If you are considering a divorce, it is important you seek legal council. Often, a divorce attorney can help you navigate complex areas of the process and insure your future wellbeing. By the time you have made the decision to get a divorce, the marriage has ended, and all that remains is to take care of the legal ties.
Ending the legal ties often includes dividing up any property from the marriage or just identifying the separate property of the parties. If there are children of the parties, typically custody, child support, and visitation, will be set out in the divorce paperwork making it easier on everyone involved – including the children.
Clearly spelling out who is to do what, when, and under what terms and conditions, eases the normal stress of a divorce, leaving less to be ‘argued’ over.
The majority of divorces are granted by agreement of both spouses. That means that for the majority of spouses, they have reached an agreement about how they want the affairs of their divorce settled and rather than needing or wanting someone to ‘tell’ them what they ‘ought’ to do; what they really want is someone to simply do the paperwork – according to the way they have decided to settle their divorce, and give them the procedural information they need to process their divorce without hiring a lawyer. That is exactly what we do. You make the decisions – We Do the Paperwork; and provide the procedural information to ‘walk’ you through the process from filing the initial paperwork to walking out of the courthouse a newly divorced single person.
Divorce is no “walk in the park”. However, when two parties cannot reach an agreement about how to peacefully resolve a marriage, it becomes decidedly more stressful. This inability to agree on the terms of one’s divorce is known as a Contested Divorce. A divorce’s “terms” are such issues as how the marital property will be divided, who will get custody of any children of the marriage, or how the spouses will repay any debts accrued during the marriage. It is often rare to find oneself in a truly uncontested divorce considering the various “terms” that may be subject to dispute are almost limitless. These terms may include but are not limited to:
Visitation/ Parenting plans
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Division of Property
The emotional tensions involved in a contested divorce can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the spouses to deal objectively with the many issues they must resolve. That is why many people choose to hire an attorney well-versed in Georgia divorce laws to handle their case. The professionals at The Moore Law Firm LLC of Griffin, Georgia, will work diligently to protect your interests – and the interests of your children – during this difficult time.
Mediation is a formal meeting where a Georgia licensed mediator functions as an impartial neutral. A mediator does not favor either party involved in the dispute, their purpose is simply to act as a voice of reason. The Parties present at mediation are both spouses, each spouses attorney, and the mediator. Through the process of mediation, parties may be able to reach an agreement regarding the terms of divorce without having to settle in court.
The Moore Law Firm understands the importance of reaching an agreement as swiftly and painlessly as possible. Contact us immediately to discuss your divorce and which methods would be most beneficial to you and your family’s particular needs. Our phone number is (770)584-0911or simply send us an email from the “Contact Us” portion of our website.
One of the spouses must have been a resident of Georgia for at least 6 months immediately before filing for divorce. As long as one of the spouses has met the residency requirement for filing a divorce in Georgia, either spouse may file in Georgia.
Any of the following 13 grounds may be used for divorce in Georgia, although No-fault irretrievably broken marriage is by far the overwhelming grounds used for divorce:
No-fault: irretrievably broken marriage
Intermarriage between related persons
Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
Impotency at the time of the marriage
Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage
Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than her husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband
Willful and continued desertion of either of the parties for the term of one year
Conviction of certain crimes and imprisonment for two or more years
Cruel treatment, either bodily or mental
Incurable mental illness
Habitual drug addiction
If the ‘defendant’ (the non-filing spouse) still lives in Georgia, divorce is filed in the Defendant’s county. If the defendant spouse does not live in Georgia, and has not been living in another state for more than a year, a divorce may be filed in the Georgia County where the couple lived as husband and wife.
Georgia has a 30 day waiting period from the date the respondent spouse is officially ‘served’ the divorce papers, or the date the respondent signs an acknowledgment of service avoiding the requirement of formal service.
