Will I Have to Go to Court for My Uncontested Divorce?
When a married couple reaches an agreement that resolves all the issues that the court considers legally relevant in the ending a marriage, including the division of property, alimony, child support and the custody of children, then the parties may present the settlement agreement to the court for approval. If the superior court approves the terms of the settlement agreement, the settlement agreement can become part of a court order, granting the divorce and bringing an end to the marriage.
Many Georgia Superior divorce courts, allow the parties to waive a court hearing and ask for the uncontested divorce to be granted based solely on the pleadings, affidavits and other necessary documents filed with the court. However, these rules vary by county, and many counties have local rules and procedures that must be followed as to the process of requesting a waiver of the final court hearing. To further complicate things, even if all the rules are following for requesting a final court hearing to be granted are perfectly followed, the court has the discretion to still require a hearing for the divorce to be granted.
Situations that are more likely to require a final divorce hearing include:
– The divorce case involves minor children
– The divorce case involves child support that has been deviated (adjusted) and is not the presumptive amount the state considers the default amount
– The divorce case involves custody of the children that is not the standard in Georgia (i.e. – joint custody)
– The divorce case involves unusually high income or asset issues
– The divorce case involves a large discrepancy of income and assets between the parties
– the divorce case involves any circumstances such as division of assets, division of debts, child support, alimony or other issues that may not appear to be totally equitable or in compliance with Georgia law. The court will frequently require in-court testimony to establish the fairness of the agreement.
Also, some counties and judges within certain counties will rarely grant an uncontested divorce without a hearing; or draw strict lines that any case involving minor children will require a hearing. But other counties, may routinely grant divorces without hearings even if the case involves complex issues and minor children.
Finally, it is important to note, that even if a county that usually grants divorces without final hearings, individual judges in that same county may frequently require hearings in the cases they are assigned. So their can no guarantee that you will not have to go to court to have your divorce granted, but an experienced uncontested divorce attorney and law firm can certainly improve the odds that the hearing can be waived.
If you have a specific question about the court and local rules you would be filing your uncontested divorce case under, call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced Georgia uncontested divorce attorneys today.