Divorce – Uncontested Divorce Cases
Uncontested divorce in Georgia. Contact Joseph W. Segraves, Attorney at Law, Woodstock, Georgia
DIVORCE – Uncontested Divorce
Divorce in Georgia is often though of by the public and by attorneys as being either “contested” or “uncontested”. The distinction being whether or not both of the parties have agreed to the dissolution of the marriage. This often determines how the divorce proceedings will be handled or processed. Where the parties can agree to resolve their differences and the case can be handled on an uncontested basis, the legal proceedings will be much simpler and less stressful. Attorney fees will also be substantially lower.
All divorce lawsuits are based on a Complaint for Divorce which has been or will be filed by one of the spouses (as the “plaintiff”) against the other spouse (as the “defendant”).
In a true uncontested divorce, the parties have agreed to all of the matters at issue between them prior to the time of filing the case, and it is common to file the Complaint for Divorce, Settlement Agreement and other required documents at the time the lawsuit is initially filed. See: Divorce: Basic Concepts, Laws and Facts.
Agreement on All Issues:
For a case to be handled by the court as an uncontested divorce, the parties must be in agreement on all issues involved in the dissolution of the marriage. This includes the division of assets, possession of residence, alimony or spousal support, child support, child custody, child visitation, payment of debt, and any other matter which is at issue between the parties.
Required Documents: A detailed written document setting out the agreement of the parties on all of the issues is required. This usually referred to a Settlement Agreement or Dissolution Agreement. If there are minor children, the court will require that child support be calculated in accordance with the guidelines provided by law, and that a Child Support Worksheet and a Parenting Plan be filed with the court. The parties must complete additional forms and documents as required by law or the court for processing the case.
The “Almost Uncontested Divorce”:
Sometimes the parties cannot come to an agreement on all matters. For a wide variety of reasons, one party may not be quite ready to move forward with the divorce, may not be fully ready to discuss the issues, or may feel that he or she needs more time to think about things. Where this occurs, it may be best to go ahead and file the divorce suit before reaching a settlement agreement. This “starts the clock ticking” because the defendant must file an answer or response to the Complaint within thirty (30) days or risk not being heard on the disputed issues. Where the issues are relatively simple or the disagreement is over minor matters, the filing of the divorce can be all that is necessary to get the parties to reach an agreement.
Final Decree of Divorce:
An uncontested divorce suit must be pending for a period of at least thirty-one (31) days after service on the defendant. After that time period has expired, the court can grant a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce at any time upon receiving proof to its satisfaction of the above-described requirements. The Superior Court of each county in Georgia has its own procedure for presenting evidence to the court on these issues. Most courts require that the case be placed on a court calendar, and that the plaintiff appear and testify under oath. Cobb County Superior Court has an almost daily court calendar to hear uncontested divorces and other uncontested matters. In other counties, uncontested divorces are placed on regular non-jury calendars, and it may be several months before a final decree can be taken.
Divorce is a difficult even when it is uncontested. An experienced attorney familiar with divorce law will provide you with the advice and guidance you need. We have the knowledge, experience and skill to assist you. We represent individuals in divorce proceedings throughout North Georgia including Woodstock, Canton, Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Cartersville, Dallas, and Johns Creek. Call us today to discuss your situation.