Uncontested Divorce Representation in Court
Our services for an uncontested divorce in Georgia for a low, flat fee include representing you with the clerk and with the court. Typically, you will not have to appear in “divorce court” at all but, if you do, we will appear in court with you for one hearing — usually at no additional charge to you. We take on this responsibility as your attorney and assist you if the judge has a question or if there is some problem. Some lawyers offer to just prepare the paperwork for a lower fee, but in those cases you are representing yourself without an attorney when you file your papers. That may work fine in some situations but if a problem arises you may find out you wish you had an attorney to assist you in even a simple uncontested divorce.
Of course, we too can agree to provide you with limited services (for a reduced fee) such that we do not officially represent you in court so that you can represent yourself. In fact, this is exactly what we do in divorce cases that must be filed in a county where we do not offer full service uncontested divorce representation. Generally, the reason that we do not offer full service uncontested divorce representation in every county in Georgia is simply that some courts require a court appearance to complete even a simple uncontested divorce. Naturally, we cannot afford to travel hundreds of miles for a short, uncontested hearing. The result would not be a low, flat fee! In those cases, we suggest that the client represent him/herself in the case but with our behind-the-scenes assistance and instruction. And, we give the same legal advice and produce the very same high-quality, custom uncontested divorce documents for our client to use. As in every case, it is our objective to give you an affordable, high-quality uncontested divorce outcome.
Georgia has no written procedure or complete set of official forms for an uncontested divorce, and the rules for parenting plans and child support are detailed and ever-changing. Some counties provide “divorce packets” with lots of divorce forms for free or a very low cost. But, no comprehensive and useful instructions come with the forms! The judge or the clerk cannot answer legal questions or give you legal advice. But, as your attorney we are an “officer of the court” and can also answer all your questions fully and confidentially. It is very helpful to have an attorney prepare your paperwork on your behalf and then see your divorce case through to the end in the court. Having an attorney who can speak to the judge or clerk on your behalf if a question or problem arises is of tremendous help to you and is included in our low, flat fee for your uncontested divorce in Georgia.
Be Careful of Do-It-Yourself Uncontested Divorces
Although it is certainly possible to prepare your own paperwork and get divorced without an attorney in Georgia, it is also possible that you will use the wrong paperwork from a self-help website or make simple errors and get yourself into a mess, especially with child support and custody documents. Please understand that legal services become more expensive and the divorce take much longer to complete when your documents have been done incorrectly because we have to correct a mess.
When we take over a divorce case for a client who has started one without a lawyer, we often find that something important is missing (or done incorrectly) and that what is really filed is an unsettled, contested case. For these cases, we may have to charge you extra or we may even have to charge a retainer and bill hourly like any other contested case because the other party has been brought into court without a full settlement in place or there is some other technical, legal problem that must be resolved before your case is actually uncontested. But, once we take on your case we still make every effort to handle your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible even if it is actually a contested divorce.
By the way, we represent only you, our client, in a divorce case and that means we cannot and will not give your spouse any legal advice. We will not be rude or disrespectful to your spouse but we usually do not even communicate with him/her.
Your Responsibility in an Uncontested Divorce
It is your job to negotiate a settlement with your spouse on all the issues in your uncontested divorce case so that we can correctly and fully prepare the proper divorce documents for you. For our low, flat fee we advise you as necessary on any issues but we do not negotiate the issues with your spouse or his/her attorney. But, for a reasonable hourly rate (which may require that you pay us a retainer) we can certainly take on that added effort on your behalf. Once a settlement is reached and we have prepared the uncontested divorce documents, it will also be your job to get all of the documents signed by your spouse and yourself. We provide you with written instructions on just how to do that.
Once you have returned all of the documents to us and paid the court costs, we will then file the uncontested divorce with the clerk of court and complete it with the court as quickly and smoothly as possible. Whenever possible we always E-file the divorce case to get the matter completed as soon as possible. If a problem arises with the clerk or the court, we are there to take care of the issue on your behalf. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, there is never any problem at all once we have filed your uncontested divorce for you. With our help, you can make it a no-fault, no-contest divorce.