Divorce can be an emotional and challenging experience as you navigate the legal and personal issues that lead to the next phase of your life. But actually getting divorced does not have to be overwhelming. If you and your spouse are reasonably able to get along and reach agreements, you can file for an uncontested divorce. This process is shorter, less expensive, and less stressful than a contested divorce.
An uncontested divorce is a case in which you and your spouse agree to get divorced and agree to all of the terms within the divorce — this includes division of property and debts, alimony, custody, parenting time schedule, and child support (if you have children). Getting an uncontested divorce can be done in three easy steps:
1. Draft and Sign the Settlement Documents
Once you and your spouse are in agreement on all terms, you should have an attorney draft a Settlement Agreement, (and Parenting Plan, Child Support Addendum, and Child Support Worksheet if applicable), along with other documents necessary for the divorce. These documents will lay out everything you have agreed to in the divorce. You will sign the documents detailing your agreement and the documents telling the court you want an uncontested divorce.
2. File the Case
The attorney for the Petitioner (the party initiating the case) will file the case with the court. Then you have to wait 30 days before you can get divorced. This is a mandatory waiting period imposed by Georgia law. If you have children, you will need to take a divorcing parents seminar during that time in order for the court to grant the divorce.
3. Get the Court to Grant the Divorce
There are two ways a divorce can be granted. You can appear at court to give testimony or you can file documentation so that the divorce can be granted without having to appear in court. Most judges will allow this second option, though there are some exceptions. Once the judge signs and files the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce, you are officially divorced.
Seems easy, right? It is if you have the right help. Even though an uncontested divorce is relatively simple, drafting the documents correctly and navigating the court system is not. Attorneys make it look simple because it is their area of expertise. Without counsel, you can make mistakes that have long-term consequences or have your case delayed because you do not know what you are doing. This is why it is important to work with a family law attorney from the start. At Porchlight, we handle the stressful and complicated parts of the process so that you can focus on your future.
If you need assistance with your divorce, or if you have additional questions about your family law case, call Porchlight firm at (678) 435-9069 or click here to schedule a consultation.