Divorces aren’t fun, but an uncontested divorce is much less taxing on the family. In a divorce, everybody pays the price, especially the children. Uncontested divorce is cheaper and less emotionally draining. The best option is for all parties to act like grown-ups, work it out, work out the terms of the disagreement, and get divorced. The process takes about 31 days.
In Georgia In An Uncontested Divorce, Do Both Parties Have To Agree On All Components Of The Divorce?
You have to agree on all issues that need to be resolved for an uncontested divorce. We start with the most important ones, the children, and determine custody, visitation and child support.
Child support in Georgia is determined by the child support worksheet. It examines both parties’ incomes and takes into account child care, and who pays health insurance premiums for the children. There are deviations in some cases, like if the non-custodial parent has more than the average visitation time with the kids, or they have to drive three hours or more every other weekend. Division of property and division of debt, meaning who gets what stuff and who pays what bills, also has to be agreed on. As long as both parties agree on all of these things the divorce can be resolved amicably and less expensively than if they go to court.
What Is The Process For An Uncontested Divorce As It Compares To A Contested Divorce In Georgia?
In most cases of an uncontested divorce, your attorney will take the issue of the divorce and get the signing of the final decree to the judge without you having to be present. You come in for a consultation, and we look at all the issues and see how much work it will take. Then we can determine the full charge for an uncontested divorce. You are responsible for a retainer fee equal to half down.
After we have completed the paperwork you come back in, read it, and ask any questions you may have about what has been prepared. Both parties should not come in at the same time because we can only work with one person in a divorce.
Once the paperwork is agreed upon, you let us know how to get the paperwork to your spouse. We can mail or email it to them, or they can come by the office and pick it up. If they come into the office, we cannot offer advice. Be aware that if we mail it to your spouse because you think they will sign it, and then your spouse throws it in the trash can, you lose your retainer. The retainer fee is not refundable. So it is important to make sure everybody agrees before you pay that retainer fee. Once you sign it and your spouse signs it the balance is due. This can happen pretty quickly.
The balance of the retainer must be paid in a timely manner or we may have to get new signatures. You can’t sign a divorce agreement, pay the balance a year later and then try to make that part of a court order.
After both parties have signed the paperwork, we submit it to the court. Then, in Georgia, there is a cooling-off period of 31 days from the date of filing before we can submit the court papers for a final decree. This works to make sure everyone really wants a divorce, and the papers weren't signed in the heat of an argument. When this time has passed, both parties must sign an affidavit that states three important facts – the date it was filed, the individuals are separated, and they are asking for a divorce. Then we present that to a judge, and usually within five to six weeks it is finalized.
If My Soon To Be Ex-Spouse Agrees On Everything, Do We Need To Retain A Georgia Divorce Attorney?
It is almost impossible to get a do-it-yourself divorce when there is child support in it. There are forms you can download online, and you can go through that exercise if you want to try and save on attorney’s fees. In most cases, however, a judge won't sign it. Then you'll need the services of an attorney, and they will have to redo all of the paperwork, recast the complaint, and work up a new settlement agreement. You can try it, but it's usually much faster to get a lawyer.
For more information on Benefits Of An Uncontested Divorce In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (706) 940-0594 today.