Uncontested Camden County Divorce Process
Uncontested Divorce Process in Camden County
An uncontested Camden County divorce is an easy, inexpensive and quick divorce. It is an easy process. Camden County is in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit along with Appling, Glynn, Jeff Davis and Wayne Counties. These counties all use the same judges so the process described in this article applies also to Appling, Glynn, Jeff Davis and Wayne Counties. The described process also pertains to military uncontested divorces.
We have handled divorce matters in Georgia for well over twenty-five years. Initially, we focused on contested divorces. A lawyer can make a lot of money (and have a lot of stress) in divorces in Camden County.
But, over 10 years ago, we shifted our focus more toward uncontested divorces in Georgia. There were a couple of reasons for this: many people simply could not afford a contested case but needed a lawyer to help with their divorce; and, we recognized that we could help a lot more people if we focused on less expensive divorce matters. So, we basically re-tooled our law practice and reduced/changed our fees to flat-fee arrangements. We also added more automation to our case process. But, we did not compromise on our commitment to provide quality legal services. As a result, we have now completed many divorce matters in Camden County – nearly all of them uncontested cases for a low, flat fee.
Since we first opened our law office in in 2003, we have seen a lot of changes in Georgia law, Southeast Georgia generally and, more specifically, the Camden County courts. In addition to changes in Georgia divorce law, one of the biggest changes we have seen in the last few years is the turn-over in judges in Camden County. Many of the judges from 2003 have retired or taken “Senior Status” – a fancy term for retiring but still working as a part-time judge.
Over the years, the Brunswick Judicial Circuit (and, therefore Camden County Superior Court also added judges. So, there are now five judges who can handle divorce matters in Camden County. All of the judge’s closely follow the law as it pertains to divorces. But, all of the judges add their own creativity and discretion as they implement the law in the divorces that they handle.
Camden County if fortunate to have a nice, modern courthouse in Woodbine that houses all of the Superior Court courtrooms under one roof. It also houses the Clerk of Superior Court of Camden County.
More recently, we were all faced with the challenges of COVID. Everyone had to improvise, adapt and overcome those previously unheard-of challenges. Like everyone else, we adapted our process and found that we could be even more efficient in delivery of good, fast and cheap uncontested divorces. One of the major changes that we made was to have nearly 100% “virtual” contacts with our clients. That worked so well we now handle all Camden County Uncontested divorce matters without requiring our client to make a visit to our offices. None of our clients have to physically come to our office for any reason. We handle all client contact by phone, online and by email.
Because we have a well-defined virtual process for handling our cases, we require that all of our client have a telephone conference with us to start their case by appointment only. That conference may be fairly short (20 minutes or so) for simple divorces. Or, it may take over 2 hours for more complex matters if there are minor children, joint debts, retirement accounts, real estate, etc. involved. An appointment with us for this telephone conference to ensure that we are available and to make sure that we have enough time with you to fully “get the facts” for your divorce matter.
Many prospective clients want to know the the Camden County uncontested divorce process is like before they hire us. A client suggested that we publish the process on our website, so here it is.
In our uncontested divorce process, we first ask that you fill out the Client Inquiry Form and submit it online. The online form provides basic but important information about you, your spouse and your situation. We need this in advance. It helps us evaluate whether your case is appropriate for our uncontested divorce process. Later, it will also save a lot of time when we have our Initial Telephone Conference.
Free Telephone Consultation:
Of course, if you wish, we can have a brief (15 to 20 minutes) free consultation with you at no charge about your case by telephone before you even submit the Client Inquiry Form. This will help you (and us) to make sure that it will be appropriate for you to pursue as an uncontested divorce in Camden County (or any of the other counties we serve) and that your case will be a good match for our process. We answer any preliminary questions that you have about your divorce, our process and the estimated cost of your case. Under Georgia law, a lawyer can only represent one of the parties to a divorce – even if it is an amicable, uncontested divorce. We typically represent the “Plaintiff”, the person who is officially asking he Court for the divorce. However, we sometimes represent the “Defendant” if that is what our client needs.
Make an Appointment with Attorney:
Once you are ready to proceed, you can use our online scheduling tool to set up an appointment to meet (by telephone) and discuss your case in detail. Of course, you can also just give us a call to make the appointment. At the meeting to start your divorce case, you will need to pay our flat fee. You do not have to pay the court costs at the initial meeting.
