If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you each need capable legal representation to help ensure the process is fair and proceeds as smoothly as possible. Even if you and your partner agree on most issues and seek to part amicably, ending a relationship is still painful and can cause considerable stress.

A Douglasville divorce lawyer at Bardley McKnight Law understands the legal requirements for unraveling a marriage. Most importantly, they recognize the emotional, economic, and time benefits of keeping a divorce as civil as possible. An experienced attorney at our firm will work with you, your spouse, and their attorney to accomplish your goals without going to war.

Procedural Requirements for Divorce in Georgia

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-2 requires that at least one spouse live in Georgia for six months before they are eligible to file for divorce in the state. The Superior Court of Douglas County handles all the divorce actions in Douglasville.

A couple can seek a divorce in the state of Georgia without pinning the blame on one another. A no-fault divorce can be filed if each spouse is willing to affirm that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of reconciliation.

There are thirteen (13) grounds for divorce in Georgia:

  • Intermarriage by people within the prohibited degrees of kinship
  • Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
  • Impotency at the time of the marriage
  • Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage (and unknown to the husband)
  • Adultery during the marriage
  • Desertion
  • The conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that results in a prison sentence of two years or longer
  • Habitual intoxication
  • Cruel treatment
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Habitual drug addiction; and
  • The marriage is irretrievably broken

If a spouse alleges a fault-based reason for ending the marriage, they must prove the grounds in court.

The Two Ways to Obtain a Divorce in Douglasville

Under Georgia law, a couple could seek an uncontested divorce if they agree on all issues related to dissolving their marriage. Though, if one spouse does not want to divorce or seeks a fault-based divorce, or if the couple agrees to a no-fault divorce but cannot agree on all relevant issues, they must go through the contested divorce procedure.

An uncontested divorce is preferable in almost all circumstances due to the significant time, money, and emotional strain that comes with contested proceedings. A diligent Douglasville attorney could assist a couple who is having difficulty resolving marital issues to reach an agreement before filing for divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

If the couple agrees on all issues related to dissolving their marriage— division of marital property, division of marital debt, alimony, child custody, and child support—they could file an uncontested divorce. The couple must submit a petition for divorce and then both parties must present their case to the court. A Superior Court Judge will review their agreements and if they are properly executed and seem fair, the Judge will issue an official divorce decree.

Contested Divorce

Most couples seeking a contested divorce agree that they should divorce but cannot agree on financial or child custody issues. Sometimes, a contested divorce results from a spouse seeking divorce on fault grounds which, if proved, could impact a Judge’s decisions regarding alimony or child custody.

Contested divorces are time-consuming, emotionally wrenching, and can be very expensive. They delay the parties’ opportunity to move forward with their lives and start building their future. A contested divorce could also have a devastating impact on the couple’s children.

Throughout the process, a dedicated divorce lawyer in Douglasville will attempt to negotiate with the other party’s legal counsel to resolve the outstanding issues. If they are unsuccessful, a Judge might order a couple to mediation. If attempts at negotiation fail or if one party refuses to negotiate in good faith, a Judge will hear the party’s evidence at trial and make a decision on any issues still in contention.

Move Forward with the Help of a Douglasville Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating ending your marriage, you should consult with a seasoned legal professional as soon as possible. A well-practiced attorney could explain the state’s legal requirements for divorce and help you explore your options.

Once you have decided to pursue a divorce, a Douglasville divorce lawyer at our firm could be a valuable ally. They could help you negotiate outstanding issues with your spouse and review any agreements you reach to ensure legal compliance. Call today to schedule an appointment with a supportive attorney at Bardley McKnight Law. We want to help make the process as smooth as possible so you can close this chapter and move forward towards a better life.