Uncontested Divorce

The purpose of this page is to dispel the myth that there is a one-size-fits-all stack of forms in Georgia that can get people divorced. More and more residents here are trying to go without a lawyer and save money, regardless of how much money they spent on the wedding. Many people put the wrong information in the wrong forms and file them the wrong way in the wrong court. For starters, a divorce is not just one legal issue but several different issues that have to be analyzed separately and have different jurisdictional rules.

Divorce issues

  1. Marital dissolution
  2. Alimony (and attorney's fees)
  3. Equitable division of property and debt
  4. Child support
  5. Child custody
  6. Other civil issues affected by the divorce

Jurisdictional issues

  1. Jurisdiction over the marital res (rules over where someone must live in order to get divorced in a Georgia court)
  2. Personal jurisdiction (whether the court has the power to order someone to do something or issue a judgment against that person)
  3. In rem jurisdiction (whether the court has the power over property in order to affect it by a judgment)
  4. Child custody jurisdiction (a complex series of rules that many lawyers and judges do not understand)
Yes, with different rules over jurisdiction, it is common to have scenarios where you have to file a custody case in Georgia but a child support case in another state, or a divorce case in Georgia where you cannot ask for child custody without filing in a different state, etc. This depends on whether you have moved into or out of Georgia, in which state your spouse lives, in which state your kids live in, etc.

I have not even gotten around to talking about how to choose the county where you case has to be filed, assuming that you determined whether Georgia even has jurisdiction over what you are trying to do.

So stop complaining that the clerk's office cannot tell you how to fill out the forms (because that would be illegal) and hire a lawyer. Divorce is always legally complicated, even if you have no children and your needs are simple.