I’m DONE!!! When will my divorce be final?

I’ve been practicing divorce law for 30 years and have not met any couple that did not make a hard effort to make their marriage work. When enough is enough, however, you want the process to be quick and clean to start your new life.

There are two tracks you can go through in a divorce proceeding. The first is an uncontested divorce. Typically, the attorney prepares documents necessary for the divorce, has the parties sign these documents in front of a notary public, files the papers with the Superior Court and waits 31 days to request a final divorce. The typical legal papers required would be a Complaint for Divorce, Acknowledgement of Service (the same as being served by a sheriff), Consent to Try in 31 days, and an Agreement detailing how you resolved your divorce issues. If there are children, there is a Parenting Plan and a Child Support Addendum, which details how you got to your child support figure. If you are dividing financial assets such as 401k’s, there may be an order directing the company to divide the asset.

In Coweta County you are required to attend a parenting seminary. Here is the link. https://www.coweta.ga.us/government/courts/superior-court-clerk/court-services-division/parenting-classes

This is not required in Fayette County.

If you do not have an agreement on any issue, then your divorce is considered contested. In a contested divorce one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce and serves the other party. That party has 30 days to file an answer and a counterclaim also asking for a divorce. Typically, once an answer is filed a mediation is arranged so that all parties may meet to discuss a fair resolution. If one is reached, then the documents listed above are prepared and submitted to the Court. In all cases 31 days is the minimum amount of time from filing to a Final Decree being granted.

If you are unable to reach an agreement, each side has six (6) months to seek discovery, which are documents and other evidence you need to present your case. A contested divorce can be resolve in as little as 31 days, but more typically resolves within six (6) months. If the issues are complex, a divorce can easily take more that a year. A good estimate for a fairly contested divorce varies from six (6) months to a year.