The Telephone Conference:
We will meet with you by telephone to discuss your case and make sure that we have all of the information needed for the uncontested divorce process and to prepare your divorce documents – starting with a Settlement Agreement. If you have minor children (younger than age 18) with your spouse, the initial meeting will include detailed discussion about a Parenting Plan and also a full discussion and computation of the required Child Support as determined by Georgia law. During the telephone conference we discuss ALL issues (or possible issues) in detail to make sure that we can adequately and fairly prepare the initial settlement documents for you and your spouse to review.
Paying Our Fee:
At our initial meeting with you, we will collect our fee from you. We accept all major credit/debit cards including American Express for our flat fee for the uncontested divorce. The initial consultation is a vital part of the Camden County divorce process and that cost is included in our fee for your uncontested divorce case.
At the time that we are publishing this article, we charge $395 for an uncontested divorce in Camden County without minor children and $795 if minor children are involved.
What We Will Discuss:
We will both give you information and get details from you on the specific issues appropriate for your case including: alimony; child custody; visitation; child support; health insurance: real property disposition: personal property division (bank accounts, cars, furniture, etc.); retirement account division; and debt division/allocation. This will include calculating child support using the state-required Child Support Worksheet.
Opening Your file:
Immediately after the conference to start your case and once you have paid our flat fee, we open your file and prepare the first draft of your Settlement Agreement (including the Child Support Worksheet and Parenting Plan if your case involves minor children). The draft Settlement Agreement (and all other divorce settlement documents) is then sent to you by email with instructions. The draft documents are NOT for signing. They are for you and then your spouse to review to make sure that there are no errors and there are no disputes for the two of you to work out. We do not file ANYTHING with the Court until you and your spouse have properly and fully signed ALL of the documents necessary for an uncontested divorce in Camden County.
Reviewing your Settlement Agreement:
You and your spouse will review the draft Settlement Agreement (including the Child Support Worksheet and Parenting Plan if your case involves minor children) This is to ensure that your settlement documents contain all the terms needed for your specific situation and that the two of you are in full agreement. You provide feedback to us and, if necessary, we will revise the draft settlement documents so that it is acceptable to both you and your spouse.
Signing your Divorce Documents:
When you and your spouse are fully satisfied with the draft Settlement Agreement (including the child support and Parenting Plan), just let us know. We send all of the divorce documents to be signed to you by email with full instructions. YOU will send the papers to your spouse for his or her signature in the presence of a notary public. All signatures on the uncontested divorce documents (both yours and your spouse’s) must be individually and properly notarized. You then make a copy of all of the fully signed documents and return the original/physical signed documents to us. Faxes and copies will not be accepted and filed by the Court. You will also pay us the amount of the court costs (filing fee and similar costs) for your case at this point. The court costs now amount to $255.
Final Divorce Process and Paperwork
Once the Clerk of Superior Court has officially filed your documents, a mandatory waiting period of 31 days begins. Also, one of the 5 Judges in Camden County Superior Court is assigned to handle your case. The Judge is assigned at random by the Clerk of Superior Court.
At the end of the 31 days, the divorce is NOT automatic. We must officially ask the Judge who is handling your case to review your case and grant the divorce. Some judges MAY require a brief final hearing before granting a divorce, especially if minor children are involved. If there is a final hearing, the Judge will probably require both you and your spouse to actually appear in court and, depending on the circumstances, we usually are able to appear with you at the hearing at no additional cost to you. There are exceptions to this though and sometimes we must charge a reasonable appearance fee.
However, the majority of judges will grant your uncontested divorce “by motion.” That simply means that, as your attorney, we submit a written request to the Court asking that your uncontested divorce be granted without any court hearing. This is a huge advantage to you over the people who do not hire an attorney to represent them in an uncontested divorce. You simply sign an affidavit about your divorce (that we prepare for you) in front of a notary public at the end of the 30-day waiting period and send the signed original/physical affidavit to our office. Your spouse does not sign this affidavit. We submit your affidavit to the court along with your proposed final decree. Then we just wait on the judge to review your case file and grant the divorce. Most of the Cobb County judges (but not all) will finalize your divorce this way without your ever setting foot in the courthouse.
Get Started Now:
If you have questions about our Camden County divorce process or about the specific issues in your case, feel free to give us a call at (912) 215-7677 and we will be happy to answer your questions and consult with you about your case for 15 – 20 minutes at no cost to you. But for the very first step in the process, we ask that you fill out the Client Inquiry Form and submit it online.