What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is where you sit down with your spouse and work out the dissolution of your marriage. You would sit down with your spouse and discuss who is going to have primary custody of the children, how the child support is going to be paid, how the assets of the marriage are going to be distributed and how the debts of the marriage are going to be distributed.
According to MyDomaine, it is the building of a marital settlement agreement or a contract to dissolve your marriage.
There are several reasons why an uncontested divorce is in your best interest. First, you are in control. If you get a contested divorce, the attorneys and the judges are in control of what happens in your case. With an uncontested divorce, you pretty much set whatever parameters you and your spouse can agree on. The other reason why an uncontested divorce is in your best interest is that it is in the best interest of your children. If you and your spouse can agree on how to dissolve your marriage in an amicable, friendly sort of way, you can reduce the emotional burden on your children. That is what most people are looking for.
The third reason you want to do it is it is much faster than a contested divorce. A contested divorce can take anywhere from at least six months to a year. You could do an uncontested divorce if you can work out the terms with your spouse, and you could get a divorce in 45 days. There is no reason why it should take any longer than that.
Is an Uncontested Divorce the Same Thing as a No-Contest Divorce?
In the state of Georgia, uncontested divorce and a no-contest divorce are the same exact thing. Georgia state law recognizes an uncontested divorce as a divorce in which neither party is clashing with the other and they plan to part ways on peaceful terms.
Georgia is not a no-fault state. Even when divorcing on good terms, grounds must be decided upon.
A divorce on fault-based grounds points to a certain incident or underlying effect which caused the dissolution of the partnership between the two spouses, often leading to a contested and perhaps even an ugly fought divorce. A no-fault divorce is peaceful – maybe there was an incident that changed things, but ultimately that is not the ”reason” why the parties decided to divorce.
With an uncontested divorce, the two parties can agree on terms and who gets what after the separation, instead of leaving such matters up to the lawyers and courtroom officials.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Typically Cost and How Long Might It Take in Georgia?
A contested divorce – one in which you and your spouse clash over almost every possible matter relating to the dissolution of your marriage – is bound to be a costly endeavor. However, if you go into the divorce with an open and agreeable mind looking to compromise and collaborate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the costs may be much cheaper.
A contested divorce may end up costing upwards of $10,000 to settle. Uncontested divorce, while still expensive, is likely to cost thousands of dollars less.
Georgia law requires the courts to wait until the 31st day after the divorce papers have been filed before they will grant the divorce. There is time for parties to rethink things and reconcile, if they so wish. But after those 31 days, the courts will reconvene and be prepared to grant the divorce paperwork and make everything final. Most uncontested divorces are finalized within a month after this waiting period. This wait time may be delayed depending on the availability of the two divorcing adults and the judge overseeing their case, as the judge often wishes to speak with both parties or their attorneys before officially finalizing their decision.
What Are Certain Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce?
The basic requirements are pretty self-explanatory: you were married and now you both want a divorce and you’re not looking for a fight. However, there are additional requirements to keep in mind.
Under state law, Georgia requires uncontested divorcing parties to have kept a Georgia residency for at least six months. And the divorce must be filed in the county of residence. A non-resident may potentially file for an uncontested divorce in Georgia, provided that their spouse has been a Georgia resident for at least the past six months.
Additionally, the state requires that the two parties list their ‘grounds for divorce.’ Even though the divorce is uncontested, there must still be grounds.
What Are Georgia’s Grounds for Divorce?
Georgia has over a dozen legally acceptable grounds for divorce and you must select at least one of them. Georgia is not a no-fault state, but just the same, try not to think of this as blaming either party.
Acceptable grounds for divorce include:
- Discovery that the parties are closely related by blood.
- Impotency or inability to bear children.
- Irreconcilable differences or irreparable marriage difficulties.
- One or both spouses had affairs.
- A wife is impregnated by a man other than her husband.
- Fraudulent marriage.
- Doubts as to the mental capacity of one spouse at the time of marriage.
- A spouse left the family home and their duties as a married partner.
- Prison sentence of two or more years.
- Drug addiction.
- Domestic abuse and cruelty.
- Mental illness.
What Must the Spouses Agree Upon to Make the Uncontested Divorce Official?
Among the most important things to agree upon in a divorce agreement are:
- Child custody and visitation rights.
- Child support.
- Property division.
- Spousal support.
Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team. 404-418-7777.