Divorce in Douglas County, Georgia
The laws regarding divorce throughout the state of Georgia vary by county. It’s important to ensure that you know the laws and procedures for the county in which you will be filing for a divorce. If you do not follow the legal guidelines your divorce may be delayed or there could be issues arise.
Quick Facts for Filing for Divorce in Douglas County:
- Divorces in Douglas County must be filed in the Superior Court.
- Divorces are either contested (you have disagreements), uncontested (you have signed a Settled Agreement), or by Publication (you have made every attempt to locate your spouse and have been unsuccessful).
- In Douglas County, different paperwork needs to be filed depending on whether or not you have minor children. The packets can be obtained online through Southern Judicial Circuit. The Superior Court also offers the Petition for Divorce
- The divorce packet needs to be completed and submitted, along with the filing fee. The most recent filing fee for a divorce in Douglas County is $210. There is also a $50 sheriff service fee if papers need to be served.
- You are able to legally remarry after the court has issued a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.
- When filing for a divorce in Douglas County, you have two options. You can complete and file the paperwork yourself, or you can hire an attorney who will complete the paperwork and file it on your behalf, and provide you with representation.
When filing the paperwork for divorce in Douglas County, you must fill out every section accurately. The forms you will need to start the divorce include:
- Petition for Divorce
- Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit
- Domestic Relations Case Filing Information Form
- Sheriff’s Entry of Service or acknowledgement of service
- Standing Order
There are additional forms that may be necessary, depending on your personal situation. These include:
- Notice of Lis Pendens
- Rule Nisi
- Affidavit of Poverty and Order of Poverty
- Child Support Worksheet
Douglas County Divorce with Minor Children
Douglas County requires that all parents who are divorcing that have minor children attend the Divorcing Parents Seminar. This four-hour seminar informs parents about the impact that divorce has on children, covering numerous topics, and offering tips and information on how they can successfully co-parent and reduce stress during the divorce process. Topics discussed include the divorce process, helping your children, and how to get help. The fee for the seminar is $35 per person and you must pre-register.
In Douglas County attendance to mediation is usually mandatory for contested divorce cases. The purpose of mediation is to provide a third party who can help facilitate discussions that can be used to help with conflict resolutions. The mediator does not have the ability to make decisions or impose sanctions, but is there only to help facilitate the discussion process. Mediation is confidential and typically takes 2-3 hours.
When there are minor children involved, the court will make the final decision as to where the child will reside, visitation, child support, etc. A parenting plan will need to be submitted with your Final Judgment. Assets that are acquired during the duration of the marriage are typically split, with the court making the decision and issuing the final decree.
The Judicial Court of Georgia offers a child support commission website. This site offers an online child support calculator, which may be helpful for those who are divorcing and have minor children.
Should you hire an attorney?
Whether or not you hire an attorney to assist with filing for your divorce is a personal choice. However, it is important to note that completing the necessary forms to file may be complicated for some people. There are also some who may be ideal candidates to have an attorney file on their behalf and represent them. These cases include those with minor children, assets that were gained during the course of the marriage, if there are disputes, or if there are other uncommon circumstances that need to be addressed or resolved.
If you have specific legal questions regarding your divorce in Douglas County you should consult with an attorney who can review the facts of your case in detail and then present you with your best options. If you cannot afford an attorney and feel you need legal assistance, you may find one that takes payment plans, credit cards, or you may find a pro bono (free of charge) attorney by contacting Georgia Legal Aid.