In Georgia, Uncontested Divorce is defined as a divorce where parties consent to divorce and agree on the legal issues surrounding the separation. Most people want to resolve their divorce amicably without a long and drawn out court battle and it is true that uncontested divorces in Georgia can save the parties time, money, and stress. However, not all divorces will be resolved this way. Below are a few questions to ask yourself when determining if your divorce matter is uncontested.
- Do you both want the divorce? While this may seem like a “no-brainer”, often, one party wants to get divorced and the other spouse does not. While in Georgia, you cannot be forced to stay married, if one spouse does not want the divorce, it can make it more difficult to finalize your divorce matter. This is true even if you have nothing to fight about. If your spouse does not want the divorce, while you will ultimately get the resolution you desire, it may not occur in the form of an Uncontested Divorce.
- Do you both agree on what to do with the property? Once you have crossed the threshold of determining that you want the divorce and once you recognize that your spouse is on board to divorce, the next question you should ask yourself is whether you and your spouse agree on the division of the property. Who will get the marital home? How are you dividing the cars and tools? Are you all sharing your 401k and retirement with one another or will you go your separate ways keeping what you individually have earned? If you have an idea of the division of property and you both agree, you will likely be able to handle your matter as an uncontested divorce.
- Do you both agree on what to do with the debts? Parties often disagree as to what constitutes marital debt. Marital debt, like marital property, is debt incurred after the marriage for the benefit of the marriage. Spouses often disagree on which debts are marital or personal. Is there credit card debt? Do you have student loans to repay? One large debt that spouses tend to disagree about is tax liability. If you and your spouse disagree on the division of debts, one quick way to get over the hump of negotiations is to ask “what is a fair division of the debt?”. The Court will require that you designate who will pay for what, so if you have marital debts and want an uncontested divorce in Georgia, you will need to come to an agreement regarding the debts.
- Do you both agree on what to do with the children? Perhaps the biggest point of contention in a divorce surrounds the custody and support of the minor children. Both parties should make a determination of which parent will have legal custody or physical custody. Then, the parties should make a determination of how much parenting time the noncustodial parent should be permitted to exercise. And finally, the parties should make a determination of how much child support, if any, the noncustodial parent should pay to the custodial parent. In cases involving minor children, a court will not consider the matter uncontested unless the parents have reached a full agreement on all issues surrounding the minor children.
While an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia may seem like the ideal option if you seek to separate from your spouse amicably, before filing, be sure that your divorce is actually an uncontested divorce and not just being called that in an attempt to save time and money. An Uncontested Divorce Lawyer could help you iron out the minor discrepancies in your agreement so that you can dissolve your marriage using an Uncontested Divorce.