Divorce And Family Law In Georgia: Where Do I Start?
Divorce is difficult enough. Going through a divorce without a qualified attorney at your side is worse. That’s where Burnett Law comes in. We are ready and qualified to help you understand your rights and responsibilities. This will enable you to make the best decisions for yourself.
We encourage agreement-based divorce where possible by offering some of the lowest prices in the area. Post-divorce quality of life is directly related to how the divorce is resolved. If there is long, bitter litigation, the chances of bitterness continuing after the divorce are high. If the parties can find a way to reach a fair agreement to shorten the process and decrease the stress, their post-divorce quality of life is likely to be better. However, if an agreement is not possible, we are there for you, too!
What Are Some Options To Proceed With A Divorce In Georgia?
How to proceed with a divorce in the State of Georgia ultimately depends on your specific situation, namely how much agreement you and your to-be ex-spouse have.
Some divorcing couples have total agreement on all matters pertaining to their separation, from the custody of children to the division of assets. In these cases, we essentially fill out their paperwork, go to court with them, and help them in other ways through the entire process.
Others only have a partial agreement. When this is the case, it is usually best if we attempt to negotiate or mediate the remaining issues as this saves time and money in most cases. Unlike cases with total agreement, we are more involved in these cases. We represent you to the court and the lawyer representing your to-be ex during negotiations.
In many places in Georgia, if you bring a lawsuit for divorce, you must go to mediation before the judge hears the case. Mediation costs you money for your attorney’s time and the mediator’s time. Thus, we try as hard as possible to make an agreement before mediation.
Many attorneys do not work with the opposition in these situations. In these situations, we go to mediation and try to work it out in mediation. If we are not able to, we are forced to have a trial in the traditional process where the judge makes the final decision. Unless you have an emergency order, you will not get relief until you go to mediation.
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We do not stop trying to negotiate even after mediation, an indication of our commitment to your success and well-being.
How Long Does It Generally Take To Get A Divorce In Georgia From The Time I File Divorce Papers To When The Divorce Is Actually Granted?
How long your divorce takes to be granted largely depends on whether your case is contested or not.
The State of Georgia usually takes five to six weeks to grant a divorce where both parties are in total agreement. In these cases, all that is required is filing the necessary paperwork. Beyond a 31-day waiting period after filing, all the process entails is getting your court date and being present on the date to give some testimony.
If your case is contested, it can take significantly longer – usually months and sometimes even longer. As our area is not as backed-up as others in the State, they tend to be done within a year.
Can I Avoid Going To Court In My Georgia Divorce Case?
For all intents and purposes, you cannot avoid going to court for your divorce case in the State of Georgia.
There are instances where you can file a motion for what is called a judgment on the pleadings. If the court accepts it, the necessity to appear in court is waived, but you still have to go to court in the sense that your case is in the legal system, and a judge will make a ruling over it. It is worth noting that some judges do not accept judgment on the pleadings to begin with, however.
It is best to assume your case will require a court appearance. As such, it is best to mentally prepare for the need to literally go to court. You will have to put everything related to your case on record and testify (answer some simple questions). You will have to testify to it even if your case is in complete agreement. In most cases, we provide a list of questions before court so you can prepare.
Our practice can help you make the necessary preparations and ensure you get the best, most affordable legal counsel or representation available.
How Can I Resolve Conflicts Without Taking My Case To Trial In Georgia?
Negotiation and mediation are the best ways to resolve your case without going to trial – there is no trial, per se, if your case has a negotiated or mediated settlement.
Georgia courts usually require mediation if you do not have an agreement. Roughly 80%-90% of cases settle by this stage.
Is There A Waiting Period Between When I File A Divorce And When It Is Actually Finalized In Georgia?
There is a thirty-one-day waiting period between filing for divorce and it being finalized in the State of Georgia.
If Both Parties Agree To All Terms In A Georgia Divorce, Do I Still Need To Hire A Georgia Divorce Attorney?
Generally, it is safe to say that if you do not have a lot of property, financial assets, or children, you could legally represent yourself with only a reasonable education.
If you have a lot of property, financial assets, or children, it is highly advised to partner with an attorney to ensure all the details of your case are appropriately filed. Our practice can be of great service to you in this capacity. For more information on Family Law in Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step.