Divorces are filed in the Superior Court and can take anywhere from one month to several months or years to be granted, depending on the complexity of the case.
- Filing a divorce is rarely easy. While you can go about the proceedings on your own, you should still consult a family law attorney. Lawyers often see trouble areas that you won't recognize at first and push divorce proceedings along more efficiently.
- Collect tax returns, deeds, bankruptcy petitions and all other documents related to joint finances.
- Start keeping a monthly budget. When you present your case to the court, you'll need documentation that shows how much on average you spend on things such as groceries and utility bills. A well-organized budget strongly supports a case that you'll need a certain amount of money every month in child support and alimony.
Write a complaint, or petition, that describes your current living situation, the arrangements you've made for your children, the state of your shared assets and debts, and the specific problems that led you to file for a divorce.
When writing the complaint, you don't have to detail how much money you want in child support and alimony, and you don't need to list every grievance. You just need to explain clearly the major issues involved in the marriage.
File your complaint at the Superior Court in your spouse's county of residence. If your spouse has moved away from Georgia, you can file the complaint at the Superior Court in your own county.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of separation, the court can grant your divorce in a little more than a month. However, if you and your spouse do not agree, the process may take several months or even years.
The courts favor the best interests of the children, and so the parent who uses the best judgment in caring and planning for the children wins legal custody. If both parents share equally in caretaking, courts may grant joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
It's always best if you and your spouse can work to agree on custody issues, even after the court sets a custody plan for your case.
Source: Kessler & Solomiany, Family Law Attorneys, State Bar of Georgia. This information was prepared as a public service of the State of Georgia to provide general information, not to advise on any specific legal problem. It is not, and cannot be construed to be, legal advice. If you have questions regarding any matter contained on this page, please speak with the agency that is the source of the information.