If you have decided you wish to file for divorce in Georgia, you’re probably wondering what steps you should take. Working with a Georgia divorce attorney is one of the most important things you can do as the process is often complicated and filled with hidden challenges.

After you have a Georgia family lawyer on your side for the process, you can begin to move forward. Many of the divorce requirements are quite strict so it’s important to fully understand the process. This article will delve into what you should know as you prepare to file for divorce.

Check Whether You Qualify

If you choose to file for an uncontested divorce, the other spouse has to be in agreement regarding spousal support, property division, child support, and custody. It’s also important to be aware of the residency requirements. In Georgia, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before they can file for divorce.

Choose an Attorney

When you bring on a Georgia family lawyer, they can fill out paperwork, have it filed, and deal with any court issues. The cost to bring in an experienced Georgia divorce attorney can vary but it’s well worth the investment in most cases. Unless you’re comfortable doing everything on your own, you need a professional.

For contested divorces, an attorney is even more essential. You need to hash out the particulars of who gets what and it might not be as simple as it seems.

Find and Fill Out Paperwork

When you file for divorce, there are several documents that you will need. There’s no way to get through the process without them. A few of the papers that you will need to file for a divorce include:

·  Complaint for Divorce

·  Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

·  Settlement Agreement

·  Summons

·  Verification

These are only the most basic necessary documents. You may need to fill out even more. Those with children will need special documents. You or your Georgia divorce attorney must access these documents and make sure they are up-to-date.

Next, the papers will need to be filled out correctly. All answers must be truthful. Having your marriage certificate and other documents on hand is important as the numbers and dates will be needed. Be sure all your answers are accurate as of the time you file for divorce.

Serve Papers

Before the judge has a chance to review your paperwork, it needs to be provided to your spouse. This can be done on your own or you can pay the sheriff’s office or hire a private process server to hand off the stamped copies of divorce papers to your spouse.

If your spouse does not want to be formally served by the sheriff or a process server, your spouse will need to acknowledge and sign that they have been notified about the divorce and agree to certain terms laid out in the forms. This should be done in the presence of a notary. Once the legal documents have been served, you need to go to the clerk and file the acknowledgment.

Wait a While

As your Georgia family lawyer will tell you, the state has a waiting period before the dissolution of the marriage can be finalized. This means you must wait until after a minimum of 31 days from the date the papers are served before a hearing date will be determined. Keep in mind that this is only an estimate. It could be longer based on how busy the court happens to be.

Finalize the Divorce in Court

In order to finalize the divorce, a hearing date must be set with the court if the parties are not in agreement and/or have not submitted the proper paperwork to the court. It’s a good idea to show up at the hearing a bit early. Make sure you bring your Final Judgment and Final Disposition forms along with you.

The divorce is not finalized until you receive a signed and date-stamped Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce from a judge. At this point, the marriage is over. A certified copy of the decree can be obtained from the Clerk of the Superior Court in whatever county you live in.

Avoid Mistakes With the Help of an Atlanta Georgia Divorce Attorney

No matter how simple or complicated a divorce might seem on the surface, having a Georgia family lawyer to help will make things much less stressful. You’ll get assistance wherever and however you need it. This can make the divorce process much easier and take a lot of stress off of you.

Choosing to file for divorce is a big decision and you want to do it right. Having the right paperwork, representation, and assistance will go a long way. Make sure you hire a top Georgia divorce attorney to make the process as straightforward as possible. Then you can focus on what is still to come, rather than what is now over.
The legal experts at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C are ready to help you through your divorce process. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation.