Our Blog

Helping Clients With Georgia Uncontested Divorce Matters

E-filing divorce cases in Georgia

E-Filing Georgia Divorces

E-Filing Georgia Divorces

E-filing of Georgia divorces is now the standard way of handling the actual filing of divorce cases in Georgia.

We e-file all Georgia divorce cases .

E-filing is mandatory for lawyers who file Georgia divorce matters.  So says the State of Georgia.

Since it first became available in Georgia, our firm has used e-filing for every case that we could use it.  At first, only a few counties would permit e-filing.  Paulding County was one of the first to adopt it and they did a good job.  A short time later, Fulton County made e-filing mandatory for divorces — even if you were filing your own divorce case.  We found that, in general, e-filing was a real benefit for the way that we handle divorce matters.

The Good about E-Filing:

Compared to manual filing, e-filing is efficient and relatively fast — but not instantaneous.  We find that it reduces the time to complete a typical divorce case by around 10 or 15 days.  Since, like most of our clients, we like to complete a divorce case as soon as legally possible this is a really bid advantage.  It has also allowed our office to become more efficient and made our process much more “paperless.” Although all of the divorce documents must start as old-school paper documents, before they are filed they become electronic copies too.

The Bad about E-Filing:

Many of the courts and clerks offices simply do not have the technical expertise or vision to fully take advantage of e-filing.  There is a lot of variation from office to office and county to county in the way that e-filing is implemented.  This makes it hard on lawyers who practice in multiple counties to know exactly how to comply with the requirements of a particular judge in a particular county.  But, even the confusion and lack of standardization of procedures do not outweigh the benefits of e-filing.

Recently, the State of Georgia has changed the way that the e-filing portal companies can charge for their services.  E-filing costs are generally paid by credit cards.  So, there are processing fees that the courts add  — typically about 3%.  When combined with the high case filing fees (typically $210 to $220), the all-in court costs for a simple, uncontested divorce now is about $275.

The Bottom Line on E-filing Divorce Matters in Georgia

Our clients are very happy to get their divorces completed more efficiently and quickly.  Unfortunately, we must pass the increased court costs on to our clients.  But, we are glad to have the increased efficiency that e-filing has brought to our office.  Overall, it has reduced the amount of time to complete an uncontested Georgia divorce by about 15 days — more in some counties and less in others.

The e-filing system is now standardized from county to county and from judge to judge.  It seems that the benefits and improvements over time justify the slight cost increase.