Filing a Contested Divorce in Georgia
Filing for a contested divorce in Georgia requires the expertise and skill of an attorney. There are many steps that must be followed in filing for a contested divorce in Georgia and these steps can vary depending on each particular set of circumstances surrounding the marriage.
Filing, Fees, and Service
In order to file for a petition for divorce in Georgia one of the marital couple must have lived within the State for at least six months prior to the filing. The filing fee for a contested divorce in Georgia is about $200. After the complaint is filed the petitioner (the marital party filing the petition for divorce) must have the respondent (the marital party that is responding to the petition) served with the petition. This is easiest when the petitioner is aware of their wife or husband’s home/work address. Then it is a fifty-dollar fee to the Sherriff’s office and he or she is served. In the event the spouse lives out of the state, they will have to contact the Sherriff’s office in their spouse’s county or in the alternative hire a special process server. Upon being served the respondent will have 31 days to file an answer.
Legal Grounds for Filing for a Contested Divorce in Georgia
Unlike the simple ground of irretrievably broken that forms the basis or uncontested divorces, the legal grounds available for parties seeking contested divorce. They include the following:
- Force, Fraud or Duress
- Blood relation of a forbidden degree
- Mental Incapacity
- Drug Addiction Problems
Process After Filing for Contested Divorce in Georgia
The court will allow the parties to conduct discovery (information seeking process that includes depositions) to support their case within all of the open issues before the court, which could include, child support, marital property, child custody, spousal support, among others. Parties will more than likely have to attempt to mediate their issues and reach a resolution. If this isn’t possible the case will proceed to trial. However, if mediation brings about a settlement then the judge can enter a final order based on a signed settlement agreement.
Seeking Legal Help
Ending a marriage is never easy and contested divorce can be very time consuming and energy draining. Don’t try to walk thru the legal jungle alone, make sure you hire an attorney to guide your path. Only a licensed attorney can provide you with the expert advice you need.