How Uncontested Divorce Works
While uncontested divorce is a far simpler process than contesting a divorce through a lengthy trial, it is still beneficial to see all the steps you must take in order to get the process started. First, you must file the paperwork with the court. You can either download the necessary forms online or visit the Superior Court clerk’s office closest to where you and your spouse live.
Once the paperwork has been filed, notify your spouse either in person or by having the papers “served” to them by a sheriff’s deputy or a third party. Your spouse’s signature on the divorce papers, certifying that they’ve been made aware of the divorce, will hasten the process. They have 30 days to reply, but usually with an uncontested divorce it won’t take as long.
At this point, all that remains is finalizing the divorce by creating a divorce agreement. There are several forms that must be filed out and documents that must be collected in creating this agreement. The following are a few of the forms involved, although your specific circumstances may affect which are necessary.
Complaint for Divorce: Outlining the reasons for divorce and specifics of property division, alimony and child custody, this is the form that begins the divorce process.
Summons: These are the forms given to your spouse that make them aware of the legal action you are taking.
Verification: Requiring a signature in the presence of a notary, this form verifies the information put forth in the original complaint.
Settlement Agreement: A crucial component of an uncontested divorce, this form outlines and codifies the terms of the settlement, from custody and support of children to division of property and alimony.
Parenting Plan: This form, required as part of an uncontested divorce by the state of Georgia, outlines the specifics of the co-parenting arrangement for minor children. This includes plans and schedules for visitation and custody, delineation of responsibility and more.
Child Support Worksheet: On this form you’ll use guidelines set by the state of Georgia to calculate and formalize the amount of child support to be paid.
Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit: This form requires each spouse to list their complete financial statement, including income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
Acknowledgement of Service: On this form, the spouse who did not initiate the divorce certifies that they have received divorce papers and thus do not need to be formally served.
Notice of Hearing: This form simply lists the date of the court hearing in which a judge will review all documents and grant approval for the divorce.
Final Judgment and Decree: This is the document that a judge will sign after reviewing all necessary paperwork, finalizing the divorce.
Report of Divorce, Annulment, or Dissolution of Marriage: Following the divorce, this form relays the information about the divorce to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Your specific situation, as well as the county within the state of Georgia in which you reside, will determine which of these forms you’ll require.
Frequently Asked Questions about Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
- Does an uncontested divorce require a court date?
Not necessarily. Depending on the county in which you reside, and the specifics of your divorce, it may be sufficient for a judge to merely review the paperwork, outlining the terms both parties have agreed on, and grant the divorce if satisfied with the documents.
- If the divorce is uncontested, do I still need an attorney?
An attorney is not a mandatory part of an uncontested divorce, but having an attorney involved helps protect your rights and ensures that all legal procedures are being followed correctly. Please note that any one attorney can only officially represent one spouse, lest there be a conflict of interest.
- Are we required to seek mediation?
Much like having an attorney helps avoid any complications, mediation is not mandatory, but can help resolve all differences before paperwork is filed. And as Georgia law requires that all division of property, child custody and child support be agreed upon beforehand, mediation is a great way to reach these agreements.
- Do we have to legally separate before divorce?
Not at all. The state of Georgia does not recognize “legal separation” as a concept. State law does, however, allow for “separate maintenance,” which is very similar. Should you and your spouse choose, you can live separately while your uncontested divorce is being finalized.
The Busbee Law Group Difference
At Busbee Law Group, we pride ourselves on helping clients navigate the often-treacherous situation of a divorce with as little stress or anxiety as possible. One way we do this is through a one-time flat divorce fee for uncontested divorces. All you and your spouse need to do is share the specifics of what each of you would like to agree upon, and we will calculate everything. This not only offers you both an affordable way to keep your hard-earned money, it provides transparency at the outset of the process. No hidden fees, no hourly rates to budget for, just a single fee that streamlines the path toward an amicable resolution.
We put our entire team behind you, helping ease your burden during an emotionally difficult time. Divorce can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. Let The Busbee Law Group help steer both you and your spouse to a peaceful resolution and resolve your uncontested divorce by filling out your contact information below.