As you probably know, going through a divorce is not usually an easy process. However, how this process works can differ from couple to couple, and state to state.
This article is part of our series on how to file for divorce in different states. It’s a question that a lot of people seeking a divorce want to know. And, when it comes to filing for a divorce in the U.S. the process differs on a state-by-state basis.
If you reside in Georgia, this article is for you. We will share with you information on how you can file for divorce in the Peach State.
How To Get A Divorce In Georgia
1. Meet The Residency Requirements
First, ensure you meet the state’s residency requirements. Georgia law requires at least one of the spouses to have been a resident of the county in which they file for a minimum of six months.
2. Prepare Your Forms
Second, before you can file for divorce, complete the state required forms.
Start with the Georgia Complaint for Divorce form. This asks you to provide the legal grounds for your divorce and any relevant issues you want the court to address. Additional forms may be required depending on the county in which you or your spouse live.
3. File Your Divorce Forms
Next, if you are the plaintiff, file your forms in the county where you live.
In Georgia, there is a filing fee for divorce. The cost of a divorce filing fee is determined by your district. But typically it is between $200-$220, plus a $50 service fee.
However, not everyone can afford a divorce. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may request a fee waiver.
If you are the defendant and your spouse filed a divorce against you, you need to respond as quickly as you can. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce.
4. Serve Your Divorce Papers
If you are the plaintiff, serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Or, if you are the defendant, you will be served with divorce papers.
You have three possible options to serve your divorce forms. These three approaches are as follows:
- Sheriff’s Deputy
- Private process serving
- Sending the paperwork to your spouse
If you want to serve your divorce forms to your spouse but they are in jail, deployed in the military, or untraceable, then you may have to try another method of serving your forms. In these cases, we recommend that you speak with the court clerk or your divorce attorney to receive counsel.
5. Disclose Your Finances
Lastly, once the divorce is on its way to being finalized, you and your spouse must disclose your finances. You will both present the following information:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Personal financial statements
- Other financial documents
What are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in Georgia?
A legal ground for divorce is required in Georgia. Here are some of the grounds you can use to file for divorce in Georgia:
- Being related to each other
- Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
- Forced marriage
- Pregnancy of a wife by a man other than the husband during the marriage
- Desertion of one spouse for a year or more
- One spouse is in prison for a year or more.
- Abuse and cruel treatment
- Incurable mental illness
- Addiction to drugs on a regular basis
However, you do not have to have one of these grounds to get a divorce. Because Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, you can simply state that the marriage is irreparably broken.
That’s the high-level overview of how to get a divorce in Georgia. In many cases, hiring a divorce attorney to help you navigate the process can help you get a better outcome and avoid making costly mistakes.