Divorce law can be complicated. If you are considering dissolving your marriage, it is essential to understand what Marietta divorce requirements you must meet to start the process. An experienced divorce attorney at our firm can explain these requirements in greater detail and file the necessary documents with the court on your behalf.

You Must be a Georgia Resident

While Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-1 requires you to have lived in Georgia for at least six months to file for a Marietta divorce, your spouse does not have to be a resident. One exception to this residency requirement is that if the grounds for divorce include insanity, you must have lived in Georgia for at least two years prior to filing.

Filing Requirements for a Local Divorce Petition

Your divorce formally begins with the filing of a divorce petition. According to O.C.G.A. §19-5-5, your petition for marriage dissolution must include the following:

  • Your spouse’s residence or last known address;
  • Proof that you meet Georgia’s residency requirement;
  • Date of the marriage and separation;
  • The names and ages of any minor children you share with your ex;
  • The grounds upon which you are seeking divorce; and
  • Your and your spouse’s assets and earnings.

Failure to include this information in your divorce petition could result in the court dismissing your case altogether. Once prepared, the petition must be filed in Georgia’s Superior Court in the county where your spouse resides or – if they are no longer in the state – in the county where you live. A knowledgeable Marietta attorney can ensure that your divorce petition meets all of the filing requirements before submitting it to a local family court on your behalf.

Grounds for Divorce

In Georgia, you and your spouse may agree to divorce when the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning there is a substantial incompatibility between the two of you that cannot be resolved. Pursuing this no-fault ground may result in a faster divorce.

Otherwise, to get a fault-based divorce, you must prove the facts that justify the dissolution of your marriage. State law provides 12 fault-based grounds for divorce, including adultery, cruel treatment, and desertion. You are required to establish whichever fault-based ground(s) you cite as the reason for your divorce.

Serving Your Spouse

After the divorce petition has been prepared and filed, it must be served on your spouse. You can enlist a Georgia sheriff or another qualified individual to deliver it and verify under oath that your spouse received your divorce petition. If your spouse lives in Georgia, they have 30 days to respond to your petition.

If your spouse doesn’t file a response, the court will allow divorce proceedings to move forward as long as your spouse was properly served and an Acknowledgement of Service is filed with the court’s clerk.

Required Waiting Period

A court will not grant a divorce in Georgia in less than 31 days after your spouse receives the petition. This waiting period is designed to give estranged spouses time to make sure they do not want to reconcile before the court grants a divorce.

Ask an Attorney about Marietta Divorce Requirements

To learn more about Marietta divorce requirements and whether you have met them, contact a member of our diligent legal team. One of our attorneys can determine what to include in your divorce petition, where to file it, and how to best serve your spouse. Call our intake team to get started.

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