How Long Does Divorce Take in Georgia?

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Jun 27, 2024 | Content

When you are ready to end your marriage, you might want your divorce to be final as quickly as possible. If you are wondering how long a divorce takes in Georgia, the answer is, “It depends.”

The good news is that you and your spouse have a lot of control over how long your divorce will take. That is also the bad news, because if your spouse wants to be uncooperative and fight it out in court, your divorce could take a long time to resolve.

Georgia Has a Short Mandatory Waiting Period

The Official Code of Georgia § 19-5-3 allows a judge to issue a divorce decree 31 days after a divorce filing. You must cite an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as your reason for divorcing, and you must settle all the outstanding issues. However, settling the issues could take months or longer.

Any couple seeking a divorce must resolve how they will divide their property and whether one spouse will receive ongoing financial support. If they have children, they also must make co-parenting arrangements and agree on child support.

When you own little property and have no children, you may be able to settle your divorce quite quickly. For most couples, however, a few months is the minimum time to get a divorce, and it could take longer.

Resolving Issues Before Filing Can Speed the Process

Some couples seek an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means the couple has signed written agreements addressing all the relevant issues, including a comprehensive parenting plan if they have children. It is possible for a couple to complete a divorce within a few months when they communicate well and both are motivated to complete the divorce.

You might require a few weeks or months to reach an agreement. You and your spouse can negotiate directly, but many couples find negotiations more productive when they work with a mediator or through their attorneys. Once you have resolved your issues, you submit your agreements to the court with your divorce petition.

The judge reviews them to ensure the agreements are fair. If children are involved, the Official Code of Georgia §19-9-3 requires the judge to ensure the parenting plan furthers the children’s best interests. If the judge’s review does not raise any concerns, the court could issue a divorce decree within a month or two.

Complex Divorces Can Require a Year or More

There are two reasons why a divorce might take a long time to resolve. High-net-worth divorces often take a long time because identifying, valuing, and dividing substantial and varied assets is time-consuming. A divorce also takes a long time when one or both parties are uncooperative.

Working with a mediator can simplify the process in some situations. This can speed the divorce considerably, but you must be able to communicate with each other effectively and share the goal of a peaceful divorce.

On the other hand, when one spouse is determined to make the divorce difficult, there are many ways for them to cause delays. Anyone facing an uncooperative spouse should engage an aggressive Georgia divorce attorney who is comfortable bringing issues before a judge and arguing them in court.

Consult an Experienced Attorney About the Length of the Divorce Process

Although Georgia law allows a quick divorce, the process can be lengthy for some couples. The complexity of a couple’s finances and family life play a big role in the length of the divorce process, but each spouse’s attitude can have an even bigger impact.

Speak to a knowledgeable lawyer about how long your divorce may take in Georgia. Get started today.

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