Uncontested Divorce Process — Briefly
Our Uncontested Divorce Process:
How we typically handle uncontested divorce matters.
This is a general description of the steps for starting, filing and completing an uncontested divorce in the Georgia counties in which we offer full service representation for uncontested matters. Of course, we vary the process a bit as necessary from case to case to fit the individual needs of our clients and the requirements of the court where the divorce is to be actually filed.
In our uncontested divorce process, we 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 save a lot of time when we have our Initial Consultation.
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. This will help you (and us) make sure that it will be appropriate for you to pursue as an uncontested divorce. We can answer any preliminary questions that you may have about your divorce, our process and the cost of your case.
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 (typically 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 using any method of payment that you choose.
We will meet with you 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. If you have minor children (younger than age 18) with your spouse, the initial meeting to start the uncontested divorce will typically be in-person unless you are too far away to conveniently come to the office. We are experimenting with starting all cases (even those with minor children) with a telephone conference instead of an in-person meeting. So, if you are interested in starting your uncontested divorce over the telephone, just let us know. If you and your spouse have no minor children together (or you are too far away from our office), the initial meeting will be by telephone.
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 uncontested divorce process and that cost is included in our fee for your uncontested divorce case.
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 at our office 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.
Reviewing your Settlement Agreement:
You and your spouse will review the draft Settlement Agreement to make sure 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 Agreement 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 (usually by email is best). 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, scanned images 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.
Final Divorce Process and Paperwork
Some judges will require a brief final hearing before granting a divorce, especially if minor children are involved. If there is a final hearing, only you will need to attend (not your spouse) and we may be able to appear with you at the hearing at no additional cost to you. There are exceptions to this though.
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. The judges in most counties (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 uncontested divorce process or about the specific issues in your case, feel free to give us a call at (770) 794-3220 or (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.