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What Happens in a Divorce in Georgia?

by Meriwether & Tharp LLP

While we spend a lot of time in our blog talking about various divorce sub-topics in Georgia, most people coming into our office at the very beginning just want to know basically what is happens in a divorce in Georgia. While I think everyone know the obvious fact that a divorce ends a marriage, some of the major components are not as obvious.

From a big picture legal point of view, a divorce involves a division of marital assets and, when appropriate, an award of alimony. When children are involved, a divorce also resolves how custody and visitation with the children will be handled as well as determines the amount of child support that must be paid. While each of these issues can be fairly complex, a divorce really is as simple as making these basic determinations.

Procedurally, a divorce starts with the filing of a complaint which is then served upon the other spouse. From there, the spouse that was served with the notice of the lawsuit has thirty (30) days to file an answer (and possibly counterclaims). Once the answer is filed, the parties begin what is generally known as the discovery period where each party has the ability to ask written and oral questions to the other spouse (as well as third parties) about information related to the divorce action. Also, the discovery period allows each spouse to request that various documents be copied and turned over for their review.

At the conclusion of the discovery process, the Court generally entertains any motions by the parties and sets the case up for a final trial (either with or without a jury). Once the final trial occurs, the court then makes a final ruling addressing each of the legal points discussed above. Of course, at any point along the way, the parties are free to try and decide any or all of the issues themselves and there are various alternative dispute resolution mechanism in place to help the parties amicably resolve their differences.

The law firm of Meriwether & Tharp was established in 1998 in Norcross, Georgia by partners Patrick L. Meriwether and Robert L. Tharp. In 2000, the offices were relocated from Norcross to Alpharetta, Georgia and the firm began expanding its professional staff and focusing its practice on family and business law matters, including divorce, contempt, and modification actions. At Meriwether & Tharp our experienced family law attorneys recognize that domestic troubles can be emotionally and financially taxing. Our lawyers provide personal, individualized legal services, covering the full spectrum of family law issues.

They can be contacted by phone at (678) 879-9000 or
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