Divorce is never easy. Not only is it extremely emotionally difficult and complex, it can also be very expensive. The price of a divorce usually depends both on the complexity of a couple’s financial and family situation and how much disagreement there is between the parties. For couples who agree on the particulars of their divorce, filing for an uncontested divorce can be a great option. A Georgia family law attorney usually will provide assistance with an uncontested divorce for a reasonable flat fee rate. On the other hand, contested divorces are usually billed on an hourly basis and usually result in being much more expensive.
What Must Be Agreed Upon?
Just like in any divorce action, the same elements must be resolved. For couples without children, this includes alimony, debt, and asset division. These two areas broadly come down to money — who gets what and who gets paid. For couples with children, child custody, visitation, and child support also must be decided. In an uncontested divorce, all of these issues can be agreed upon by each spouse and submitted to the judge for approval. Uncontested divorce is a much more affordable option for divorce because it usually does not require hearings, argument, testimony, and evidence to determine the outcome of all of these issues.
What Documents are Needed to File for an Uncontested Divorce?
In any divorce in Georgia, one party must file a complaint alleging the proper grounds for divorce. To make things easier the respondent usually waives service of process and his or her right to trial on the matter. The next essential document is the settlement agreement. This is a contract, usually drawn up by one of the parties’ attorneys, that lays out the agreement over alimony, property division, and debts.
For couples with children, issues of child custody, child support, and visitation must be addressed and agreed to by both parties. These issues should also be included in any settlement agreement. In addition to including these issues in the settlement agreement, the court also requires that the parties complete a child support worksheet, parenting plan, and sometimes other associated documents.
Can You Put Anything You Want in a Settlement Agreement?
The short answer is yes. As described above, you can include terms of child support and visitation, asset division, alimony, and anything else related to the ending of the marriage. However, for the settlement agreement to be enforced by the court, the judge in the case must approve it and incorporate it into the final decree. If the agreement appears to be fundamentally unfair or problematic in some other way, the judge may choose to incorporate only part of the agreement or reject the agreement altogether.
For couples who want to be divorced and can agree on the terms of the divorce, seeking an uncontested is a financially sound option. While parties can represent themselves, it crucial that you hire a Georgia family law attorney who can explain your options to you and make sure you file all the appropriate paperwork correctly. Call us today for a free consultation!