The divorce process involves specific steps to legally dissolve your union, and any missteps along the way could cost you time and money. Thankfully, you do not have to walk these steps alone. A skilled divorce attorney can help you through every stage.
It is not in your best interest to navigate the Alpharetta divorce process on your own. With the help of experienced legal counsel, you can have peace of mind that your rights and future are protected.
The first step in the Alpharetta divorce process is determining whether you meet the state’s residency requirements to file a petition. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six consecutive months.
This does not mean that you have to remain at the same address to fulfill your residency requirement. You can live anywhere within the state, and your forms do not require you to list all previous addresses. However, you will be expected to prove your residency. You can accomplish this with a voter’s registration, driver’s license, employment address, bank account, car registration, and more.
Even if you meet residency requirements, you must establish grounds for divorce before you file your petition. You can choose between “fault” and “no-fault” grounds under state law. No-fault divorce is the popular option because there is no need to argue over who is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, the parties only need to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Some people still choose fault-based divorce, as it can impact issues like property division. While there are 12 different grounds, the most commonly used examples include adultery, cruel treatment, and desertion. A trusted divorce attorney from our firm can advise you on which option is the best for your particular circumstances.
Once you have selected your grounds, the next step is to file the divorce petition. This legal document formally begins the Alpharetta divorce process. There are rules regarding where this petition should be filed, however.
If you file for divorce within six months of separating from your spouse, you can do so in the county where the two of you lived as a couple. However, if more time has passed, it is necessary to file for divorce where the non-filing spouse lives—unless they have moved out of state. After this, you must formally serve the other spouse with a copy of the complaint and notify them of their chance to respond.
There is a mandatory waiting period after filing for divorce before the court has the power to issue a final divorce decree. The amount of time varies depending on whether your divorce is based on fault. For no-fault divorces, you must wait 31 days. For a fault-based divorce, the timeline is 46 days.
During divorce proceedings, there are a number of issues that must be resolved before the Georgia courts can enter a decree. In some cases, the parties are able to reach an agreement on these issues, while in others these disputes are settled by the judge during a trial.
Many of these issues are financial in nature. They can include disputes over the division of marital property or payment of spousal support. Other important issues that must resolved relate to the custody or financial support of minor children.
The Alpharetta divorce process and timeline will look different for every couple, depending on their specific situation. The good news is that you do not have to figure out these specifics on your own. Work with a compassionate attorney from our firm who can guide you through this transition. Reach out to schedule a consultation.