Things to Do before You File for Divorce in Georgia

If you’re getting divorced, it’s helpful to do some planning beforehand. The more you understand and prepare for the process, the easier it will be – though we at Hello Divorce understand that divorce is never easy.

Preparing to file for divorce in Georgia

Here are some very important things to think about and do as you get ready to go through your divorce in Georgia.

Suggested: Everything You Need to Know before Getting Divorced in Georgia

Evaluate your situation


Money is a top concern for divorcing people. You may be concerned about having enough money to cover the divorce as well as your living expenses and other bills. You may be concerned about getting a fair split of your money and other assets with your soon-to-be ex.

Working with a financial advisor can be helpful at this point. Specifically, a specialist known as a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) can help you understand your options regarding the division of your property, spousal and child support, retirement planning, and more.


For many people, their finances and their career go hand-in-hand. Ideally, you would have a career that provides you with the funds to pay for your divorce and feel secure in the days, months, and years after your divorce. You would also have a job that allows you to take time off as needed for appointments and any court dates related to your divorce.

Of course, not everyone is in such a position. Still, it’s helpful to evaluate how your career and your divorce will intersect so you can do your best to prepare for the events to come.

Living arrangements

Divorcing couples do various things with their marital home after divorce. Some sell it and split the profits. Some buy out their spouse’s half of the property. Some agree to put off selling the home until the kids leave home. And some parents engage in nesting, in which the kids stay put and the parents rotate between the family home and another place, such as an apartment.

Figure out where you will live during your divorce proceedings as well as after your divorce has been finalized. Some couples continue living together to save money for their future solo lives. Others cannot fathom doing that.

Whatever your situation is, try to troubleshoot it. Come up with a plan that helps you (and your kids, if you have them) feel secure in the coming months.

Learn Georgia’s residency requirements

For a Georgia court to preside over your divorce, one member of your couple must meet the Georgia residency requirement. Specifically, one person must have been living in Georgia for at least six months before the divorce petition was filed.

Gather your financial information

Financial disclosures are typically required of divorcing couples in the U.S. It looks a little different in each state, but basically, spouses share in-depth financial information so that, when it comes time to split assets, everyone has a clear picture of what is on the table for splitting.

In Georgia, financial disclosures may be waived if you and your spouse get an uncontested divorce. However, it is still a good idea to share this information with one another so there is no doubt as to what each of you owns.

Income sources

For planning purposes, you know you need a clear picture of your finances before you get divorced. Identify all income sources (not just your paychecks). For example, you may also be taking in money through a pension, a rental property, an investment, or a side job. 


It’s helpful to have an itemized list of your expenses as you prepare for divorce, as you may be required to disclose monthly premiums on various divorce forms. 

In addition, it is helpful to know what you are spending now so you can more easily create a post-divorce budget for the months and years ahead.

Joint funds

It’s a good idea to understand which of your funds are jointly held as a married couple and how much money (or debt) is in each of them. 

For example, do you share a checking account? Savings account? Retirement account? Credit card debt? It’s a good idea to have figures for all of these accounts before your divorce proceedings start.


Although financial disclosures are not always mandatory in Georgia, they are often required. In either case, financial transparency is important. The reason for this is twofold. First, having a clear understanding of one another’s finances allows you (or your mediator, or your lawyers, or your judge) to fairly divide your assets between you.

Second, a shared goal of transparency discourages the hiding of assets. Unfortunately, some spouses try to hide their assets before divorce so they do not have to give them up. But doing this is dishonest and could result in a penalty from the court.

Assess your immediate needs

Your immediate needs after divorce are your living basics. Where will you live? How will you pay your bills and buy your groceries? Will you have a vehicle or other means of transportation for yourself and any children you have?

If one spouse is in danger of not having their basic needs met because of the divorce, there is a solution: you could file an order for temporary support or custody. This is an order from the court that goes into action before your divorce proceedings. The order may disappear or change after the proceedings; it is designed to protect your immediate needs.

If you foresee the need for temporary orders from the court, it is your responsibility to file for them with your local court.

Craft a divorce strategy

Your divorce strategy is your general manner of approaching divorce. Several components make a good divorce strategy. 

First, think of any basic ground rules for yourself and your spouse at this time. For example, you might agree to discuss divorce matters only in public or only out of earshot of your children. You might agree not to raise your voices, and if tempers begin to flare, you might agree to table the discussion until the next day.

You will want to decide whether you are filing for a no-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce (the latter of which would require fault grounds). If your divorce is uncontested, you will also need to decide whether you want to waive financial disclosures or proceed with them anyway.

Suggested: This Is Why You Need a Strategy for Your Divorce

Consider mediation

You might decide that you and your spouse want to work with a mediator to craft your divorce settlement. A mediator is a trained neutral professional who helps you and your spouse iron out the details of your divorce agreement. 

With this third party helping you make big decisions, the process can be a lot easier and more successful, provided you are both willing to participate in the give-and-take of negotiation.

At Hello Divorce, we offer a la carte mediation services. You can work with our mediators over the phone or via an internet connection. You can meet in the same room with your spouse or in separate rooms. If you choose, you can meet individually with your mediator and have them act as a go-between for yourself and your soon-to-be ex.

Georgia is an equitable distribution state. Read more about what this means here.


Legal Information: Georgia.
Self-Help Resources. Judicial Council of Georgia 
Georgia Divorce Videos and Forms. Judicial Council of Georgia.
Senior Editor
Communication, Relationships, Divorce Insights
Melissa Schmitz is Senior Editor at Hello Divorce, and her greatest delight is to help make others’ lives easier – especially when they’re in the middle of a stressful life transition like divorce. After 15 years as a full-time school music teacher, she traded in her piano for a laptop and has been happily writing and editing content for the last decade. She earned her Bachelor of Psychology degree from Alma College and her teaching certificate from Michigan State University. She still plays and sings for fun at farmer’s markets, retirement homes, and the occasional bar with her local Michigan band.