Once you decide to take the steps to divorce, you and your spouse need to determine if you can do it uncontested. If you and your spouse agree on everything, you can file for an uncontested divorce. It’s much quicker than getting into a legal fight and it is often less expensive. You still have to complete the proper paperwork and petition the court for the divorce. Therefore, a Georgia divorce lawyer can help ensure you have the proper documents and a settlement agreement that protects you in the event your ex-spouse decides to not follow the agreement.
What You Need to File an Uncontested Divorce
Many people may try to file an uncontested divorce without the help of an attorney. However, several problems could arise when parties try to file Pro Se. Numerous forms have to be completed and filed with the court, even for an uncontested divorce, including a settlement agreement. One disadvantage to not hiring an attorney is that you will not have the benefit of an attorney drafting a settlement agreement that protects your rights during the divorce process and after the process. It is imperative that you have an agreement that the court can enforce should your spouse decide to violate or not follow the agreement later.
While you and your spouse might get along now, there is no telling what will happen in the future, especially when children are involved. It is better to have an enforceable agreement so that your ex-spouse does not violate your rights.
The Platt Family Law Firm offers reasonable prices for an uncontested divorce package and works to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Documents Required to File an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
Even though you and your spouse will not be litigating your divorce, you still must file certain documents.
The Summons notifies the court and the other party that you are filing a Petition for Divorce. It gives both parties information regarding upcoming filings and deadlines for those filings
Petition for Divorce
The Petition for Divorce outlines your “complaint.” It tells the court and your spouse what you expect to receive out of the divorce. It is the overall request of what the court cant order in a divorce and may request significant factors, such as child support, custody, spousal support, and property division.
In a contested divorce, your spouse would get a certain number of days to file an Answer and Counterclaim. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse would file the Settlement Agreement contemporaneously with the Petition for Divorce.
Consent to Hold Hearing 31 Days After Service and Filing
TThe Consent notifies both parties that there will be an uncontested divorce hearing 31 days after you file and serve the non-filing spouse with the divorce papers. In an uncontested case, service is often acknowledged by the non-filing spouse the same day as filing, since you both have to sign the Settlement Agreement before filing it with the court.
The Marital Settlement Agreement should list every factor of the divorce, including:
- Spousal support: The Agreement should state whether the parties agree that neither should pay spousal support, or if the parties agree to the support, how much the support is, in what form, and the duration it will be paid.
- • Division of assets: While you do not have to list every single asset, especially if you already separated and agreed on the division of assets, the settlement agreement should list the following:
- Bank accounts.
- Retirement accounts.
- The marital home, if applicable.
- Credit cards.
- Additional homes, such as vacation homes or rental homes.
- Any other debt
- Any other asset that has a high value.
- • Child support: Georgia uses guidelines based on the spouses’ incomes to determine child support.
Child Support Guidelines
Georgia statutes dictate how much child support both spouses pay based on their incomes, and other factors. You can follow the child support guidelines strictly or deviate from the child support amount and pay more or less than the guidelines. For example, if both parties make approximately the same salary and you choose 50/50 physical custody, neither may want to or need to pay child support.
Parenting Class Certificate and Parenting Plan
If you have children, both spouses must take a parenting class and submit the parenting class certificate to the court. Additionally, the parents must create a parenting plan, which outlines which parent has the child on specific days, nights and holidays. The parenting plan also dictates who has final decision-making authority for the children in four major areas: religion, extracurriculars, non-emergency medical, and education.
The above-listed forms are the most important, but Georgia requires additional forms, including Case Filing Forms, Standing Order, Acknowledgment of Service, and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
Contact Platt Family Law
If you are ready to file an uncontested divorce, contact a divorce lawyer at Platt Family Law Firm today for an initial consultation and to learn more about your rights. Contact us today at 404-255-3434 for a consultation.