If you are getting divorced in Georgia, you may have considered whether or not you will have to go to court. The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances of your case and whether or not your divorce is still being disputed. Many divorces are able to settle outside of court with the help of lawyers and signed agreements, but couples who are unable to agree on the division of assets or who have hotly debated property or custody disputes will likely want to go in front of a judge. In this post, our Winder, GA divorce lawyers explain exactly what you need to know about your requirements to attend court during divorce proceedings.
Contested Divorce in Georgia
If your divorce is contested, you will need to go to court. If you and your spouse cannot reach a full and final settlement on the terms of your marital separation, then a hearing will be necessary to make a determination on all issues that are still in dispute in your case. This is true whether you and your former partner still have disagreements over property division, alimony, child custody, or any other important family law issue. If you are involved in a contested divorce case, you should be represented by a skilled Georgia divorce attorney.
Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
If your divorce is uncontested, you will likely be able to avoid going to court. Under Georgia state law (O.C.G.A. § 19-5-10(a)) there are two ways to finalize an uncontested divorce:
- Through a final hearing (in court); and
- Through a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (out of court).
In determining which option will be used in your uncontested divorce case, there are several different factors that will need to be considered. To start, only a qualified Georgia family law attorney has the legal authority to submit a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. In other words, if you are not working with a divorce lawyer, then you will be required to go to court to finalize your divorce. In addition, your motion must be approved by the county court that is handling your case. There are some judges who are reluctant to approve this type of motion, especially if the divorce case involves issues of child custody. The judge may require a hearing in your case.
Still, it is possible that you and your partner can finalize your uncontested divorce without actually going to court. It is also possible that only one spouse will actually need to appear in court, or your Georgia divorce lawyer may be able to appear in court on your behalf. If you have specific questions regarding whether or not you should appear, it is highly recommended that you consult with a lawyer.
Contact Our Georgia Divorce Lawyers Today
At Mitchell & Crunk, our family law attorneys are standing by, ready to help you with your case. For a free, fully confidential consultation, please contact us today. With offices in Winder and Commerce, we represent clients throughout the region, including in Jackson County, Barrow County, Madison County, and Franklin County.