Unless the respondent spouse signs an acknowledgment of service, (agreed divorce), he or she is entitled to legal ‘service’ i.e. notice that a divorce has been filed. Personal service may be by either a Sheriff or other person appointed by the court to make legal service. The Sheriff or process server actually hands the divorce papers to the respondent and completes a return of service stating that they did in fact personally deliver the divorce papers to the respondent. The Return of Service is then filed with the clerk as proof that the respondent was duly served. The respondent is not required to sign anything when they are served with divorce papers. They are entitled to notice. They are not required to sign anything or give their consent to a divorce. (See the section below for service of a ‘missing’ spouse).
If the filing spouse has made a ‘good faith effort’ to locate the missing spouse, and can swear under oath and penalty of perjury that they do not know the current whereabouts of the respondent and have made an effort to locate them, the missing respondent can be ‘served’ by publication of a notice in a local newspaper.
Each county in Georgia sets its own fees for filing legal documents. The filing fee for divorce is generally in the range of $65. If service is made to the respondent by a sheriff or process server, there is an additional fee for service of approximately $25. You can call the clerk at the courthouse and find out the exact fees for that county.
In an agreed divorce, one spouse files the papers at the local court house and gives the other spouse a copy of the filed divorce papers. That spouse then signs a waiver of official service of citation which basically acknowledges that they have received a copy of the divorce papers and that the divorce may proceed without them having to do anything else or even having to appear at the final divorce hearing.
In a default divorce, only one spouse (the one filing the divorce) is required to sign anything. One spouse files the divorce papers. The other spouse is then notified by being delivered a copy of the divorce papers by the Sheriff, Constable or other authorized process server, (and in some states by certified mail). The spouse being “served” with the divorce papers is not required to sign anything. All that is required is proof that they were notified – not their consent. You cannot force someone to stay married to you.
If you don’t know where your spouse can be found to be ‘served’ (notified), and you have made a good faith effort to locate them, you can still get your divorce. Missing spouses can be ‘notified’ by:
You pay the same filing fees and court costs that lawyers pay. The exact amount will vary from county to county, but will be in the range of $65.
The Durable Power of Attorney allows an individual (the “grantor”) to authorize someone else to act on the grantor’s behalf. It is considered “durable” because the authorization remains in force even if the grantor later becomes disabled.
The Durable Power of Attorney is created by an individual (the “grantor”) to authorize someone to act on the grantor’s behalf even if the grantor later becomes disabled.
A power of attorney is a special kind of document that creates an agency relationship between the individual grantor and a person appointed to act on the grantor’s behalf. The person appointed becomes the agent of the grantor, and is sometimes called the “attorney” or the “attorney-in-fact.” “Attorney” as used here does not mean a lawyer. Almost anyone can act as an attorney under a power of attorney.
Historically, common law provided that the authority granted in a power of attorney terminated automatically if the grantor died or became incapacitated. The law in all states now permits a person to grant “durable powers”, which remain in effect even following the grantor’s legal disability.
However, not all states permit durable powers for all of the same purposes. As of June 1994, 26 states have enacted the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. The LegalPoint Durable Power of Attorney is modeled on the form included in the Uniform Act, and should be valid in those 26 states (which are listed at the end of this discussion). Of the remaining 24 states, all of them recognize durable powers, but some only authorize limited durable powers. For example, some states place limits on durable powers for making health care decisions. Also, not every state has passed statues on durable powers. In those states, there may still be restrictions and rules, based on court decisions in durable power cases.
1) You may choose to make this Durable Power of Attorney effective immediately upon your signature, or choose to make it effective only if you later become disabled.
2) You may designate whether your attorney may be compensated for his or her services.
You may also want to compare this Durable Power of Attorney to the LegalPoint General Power of Attorney form. The General Power of Attorney provides only a single broad grant of authority. The Durable Power of Attorney makes a general grant of authority, and follows it with specific grants of authority. This helps to avoid arguments between the grantor and the attorney, or the attorney and third parties, that a power was not genuinely granted. The courts will generally construe the specific grants as confirming the general grant of authority, rather than limiting it.