How To Get A No-Fault Divorce In Georgia
When you are considering the possibility of filing for divorce in Georgia, you might be wondering about the steps you will need to take in order to have a no-fault divorce. While many states in the U.S. are strictly no-fault states for divorce purposes, Georgia is not strictly a no-fault divorce state. There is an option for getting a no-fault divorce in Georgia, but it is also possible to file for a fault-based divorce. Accordingly, if you want to file for a no-fault divorce, it is important to understand the steps you will need to take in order to move forward with your case. Our experienced Atlanta divorce lawyers can provide you with more information.
Understand What a No-Fault Divorce Means in Georgia
While a no-fault divorce might be relatively straightforward in states where there are no longer fault-based grounds for divorce, Georgia is different since state law still has a variety of fault-based grounds for divorce. Getting a no-fault divorce in Georgia actually means that you will be alleging one of the grounds for divorce listed in the statute, but it is a “no-fault” ground for getting divorced. The no-fault ground for divorce is on the list of statutory grounds for divorce at number thirteen. Under the statute, this no-fault ground for divorce requires the party filing for divorce to plead that “the marriage is irretrievably broken.”
It is important to understand that a no-fault divorce in Georgia is not necessarily an uncontested divorce. While uncontested divorces must be no-fault divorces, in some no-fault divorces there are still issues which remain in dispute that will need to be resolved by the court. An uncontested divorce only occurs when you and your spouse have agreed to all of the issues arising from the divorce before the divorce is filed.
Meet the Georgia Residency Requirements, and File in the Proper County
Next, you will need to meet the residency requirements for getting divorced in Georgia. In general, at least one of the spouses must have resided in the state of Georgia for at least six months before the petition for divorce can be filed. You also will need to determine the proper county to file the divorce in, which is often the county where the Defendant lives.
File Your Divorce Complaint
Next, you will need to file your divorce complaint. Your divorce complaint will include a variety of details about the parties and the marriage, and it will need to state grounds for divorce. In a no-fault divorce, this is where you would state that the marriage is irretrievably broken as the ground for divorce. This ground for divorce allows for a no-fault divorce, which means the court will not need to decide if one of the spouses is at fault in order to grant the divorce.
Serve the Divorce Papers on Your Spouse
Your spouse will need to be served with divorce papers. Even in a no-fault divorce where a spouse does not agree to the divorce and does not want to get divorced, it is still possible to have a no-fault divorce finalized. To reiterate, a no-fault divorce is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce (although uncontested divorces must be no-fault divorces in Georgia).
Meet the Waiting Period Requirement for a No-Fault Divorce
Before a no-fault divorce can be finalized—regardless of whether the parties will have a contested or uncontested divorce—it is necessary to wait at least 30 days from the date of filing for divorce for the case to be completed.
Contact an Atlanta Divorce Attorney for Assistance
If you have questions about no-fault divorce in Georgia, you should seek advice from an Atlanta divorce lawyer at Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French today.