Uncontested Divorce in Georgia

Divorce can be tough, but some divorce situations are easier than others. For example, if you file for an uncontested divorce, you are less likely to have to hire a divorce lawyer and go through multiple hearings in court.

The question is, are you eligible for an uncontested divorce in Georgia? Let’s take a look at the specifics.

How to know if you can file for uncontested divorce in Georgia

Agreement on settlement issues

To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on all aspects of a proposed marital settlement agreement. This includes big issues like who will get your marital home, how your assets and debts will be divided between you, whether any type of support will be paid post-divorce, and who will have custody of any shared children.

Many couples either qualify for an uncontested divorce or feel they would have a “mostly uncontested” divorce. If you agree with your spouse on many but not all issues related to a settlement, you may be able to negotiate and resolve any disagreements before you get divorced. If you do, you can still get an uncontested divorce – and this is a lot less expensive and complicated than a contested divorce.

Residency requirements

To have a Georgia court oversee your divorce, you must first satisfy a residency requirement. For the six months prior to your filing, one of you must have lived in the state as a resident. 

Separation requirement

Unlike some states, there is no separation requirement to fulfill before getting divorced in Georgia.

In fact, the state does not recognize legal separation at all, at least not by that name. However, you could decide to live apart from your spouse and legalize the action by filing for something called separate maintenance. Your separate maintenance order, processed and approved by the court, would specify issues such as child support, child custody, and spousal support.

Who is the Plaintiff? Who is the Defendant?

In Georgia, the person who initiates the divorce is referred to as the Plaintiff. In some other states, a person in that same position might be called the petitioner.

The other spouse is the Defendant. In other states, they might be called the respondent. This person receives divorce paperwork through a service of process and has an opportunity to respond to the divorce petition.

What are the grounds for divorce in Georgia?

In Georgia, you can elect to have a no-fault divorce where the only formal grounds behind your action is an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. In other words, you are not required to assign blame to one person, nor are you required to specify any actions that led to your decision to part ways.

However, you can cite a fault ground as the reason for your divorce if you want to. The fault-based grounds for divorce in Georgia include cruelty, adultery, impotence, fraud, conviction of a crime, and substance abuse. If one spouse becomes pregnant with another person’s child, that could also be used as a fault-based grounds for divorce in Georgia.

Some states are purely no-fault states. In those states, you cannot file for divorce citing fault-based grounds. Georgia is not one of those states. For a clarifying list, click here.

How should you start?


Before you and your spouse can get an uncontested divorce, you will need to negotiate with each other. For example, you both might want to keep the house. How do you decide who gets it? Negotiation. The same holds true for all other issues related to your split.

Read: What Are Divorce Negotiations?


As mentioned, you may be able to get an uncontested divorce even if you don’t agree on everything yet. Negotiation is a flexible interaction between two people that involves give and take. If you want professional help with your negotiation, consider hiring a neutral mediator who will facilitate fair discussions between you.

Hiring lawyers

If you’re getting divorced, you may wonder if you have to hire a divorce lawyer. Maybe not. If your divorce is uncontested, you can complete the divorce process without legal representation.

That said, it can be comforting to have a lawyer available to talk to if you need advice. That is why we offer legal coaching at Hello Divorce. You can purchase 30 minutes, an hour, or several hours with a divorce attorney to get professional advice on your situation. Read about our service here.

What does the uncontested divorce process look like in Georgia?

1. File a complaint

If you are the Plaintiff, you will need to fill out paperwork and file it with the court. The required paperwork includes a Complaint for Divorce. Click on the form below that applies to you to see an example:

There is space in the complaint to specify the details of your desired settlement agreement. For example, you will be prompted to fill in details about child custody and support (if you have kids), alimony, and what shall happen to your marital property (home, vehicles, bank accounts, etc.).

If you and your spouse agree on everything, you can fill out the document together to make sure your proposed settlement represents both spouse’s wishes.

2. File your complaint with the court

Your divorce complaint should be filed with the Superior Court clerk in your chosen county. You can file where you or your spouse lives as long as one of you meets the Georgia residency requirement.

Other forms may be required as well. Click here for a map of Georgia’s Superior Court clerk locations so you know where to file. Find and click on your filing county on the map. Contact your Superior Court to learn of any other filing requirements.

3. Serve your divorce papers

Even if your spouse knows about your plans for divorce, you must either have divorce paperwork formally served upon them or have them sign an Acknowledgment of Service. This is done so the court has an official record of your actions and so your spouse cannot later claim that they were not informed of the divorce proceedings. 

If you are having your spouse served, you can hire a sheriff or a professional process server to do it.

What about financial disclosures? If your divorce is uncontested in Georgia, you do not have to share financial information if you both agree not to. If your divorce is contested, however, you would need to disclose all of your finances to your spouse so a fair settlement can be reached with a judge’s help.

4. Wait 30 days

After your spouse has been served, even if the divorce is uncontested, you must give them 30 days to file a counterpetition. They could file this document if they disagree with your proposed settlement or change their mind about anything they have already agreed to. If they do this, the divorce is no longer uncontested.

5. Finalize the divorce

Assuming your spouse is still on board with the uncontested divorce, a final Judgment and Decree of Divorce will be prepared, signed, and filed with the court.

How long does it take?

As mentioned, you must wait at least 30 days after the Defendant is served with divorce papers. This gives them a chance to change their mind and respond formally if they want to. After that, your divorce may be granted, though the precise timeline depends on the court’s schedule.


Legal Information: Georgia.
File for Divorce.
Superior Court Clerks Directory.
Divorce Forms in Georgia: General Information.
Divorce forms. Georgia Legal Aid.
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.