What are the grounds for divorce in Georgia?
AIn Georgia there are 13 grounds for divorce. One ground is irretrievably broken (sometimes referred to as the no-fault ground). To obtain a divorce on this basis, one party must establish that he or she refuses to live with the other spouse and that there is no hope of reconciliation. Parties do not have to agree on this matter, nor must there be a showing of fault or wrongdoing by either party. The other 12 grounds for divorce in Georgia are fault grounds. They are adultery, desertion, mental or physical abuse, marriage between persons who are too closely related, mental incapacity at the time of marriage, impotency at the time of marriage, force or fraud in obtaining the marriage, pregnancy of the wife unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage, conviction and imprisonment for certain crimes, habitual intoxication or drug addiction and mental illness.. To obtain a divorce on the basis of fault, one must prove that there was some wrongdoing by one of the parties.
Must I be a resident in order to file for a divorce in Georgia?
AAt least one party must have lived in Georgia for 6 or more months or Georgia must have been the last domicile of the marriage.
What is a divorce going to cost me?
AThere is no way to predict the actual cost of a divorce. However an experienced attorney should be able to anticipate the relevant legal issues and give a reasonable initial estimate. At BG&A we offer several ways for our clients to minimize the cost of their services:

  • We offer competitive case rates for those legal matters that have more predictable trajectories.
  • Since our attorneys’ rates vary, clients have the opportunity to select the attorney who best suits their financial as well as their legal needs.
  • Also, by availing themselves of the services of our well qualified administrative staff, clients can reduce their costs considerably.
  • Finally, while our attorneys are available by phone and in person, if cost containment is a priority you may prefer to utilize texts or emails. We make every effort to respond within 24 hours.
Does Georgia law require a “separation” period before a divorce complaint can be filed?
ANo, but the parties must be considered separated in a legal sense before one can file for a divorce. Spouses may be considered separated even if they are living in the same home so long as they occupy separate bedrooms and cease all sexual activity.
I’ve been served with divorce papers, now what do I do?
AIf you have been served with a divorce complaint, you should immediately consult with an attorney. You may contest the claims for child custody, child support, alimony, or property division by filing an answer with the court within 30 days of service. There are many legal implications to your answers that can significantly impact the trajectory of your case. Having a representative who is knowledgeable and experienced can help to ensure your rights are protected.
Do I really need an attorney to help with my divorce?
AYes. Divorce proceedings can be extremely stressful. Most people would rather not add the additional burden of representing themselves in a court of law. The courts hold persons opting to represent themselves to the same standards as licensed attorneys. Since most laypersons are not fully versed in the many and varied nuances of matrimonial law, they sometimes find themselves saddled with onerous settlement agreements that unfairly burden themselves and/or their loved ones. In such cases parties may incur costly outlays in the form of money, time and inconvenience. Alternatively, BG&A can provide the peace of mind of knowing your matter will be handle correctly the first time.
What if I am in the military and stationed outside of Georgia?
AGenerally, members of the armed forces are considered to “live” in their home county/state and not where they may be stationed for a mission. Your home state retains jurisdiction to hear your divorce.
Does Georgia law recognize common law marriages?
ANo. Georgia no longer recognizes common law marriage; however, If you began living together prior to 1997 exceptions may apply. Contact our legal experts regarding the particulars of your case.
Do I have to appear in court in order to get a divorce?
AIf your case can be resolved in an uncontested manner – be it on a temporary or final basis – it is unlikely that you would be required to appear in court. Otherwise, both parties must be present.
My child’s mother and I were never married, but my name is on my child’s birth certificate. Do I have custody rights?
AUnfortunately, you do not have custodial rights. Until a judge issues an order declaring you a legitimate father, the biological mother has sole custody of your child. At BG&A we fight to ensure that our clients get all the custody rights they are due.
I can’t afford my child support payments and I’m being threatened with contempt, what should I do?
AConsult an attorney immediately to file for a modification of child support. You must prove that there has been a change since the last child support order was entered and request that your payment be reduced. Our attorneys have represented many clients in similar situations. Call us today to avoid a contempt finding, punishable by fine or incarceration.
How long will my divorce take?
AThe time required to finalize a divorce varies depending on the particulars of the case. In some instances parties are able to substantially resolve their issues prior to their hearing date. In this case the divorce can take as little as 31 days. However, there are instances where parties are unable to reach mutually satisfactory terms. In these case a more lengthy and expensive legal process is necessitated.
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
AA Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an attorney appointed by the Court to assist in contested custody disputes. The GAL is required to interview parties and any character witnesses the parties choose. In addition the GAL interview the children and collateral for the children, for example, school teachers, counselors, basketball coach, dance teachers, etc. Once the GAL completes his or her investigation, he/she will prepare a report for the Court with his/her recommendation regarding custody of the children. All of our attorneys have been certified by the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation to serve as GALs.

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