The decision to end a marriage often creates uncertainty. Understanding the next steps can help you feel more secure as you move forward. 

These are the answers to a few common questions about Georgia divorce. 

How do I file for divorce in Georgia? 

If either you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months, you should file at the Superior Court in the county where you live. You do not need to be living apart from your spouse to seek a divorce, but you must attest that you consider yourself separated even if residing in the same home. 

When filing for divorce in Georgia, you can request either a fault or no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the spouses agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” With a fault divorce, one spouse’s actions, such as desertion or adultery, caused the end of the marriage. Your divorce petition should detail why you want a divorce and provide information about how you want to divide shared debts and assets, your preferred custody arrangement for minor children and the current living situation. 

What happens after I file? 

The county sheriff will serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork or you can give your spouse the paperwork if he or she signs for receipt before a notary. After receiving the petition, your spouse can submit a legal response within 30 days. When he or she agrees with the statements in the divorce petition, the court can grant you an uncontested divorce on day 31. Without a consensus on issues like child custody and property division, the court will decide in a hearing. 

Will I receive alimony? 

Georgia law recognizes several types of spousal support, sometimes called alimony. These payments can be temporary or permanent depending on the length of the marriage, both parties’ financial situations, whether the lower-earning spouse can pursue job training to become financially independent, and other factors. Either party can request alimony in the divorce petition, but Georgia will not grant spousal support when an individual’s adultery ended the marriage. 

Prepare to file for divorce by gathering important financial documents and other required information. Doing so can streamline this sometimes complex legal process.