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Most divorces can be mentally and emotionally draining. Even if both you and your spouse want as amicable a divorce as possible, you may be uncertain about the divorce process and how to handle all the required court filings and documentation.

A Forsyth County divorce lawyer from our firm could answer any questions you may have about the divorce process. We could also review your case and tell you what steps you need to take to make your divorce as painless as possible.

Furthermore, our experienced family attorneys are available if you need someone to represent you in court or in settlement negotiations. We could be committed to helping you get a fair and equitable divorce as quickly as possible.

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    Basics on Divorce in Forsyth County

    Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-3, Georgia recognizes thirteen separate grounds for divorce. Many of these are fault-based grounds, in which one individual alleges that the other is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. These reasons include:

    • Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
    • Duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage
    • Adultery by either party
    • Cruel treatment, including the intentional infliction of mental or physical harm
    • Incurable mental illness, as certified by two independent physicians

    Additionally, Georgia recognizes “no-fault” divorces, in which one or both parties claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In these situations, courts must wait a minimum of 30 days to grant the divorce, according to O.C.G.A. §19-5-3.

    Defenses to Divorce

    Under O.C.G.A. §19-5-4, Georgia recognizes certain defenses in some fault-based divorces. These include collusion with the intent of triggering a divorce, consent of the other spouse, both individuals being guilty of the same conduct, and the other spouse voluntarily condoning the acts and continuing to cohabitate afterward.

    These defenses often arise in divorces alleging adultery. For example, if an individual consents to their spouse’s adultery, or if they themselves are guilty of adultery, then a jury may refuse to grant the divorce.

    Similarly, if the individual continued living with their adulterous spouse even after learning of their behavior, they may be unable to obtain a divorce. Those who need additional information on divorce defenses and the effect of these defenses on a specific divorce proceeding should contact a Forsyth County divorce attorney as soon as possible.

    Divorce Petitions

    To file for divorce, either party to the marriage must submit the following information to the county court, according to O.C.G.A. §19-5-5:

    • Date of the marriage
    • Date of the separation
    • Whether the couple has any minor children and, if so, the name and age of each child
    • Grounds for divorce

    The defendant spouse—in other words, the non-filing party—may request, at any time before trial, a detailed statement of the facts surrounding the stated grounds for divorce. A judge or jury then decides whether the divorce should be granted.

    If a divorce is granted, then the court may decide related issues such as the distribution of marital property. Additionally, the court may permit either individual to return to using their maiden name if they wish, as per O.C.G.A. §19-5-16. A divorce lawyer in Forsyth County could provide further information on divorce petitions and the divorce process.

    Speak with a Forsyth County Divorce Attorney

    If you are getting a divorce or considering one, be sure you consult with a qualified Forsyth County divorce lawyer. Divorce can be a complex process, and a skilled attorney from our firm may be invaluable in helping to protect your rights.

    For example, our Forsyth County divorce attorneys could assist you in pursuing a fair distribution of your marital property. We could also help you obtain support payments, both for yourself and for your children.

    Our attorneys could keep you informed of your options every step of the way and work with you to achieve an outcome that you are satisfied with. If you need divorce help, get in touch with our intake team as soon as possible.

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