Four Ways to Get a Divorce in Georgia

(Plus Two Other Ways You Can Ditch Your Spouse)

There are four types of divorce in Georgia. There are also other ways you can end your marriage that aren’t technically divorce.

Here’s an overview.

Uncontested Divorce

This is the quickest, easiest, and usually cheapest way to get a divorce. It’s also the most common in the state of Georgia. Most uncontested divorces are handled through mediation rather than trial.

An uncontested divorce (sometimes called “no-fault” in other states) means you and your soon-to-be-ex both agree on how to divvy up your joint property, bank accounts, debts, and so on. If you have kids, you basically agree on how to handle all issues surrounding them, including custody, alimony, and child support.

If you don’t agree on everything, that doesn’t mean you can’t have an uncontested divorce. It just means you may have to go through mediation to hammer out the details. But the divorce isn’t acrimonious, and you’re both willing to work toward a common goal of fair separation.

Contested Divorce

Not every divorce is amicable. Strong feelings are to be expected, as well as big disagreements over how to divide up assets and deal with child custody.

Contested divorces are more likely to happen when child custody issues or valuable assets are involved. These are frequently the most expensive and emotionally draining types of divorce. Attorneys and judges get involved, and there usually is litigation.

And because litigated cases are a matter of public record, so are your divorce proceedings. Because of this, many couples prefer to avoid going to court.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new option in Georgia.

Like mediation, it’s a divorce where both parties stay out of court. Unlike mediation, however, other professionals may be involved, including lawyers, financial professionals, custody experts, and therapists.

Because of the other professionals involved, collaborative divorce provides more support than mediated divorce. It’s a good solution when there is a strong power imbalance between the parties; when two parties can’t agree but want to avoid an acrimonious trial; or when there are issues surrounding high-value property or child support.

Collaborative divorce is generally cheaper than contested divorce, but more expensive than uncontested divorce.

Arbitration

Arbitration is another option for couples who can’t agree how to settle the divorce, but who don’t want to go through a difficult trial.

Your attorneys will prepare and present your arguments to a neutral third party, who will make a binding decision on how everything will be divided up.

Arbitration is a good option for couples who have serious disagreements, but who want to settle those issues without the cost, time, and difficulty of a contested divorce.

In an arbitration, you can keep documents and testimony private, which isn’t true in a public court of law.  And, in general, the process is much less time consuming than a trial.

Other Ways to Separate From Your Spouse in Georgia

Annulment

These are relatively rare in Georgia, but they do happen. An annulment basically declares your marriage legally invalid.

Some reasons your marriage might be invalidated include:

  • You and your spouse are related
  • One or both parties did not have the mental capacity to agree to marriage
  • One or both parties were under the age of 16 at the time of marriage
  • The marriage was involuntary for one or both parties
  • One or both parties was fraudulently coerced into the marriage
  • One or both parties was married to someone else at the time of marriage

You can’t get your marriage annulled if you have children with your spouse. The decision is usually made by a judge, after a hearing.

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Separate Maintenance

There’s no such thing as “legal separation” in Georgia. However, if you want to live apart from your spouse but stay married, for insurance purposes, for instance, there’s an option for you: separate maintenance.

Either spouse can file for separate maintenance. Like divorce, there’s a process by which the affairs of the marriage – division of property and assets, child custody, and so on – are settled. But at the end of the process, you’re still married, just separate.

Work with the Best Divorce Lawyer in Chamblee, Georgia

Need help navigating this challenging time in your life? Get in touch. We can help you decide which option is best for you, and get the best possible outcome in your separation.

Call (404) 260-6330 for your free, no obligation confidential consultation right now.

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