In Georgia, the divorce statutes that sets forth the rules for an uncontested divorce states that the petitioner (the person asking for the divorce) must wait 31 days after the divorce complaint is filed with the court to then file a motion asking the court / judge to consider signing the Final Order and Decree of Divorce. The Final Order and Decree of Divorce is the document issued by the court which grants the divorce will incorporate (include by reference) the terms and language of the parties’ Divorce Settlement Agreement. If minor children are involved, the Final Order and Decree of Divorce will also usually include by reference the Child Support Worksheet, Child Support Addendum and Parenting Plan.
Therefore, the earliest date after an uncontested divorce is filed that the court can grant a Final Decree of Divorce is 31 days. However, it usually it will take longer than 31 days. This is because only after the 31 days have passed, will the clerk of court submit the divorce file to the judge’s assistant to review. Once the judge’s assistant has reviewed the file for completeness, then the assistant will give your divorce case to the judge for their review.
Usually, after the judge has reviewed your uncontested divorce case, the judge will then approve your petition for divorce and sign the Final Order and Decree of Divorce – or issue their own order of divorce. The order will usually be mailed back to our office and/or directly to you. While it usually takes more than 31 days to get an uncontested divorce in most Georgia courts, it has been our experience that most cases are finalized within 60 days without a court hearing.
There are exceptions to this fast turnaround for an uncontested divorce without a hearing. For example, if your case deviates from the standards the court have set forth for uncontested divorces in any way the judge assigned to your case may require a hearing in your case. Some courts and judges require hearings on all cases – no matter how simple the cases may be. So if a hearing is required in your case, while the hearing may only last ten minutes, the hearing may not be scheduled for 30 days or more in the future. This delay in your case while minor, will be unavoidable and cannot usually be predicted.
Also, you have to consider each court and their potential backlog of cases the court may have when your case is filed. Some counties seem to grant uncontested divorce orders faster than others. However, it has been our experience that over the past ten years that all counties have steadily made the process faster in most cases. But during certain times of the year or for an endless variety of reasons, the court may take longer to process your case than normal for no apparent reason.
However, you can be assured that we will work diligently to speed the process along as much as possible.
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