For most people, one of the goals when getting a divorce is to move through the process as quickly as possible. While there are certainly limited reasons one would want to prolong the process any longer than necessary, neither the speed of the process nor a desire to avoid conflict should be the driving force behind any (or at least not many) of the decisions you make along the way.
That said, it is understandable to want to know how long the process will take and knowing what you can expect during your divorce can help you prepare for the weeks (or months) to come. So, how long does it take to get a divorce in Georgia? Below is a brief introduction to some of the primary factors that come into play:
1. Georgia’s Waiting Period for Uncontested Divorces
At a minimum, it takes 31 days to get a divorce in Georgia. This is because Georgia, like several other states, has a “waiting period” for finalizing a divorce. As a result, even if you and your spouse agree on all issues and you jointly file for an uncontested divorce, you must still wait 31 days before filing a motion to ask the court to issue a Final Order and Decree of Divorce.
2. Court Processes and Procedures
As a practical matter, however, even if you follow the shortest possible timeline for getting divorced, the process will still take longer than 31 days because the courts are busy. It is likely that the judge assigned to your case will not be able to review your motion immediately, and due to practical constraints, most uncontested divorces typically take a minimum of between 31 and 60 days. If the judge schedules a hearing, this can extend the overall timeline as well.
3. Negotiating the Terms of Your Divorce
So far, we have been assuming that you and your spouse will be able to quickly come to terms on all of the issues involved in your divorce. However, due to competing interests, differences of opinion, and simple practicalities such as scheduling conflicts; it is not uncommon for spouses to require a few months or more to finalize the terms of their divorce. This is where it is important not to rush just to end the process quickly. The terms of your divorce will have long-term and far-reaching implications, so you need to make sure you give due consideration to all of the factors involved.
4. Divorce Litigation
If you and your spouse are unable to come to terms and your divorce ends up in litigation, depending upon the jurisdiction, the process could easily take a year or longer. Litigating is rarely in the best interests of either spouse but, when it is the only option available, both spouses should be prepared for a lengthy period of discord.
Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor | Georgia Divorce Lawyers
At Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor, we provide experienced legal representation for divorcing spouses in the greater Atlanta area. If you are wondering how long does it take to get a divorce or would like more information about the steps involved in obtaining a divorce in Georgia, we invite you to call (678) 971-3413 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.