Ten Tips for a Successful Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
Compared to contested divorces, uncontested divorce in Georgia is quick and inexpensive. An “uncontested” divorce (sometimes called a no-contest divorce) is where both parties agree on all issues involved in the divorce, including property division, allocation of debt, child custody, visitation, child support and alimony. The key is that both parties “agree”. If you don’t agree, do not have an uncontested divorce – or at least not yet.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you succeed.
- Make sure you both want a divorce. If you want a divorce, but he/she doesn’t, then there’s no need to have an in-depth conversation about who gets the Toyota and who gets the Ford. If both of you do not agree that the marriage is over and it’s time to divorce, then you either need a marriage counselor or a contested divorce.
- Understand the benefits of pursuing an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way to get a divorce in Georgia. Instead of measuring the cost in thousands of dollars, you will measure it in hundreds. Instead of measuring the length of divorce in months (or years), you will measure it in days. These tangible benefits are something that both parties should know and keep in mind.
- Put grudges aside. You’ve both agreed you want a divorce and that you want to do so as quickly and easily as possible. Now is not the time to try and settle a score or punish you spouse. Who did what to whom is simply not a factor. Remember this if you want to have a successful uncontested divorce
- Develop a Business Attitude. – This can be hard but focus on being in the best position you can the day after your divorce. Dealing with your spouse is “just business” – it’s not personal. Approach issues in an uncontested divorce the same way you would issues in the business world. Know what is reasonable, what is not, and try to keep your emotions in check. Sure, there are emotions at play and some very emotional times. But, get over it and get down to business.
- Agree on what needs to be settled. – Start the discussion by trying to agree on what you need to settle. Custody, child support, alimony, property division and debt allocation are all typical areas in the divorce. Make sure you both know what the issues are that have to be settled. If you are unsure, contact family law (divorce) attorney.
- Begin with something easy. – Once you know the areas you need to agree upon, try and pick something easy to being with. It will help you both realize that it’s not impossible to settle this between the two of you. Also, early momentum may help you tackle the tough issues later on. Once you are down to the tough issues, take your time and be patient with your spouse. This is a divorce, not a race.
- Kids are not property. – Do what’s best for the kids – period. Remember that the children want to spend time with both of you. Have a candid discussion about what is best for the children and while doing so, remember they are not steak knives or bank accounts. Custody is not something you “win”; it’s something you earn. Do NOT put the kids in the middle!
- Negotiate in Good Faith. – Realize that neither one of you is going to get everything you want. There has to be some give and take. Remember, if abandon or fail at the uncontested divorce process you go to court and you are leaving everything up to a judge. The judge does not care about who “wins” or who “loses”. In fact, the judge probably actually cares a lot less about your case than you do. You are much better equipped to work out your differences in an uncontested divorce than a judge is in a contested one.
- Don’t be petty. – You don’t really care about that dining room table do you? There are hundreds out there for sale, new and used, and none of them cost as much as going to court over your divorce. Sure, there are exceptional situations but remember to be businesslike as much as you can.
- Hire a professional. – You’re not hanging drapes or re-finishing the deck. If you screw this up, it can’t be fixed in an afternoon. A professional will know the range of possibilities facing you in an uncontested divorce and can help you understand what the ramifications of your decisions will be in the future. If you’re smart enough to try and solve your problems out of court with an uncontested divorce, don’t be stupid about how you do it. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
We have been doing this for over twenty years. If you need help, call us. If for some reason we can’t help you, we will refer you to someone who can. We strive to provide every one of our clients with a dignified and affordable uncontested divorce.