led to the divorce.

When: How soon will the divorce be final? It depends on so many different factors. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce, it can be finalized in as little as 30 days. However, if you can’t agree, your divorce proceedings could go on for several months and sometimes can take years.

Where: Divorces are filed in the superior court of the county in which you or your spouse reside. It does not matter where the marriage took place; it only matters where you and your spouse live now. If you and your spouse are already separated, you can file in the county in which your spouse resides or, if the separation occurred less than thirty (30) days ago, you can also file in the county where the marital residence is situated.

Why: There are many different reasons you will be granted a divorce in the state of Georgia. Beginning with adultery and going all the way to fraud, you will need to state a reason. Unless you are opting for a “no fault” divorce; in that case it is simply deemed “irretrievably broken.”

How Much: We’ve talked about skyrocketing legal fees, but you also have to pay a fee to the court at the time of filing. The current fee to simply file a divorce, that amount that is to be paid to the clerk, is $205.00. Obviously the fees and other associated costs can balloon, but be prepared to pay the basic filing fee when you actually hand in your paperwork.

These are the basics of filing for divorce. If you are curious about the process and would like to be seen for a free consultation, you can contact us at 770-253-7256 or fill out our contact form here.