Ending a marriage can have a significant effect on your emotional, physical and financial health.
Nevertheless, it can also allow you to put an end to mental, physical or other forms of abuse and put yourself back on the path to a happy and fulfilling life. Look attentively at what you need to know about filing for divorce in Georgia.
- How long does divorce take in GA?
- How much does a divorce attorney cost in GA?
- Is Sexting considered adultery in Georgia?
- What is the penalty for adultery in Georgia?
- What are the 13 grounds for divorce in Georgia?
How Long Does Divorce Take in Georgia?
The timeline for completing the divorce process depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. A divorce is considered to be uncontested when you and your spouse agree on property division and other financial matters. If you have children with your spouse, child support, custody and visitation issues will also need to be resolved before a marriage can be dissolved.
Georgia law requires you to wait at least 30 days from the date that a divorce petition is filed before it will be granted. However, the judge overseeing your case may need more time to review it before taking any action. In some cases, a hearing will be scheduled to ensure that all outstanding issues have been resolved in a satisfactory manner. This could extend the divorce timeline by several weeks or months.
A contested divorce could take several months or years to complete. This is partially because the adversarial nature of divorce litigation can make it harder for the parties involved to come to a reasonable agreement in a timely manner. It is also because the courts have dozens of cases pending at any given time, which means that it could be awhile before your case can start.
Appeals, changes in legal counsel and other events may further prolong the divorce litigation process. It is important to note that you retain the ability to reach a negotiated settlement at any point before a judge issues a final divorce decree.
How Much Does a Divorce Attorney Cost in Georgia?
The average person will incur roughly $10,000 in legal fees to end his or her marriage. However, this number will likely be higher if your divorce is contested for any reason. Furthermore, if you are seeking alimony, child support or child custody, you can expect to spend well over $10,000 even if the divorce is finalized in a timely manner.
This is because there will likely be several hearings that will take place over the course of several months or years. In addition, you will need someone to assist with the discovery process. Your attorney will typically be the one who obtains documents, performs depositions and takes other steps to get as much information that can be used for your benefit.
It may be possible to reduce the cost of a divorce by negotiating the terms of a settlement with your spouse outside of court. This may be done either privately or with the help of a mediator. If you do opt for mediation, an attorney is generally only called upon to review a tentative agreement before it goes into effect.
Although it may be expensive to hire counsel, it is generally in your best interest to do so. This is because an attorney will likely be able to ensure that a final settlement is an equitable one. It’s also important to understand that you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t have a lawyer while your spouse does. If you cannot afford an attorney, the judge in your case may order your spouse to cover your legal fees.
Is Sexting Considered Adultery in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, a person only commits adultery if he or she engages in sexual intercourse with someone other than his or her spouse. Therefore, simply sending text messages of a sexual nature is not enough to be found guilty of such an offense. However, it is important to note that it is rare for a person to actually be caught in the act of having sex with another person.
Therefore, a judge may allow you to introduce explicit text messages as evidence to bolster your claim of adultery as grounds for divorce. It is also important to understand that even if your spouse had sexual relations outside of your marriage, it may not play a role in a final settlement. This is because you’ll also have to prove that it was the proximate cause of the divorce.
In other words, you’ll need to establish that infidelity resulted in the end of the marriage as opposed to simply being one of the reasons why the relationship failed. Even if you can prove that infidelity was the proximate cause of a divorce, equitable distribution laws may put a cap on how much you’ll benefit financially from your spouse’s indiscretion.
Georgia law stipulates that a cheating spouse is not entitled to alimony. However, as an equitable distribution state, a judge is still required to look at several objective factors when determining how to structure a divorce settlement. Those factors typically include a person’s age, ability to work and future earning potential. A judge may also take into consideration the number of kids that a person needs to support and any special needs that they might have. Therefore, your spouse may still be granted alimony even after cheating on you.
Of course, your spouse’s irresponsible behavior may play a role in the outcome of a child custody case. If your child’s other parent neglected your son or daughter in favor of his or her new love interest, a judge may be less inclined to give that individual custody rights. Instead, your spouse may receive limited visitation rights to the minor.
What Is the Penalty for Adultery in Georgia?
Georgia law considers adultery to be a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. An individual may face additional charges if he or she had intercourse with a minor or against someone’s will. As a general rule, those who are under the age of 16, have a mental illness or are impaired by drugs or alcohol cannot legally consent to sexual relations of any kind. This is because they don’t have the capacity to understand what is happening to them or the potential consequences of their actions.
What Are the 13 Grounds for Divorce in Georgia?
There are 13 different claims a person can make when seeking to end a marriage in the state of Georgia. For example, you could claim that you lacked the mental capacity to sign a contract making the relationship official. It may also be possible to claim that your spouse had a mental illness, subjected you to cruel treatment or deserted the household for more than a year.
If your spouse was impotent, committed adultery or got pregnant by another individual during the course of a marriage, that would be considered sufficient grounds to seek a divorce. Divorce papers can be filed based on the fact that your spouse engaged in drug or alcohol abuse and refused to seek help for his or her problem.
Marriages may also be dissolved if your spouse is related to you in some way or if you were forced to marry a person under duress. In the event that your spouse is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, it may be possible to seek an end to your relationship with that person. This is generally true if the conviction results in a jail or prison sentence of longer than 24 months.
Finally, you can seek a generic no-fault divorce in which neither side is blamed for the collapse of the relationship. You will most likely pursue a no-fault divorce as it can be easier to obtain in a timely manner.
If you are thinking about ending your marriage, it is critical that you speak to an attorney before filing any type of paperwork. If your spouse has already served you with papers, an attorney may be able to help you better understand the next steps in the process. Regardless of who initiated the divorce, legal counsel will work to create a strategy to help you obtain a favorable settlement or jury award.
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