The Divorce Process

Does it Matter Which Spouse Files First?

In a word, no. If you receive a petition for dissolution for divorce (ie are “served with divorce papers”) you need to respond in Georgia within 30 days. If you are the spouse who is actually filing for divorce, you need to serve your spouse papers within 6 months of the time that you file with the courthouse. However, once both parties have received / responded to the divorce papers, the process continues on with the “petitioner” and the “respondent” having no effect on the rest of the process.

31 Day Waiting Period

There is a mandatory 31 day waiting period between when the papers have been served and when the divorce can be finalized. The intent is to ensure that no one is rushing through the process, but typically working through the logistics and reaching an agreement will take those 31 days anyhow. It’s advised to NOT spend the 31 day period just “waiting,” this is the time that you should be working with your attorney and also your spouse to get the key pieces of a divorce agreement in place.

How Are the Amounts Around Temporary Support Calculated?

Temporary support is awarded in some cases where one spouse is, or has been completely financially dependent on the other spouse. The Georgia Family Law courts understand that it’s impossible to work through a divorce process when one spouse is completely responsible for the children but also has no access to financial support. Temporary support is determined by a number of variables, so to get an idea of the amount of support or the types of support available, contact our office so we can review your situation today.

How Are Custody and Financial Issues Resolved?

Custody and financial issues are both resolved within a framework of what the court will accept. So while every divorce is unique, there are also some things that are relatively predictable. For example, you may think your spouse is a jerk. That’s OK. But thinking that because he’a jerk he’ll never get to see the kids and that he’ll have to pay double alimony is simply not how things work. A good divorce lawyer will help you understand the process and manage your expectations.

When Will the Divorce Be Finalized? Will I Have to Go to Court?

Once you and your lawyer and your spouse and their lawyer have worked through all of the key issues, you will submit the divorce, custody and financial plans to the family law court who will approve and finalize them. One of the reasons it’s important to work with a qualified and experienced divorce lawyer is because this “approval” piece should not be something you’re “hoping” for, rather something that our lawyer is 100% confident will go through smoothly.

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