Filing for divorce can be a stressful ordeal. The emotional and legal aspects of divorce often make the dissolution of a marriage a complex process.
As you move to dissolve your marriage, having legal counsel you can trust by your side is crucial. At Harmon Caldwell, our Atlanta divorce lawyers understand best practices for handling high profile cases. With more than 40 years of legal experience, we'll tailor a case strategy to your needs and work with you to pursue an ideal outcome in your case.
Providing Compassionate, Experienced Legal Counsel to Atlanta Residents
Harmon Caldwell and his team help clients navigate a variety of issues in addition to divorce. Our practice areas include:
Is Georgia a No-Fault State for Divorce?
Like most states, Georgia uses no-fault laws for divorce. In other words, you can file for divorce by stating that your marriage is "irretrievably broken," and you believe dissolving the marriage is in the best interests of both parties.
However, you can file for divorce on different grounds if you wish. For example, you can file for divorce by alleging that your soon-to-be-ex has:
- A substance abuse problem;
- Engaged in adultery;
- Mental incompetence;
- Deserted you;
- Engaged in cruel treatment against you;
- An incurable mental illness.
Generally, filing for a no-fault divorce is smoother than filing for a fault-based divorce, but both have their advantages and disadvantages. Your divorce attorney can help you determine whether to file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce.
His Team at Caldwell, Carlson, Elliott & DeLoach, LLP.
Harmon believes in resolving disputes on a reasonable basis as quickly as possible. If litigation is needed, he's ready to fight for you and the best interests of your loved ones.
To file for divorce in Georgia, one spouse must be a Georgia resident for at least six months prior to filing. Either the plaintiff (the person filing for divorce) or the defendant (the other spouse) must also live in the county where divorce forms are filed.
We can break down the divorce process in Georgia into three major steps:
- Preparing and filing forms for divorce. First, you must complete a Complaint for Divorce or Petition for Divorce form, as well as various other divorce-related documents. Then, you must file these forms with your county court. You may also need to complete a financial disclosure, which involves releasing information about your income, assets, debts, tax returns, and other financial documents to the court.
- Serving the defendant. The court will have a deputy sheriff serve the defendant with the divorce forms and the divorce complaint. In the alternative, a defendant can acknowledge service of the complaint and avoid having the sheriff come to the defendant's home or office.
- Finalize the divorce. How long it takes to finalize your divorce depends on various factors, including whether you filed for an uncontested or contested divorce. Regardless, at the end of your case, a judge will sign a divorce decree that legally dissolves your marriage.
An uncontested divorce means that the parties have agreed on a resolution before the case is filed. Typically, a written settlement agreement is filed with the divorce complaint and the judge will sign a final order of divorce 33 days later.
If there is no agreement before the filing of the divorce complaint, then the case is contested. That doesn't mean that the case will be tried. There will be plenty of opportunities to resolve the case and the vast majority of cases are settled. What it does mean is that there are issues that must be addressed and there may be depositions, document productions, court hearings, and mediations as the parties work through those issues.
We know that filing for divorce can be daunting. Harmon Caldwell and his team work with our clients to ensure they feel supported throughout the divorce process. We diligently prepare for every potential outcome, keeping us one step ahead of the curve and helping you navigate your divorce with confidence.