The Contested Divorce Process in Georgia
A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties are unable to agree on one or more issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. This can include issues such as property division, child custody, child support, alimony, and more. If you are facing a contested divorce in Georgia, it is important to understand the process and what you can expect.
The first step in a contested divorce is to file a complaint for divorce with the Superior Court in the county where either party resides. After the complaint is filed, the other party will have the opportunity to respond to the complaint and file a counterclaim if they wish.
Once the complaint and counterclaim have been filed, the parties will engage in a discovery process. This is the stage of the divorce where each party can gather information from the other party and from third parties. This can include requests for production of documents, depositions, and interrogatories.
In many cases, the parties will be required to attend mediation in an attempt to resolve their disputes. Mediation is a process where the parties meet with a neutral mediator who will help them to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. If the parties are able to reach an agreement during mediation, they can submit the agreement to the court for approval.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, the case will proceed to trial. At trial, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and testify. The judge will then make a final determination as to the outstanding issues in the divorce.
If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the trial, they have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.
Things to Consider
When facing a contested divorce, there are several things that you should consider:
The cost of the divorce: A contested divorce can be expensive, and it is important to understand the financial implications of the process.
The length of the divorce: A contested divorce can take several months or even years to resolve, and it is important to understand the time commitment that is required.
The impact on your children: If you have children, it is important to consider how the divorce will impact them and to make decisions that are in their best interests.
The impact on your finances: A divorce can have a significant impact on your finances, and it is important to understand the financial implications of the decisions that you make during the process.
Information to Share with Your Attorney
When you meet with your attorney to discuss your contested divorce, it is important to be prepared to share the following information:
- A detailed description of your marriage and the events leading up to the divorce
- A list of all assets and debts, including the value of each
- A list of any businesses or investments that you or your spouse have
- A list of all income sources, including your salary, your spouse’s salary, and any other sources of income
- A list of any children that you have and a description of their current living arrangements
- A list of any ongoing expenses, such as child support, alimony, or medical expenses
- Any other relevant information that you believe will help your attorney to understand your case.
A contested divorce can be a complex and emotional process. It is important to understand the process and to be prepared for the challenges that you may face. By working closely with your attorney and being prepared to share the information that is necessary to resolve your case, you can help to ensure that your divorce is resolved as smoothly and efficiently as possible.