Georgia Uncontested Divorce Explained
What is an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia?
Frequently when people call our office, they tell us that both parties want the divorce and so the divorce will be “uncontested.” Certainly, the divorce process is typically easier if both parties agree that their marriage is over and that divorce is inevitable. But, this is not what an attorney means when they ask whether a divorce is going to be uncontested. So, what is an uncontested divorce in Georgia?
A Georgia uncontested divorce means that the parties have at least reached an preliminary agreement regarding the major areas related to a divorce:
- Division of Assets
- Allocation/Division of Debts
- Child parenting (custody, visitation, etc.). and
- Child Support
Of course, if the parties do not have any minor children together, the last 2 areas are irrelevant. But all divorces can, at least potentially, include alimony, division of property and allocation of debts.
Common Misconceptions about Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
A common misunderstanding about an uncontested divorce is that because the couple has a general idea about how to resolve an issue that means the matter is uncontested. Certainly, it helps to have an idea on how to resolve all of the divorce issues. But, eventually you must work out the details of how all issues will be resolved. For that, most people need legal advice. We can help you with that process.
For example, will retirement accounts or benefits be divided and, if so, how? Will income tax or penalties be incurred from division of a retirement account?
Or, maybe the parties have agreed that one parent is going to be the primary physical custodian for the minor children. But, that alone does not fully address the issue of child custody. A Georgia law requires that a full Parenting Plan must still be agreed to with all sorts of details. These include: who is responsible for driving the children to and from visitation? How holidays and summer vacations will be shared? And, who has ultimate responsibility for legal custody decisions for the minor children. All these details must still be worked out before a matter can actually be considered uncontested.
Finally, what about child support? Georgia law generally does not permit the parties to agree that child support will not be required. Many couples are not aware of this fact.
Having a General Agreement in Mind Helps
Over the years of working on thousands of uncontested (and contested) Georgia divorces, we have found that the minor details can be worked out fairly easily if the parties already have at least a general idea about handling the major issues of their divorce. Iit helps to have an agreed starting point.
What Can an Attorney Do to Help Achieve an Uncontested Divorce?
If you and your spouse are making progress trying to work out a full agreement on your own, it is still a good idea to get the advice of an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer. With the help of an attorney, you can better understand the details that are addressed in your Settlement Agreement. With some guidance and and objective perspective, we help work out the remaining issues prior to proceeding with an uncontested divorce. We can also offer options for addressing differences that may arise. Hopefully, the divorce will be the only one that a couple may experience. However, it is one of thousands that we have worked on. We probably have seen the exact situation before. We can offer helpful ideas based on that knowledge and experience. This will help you achieve an uncontested divorce.
Regardless of how your reach your agreement for an uncontested divorce, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney to review your proposed plan. The attorney can offer suggestions for changes and properly prepare the necessary documents. Finally, an attorney can file the divorce and process it through the court to a fast and trouble-free conclusion of an uncontested divorce.
The bottom line? A divorce is not actually uncontested unless a Settlement Agreement that has been signed by both parties is actually filed with the clerk of superior court.
How to Start an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
To get started with your Georgia Uncontested Divorce, we suggest that you submit our Client Inquiry Form.