7 Different Types of Divorce in Georgia


Divorce, as we know it on dramatized TV and in the news with celebrity couples, isn’t exactly the way it is with most Georgia divorces. Divorces today typically take place behind the scenes, and though sometimes intense and complex, they often result in a fair settlement between the two parties when it comes to property, children, and other monetary compensation. What many people don’t know is that when they are going through a divorce in Georgia, there are actually 7 types of divorce you and your partner may experience or plan, sometimes more than one if one doesn’t work. Each is based on your individual circumstances and each of them potentially requiring an experienced Divorce Attorney.

1. Fault vs. No Fault Divorce

In previous generations, “fault” in a divorce related to the reason why a couple was breaking up, which usually came down to mental illness, abuse, or imprisonment, among other things. Today, most divorces that take place in Commerce are considered “no fault”, meaning that both partners may decide to legally split without having an underlying cause. Some people may still claim fault if abuse or adultery is still present, but there are other legal matters outside of divorce which this also entails.

2. Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Many divorces are considered “contested” if both parties (including their legal representation) are unable to agree on matters of property division, child custody, or even the decision to be divorced. It is usually desired by most people to avoid a contested divorce as much as possible, as these divorces generally go to the courts with a judge for 4 to 8 hours to hear arguments and evidence from each side to then decide to divide assets and determine the outcomes, outcomes which can be less favorable than when both parties are able to reach agreements.

3. Arbitration

Arbitration is a decision a couple may choose when going through a divorce to stay out of the court. An arbiter listens to both sides and helps them compromise on different aspects of their affairs. After the proceedings, the arbiter acts as a judge for the divorce and reaches a determination of how custody, alimony, and possession division will work after the divorce is finalized.

4. Mediation

Mediation is much like arbitration in that there is a 3rd party mediator who listens to both sides and tries to get them to agree as to stay out of court. The difference is that a mediator is not able to make any final decisions about the divorce. Instead, a plan is drafted and delivered to a judge who then uses the agreement to determine what will happen after the divorce.

5. Summary Divorce

These types of divorce are a little less common but still happen when couples are lacking a fair amount of assets or children or who were not married for very long. This type of divorce is streamlined much like an Uncontested Divorce, meaning it occurs very quickly and usually with very little paperwork beyond a few signatures.

6. Default Divorce

When one spouse petitions for a divorce alone, the other will be served divorce paperwork that they are obliged to answer to. If the other spouse is unwilling or declines to file an answer in the given time, though it prolongs the process, the divorce will still end up in court where a judge will end the divorce by default, even without the other spouse’s consent. This is the same situation if the spouse is simply not around to sign the papers.

7. Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce is where divorce where a couple doesn’t have to bring the court into the picture at all, as they are willing to solve their differences and make agreements about their separation without needing to go through the legal process. The difference between this and arbitration or mediation is that no 3rd party is involved. It is usually done one-on-one with lawyers present, but if no conclusion can be resolved, another type of divorce will need to be pursued.

What a Lawyer Has to Do With It

The important thing to know is that when it comes to your divorce in Commerce, you have options to make it through. Whether you are for or against the decision, the type of divorce you and your spouse agree upon will have legal repercussions, which is why it is crucial to consult us as your Commerce divorce lawyers. You want legal representation when you are going through a fault or non-fault divorce to protect your rights and ensure your property isn’t unfairly distributed. You want a divorce lawyer in a contested divorce to act on your behalf so emotions don’t play into the situation. It is important in arbitration, mediation, or collaborative divorces to hire representation to make sure children, property, and other important, life-altering decisions are handled within the law, yielding you the best result for your case not just for the short term, but long term also.

Contact Our Offices in Winder, GA or Commerce, GA Today

A divorce attorney will make a huge difference in your divorce, whether it is determining which type of divorce to pursue, filing the appropriate paperwork, or planning and counseling with you to achieve the best outcomes for your situations. If you are worried about your children and custody rights, division of property, or which divorce is best for your situation, don’t hesitate to Contact Mitchell & Crunk today.

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