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How does divorce work?

Ending one's marriage may seem simple and complex all at the same time. How exactly does divorce work? The answer to that question may be different for every divorcing couple in Georgia.

No matter how a divorce is ultimately completed, it has to start with the official filing of the dissolution complaint. One spouse, with the help of legal counsel, prepares and files a divorce petition in court. The complaint is formally served upon the other party. Simple and straightforward.

After the petition is served, the court grants the served party so many days to respond -- typically about a month. From there, the couple has to decide how they are going to set the terms of their divorce. There are three basic ways to do this, the first is through private negotiations -- again with the assistance of each party's legal representative. The second is through some form of alternative dispute resolution -- such as mediation. The third is through trial.

Figuring out property division, alimony, child support and child custody is where things get complicated for most couples. Some are able to figure things out with only a few disputes, while others end up fighting this out in court or going through months or years of negotiations. There is no saying how long one particular divorce will take until the process gets started.

At the end of the day, divorcing couples in Georgia who are able to communicate and negotiate can get through the dissolution process relatively swiftly and smoothly. In such cases, going to court may not be necessary. Whereas, taking a divorce to trial can be a bit more complex. Regardless of how one's dissolution of marriage is ultimately handled, with legal counsel at one's side it is possible to achieve fair and balanced settlement terms.

Source: FindLaw, "A Divorce Timeline", Accessed on Sept. 4, 2017

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