A contested divorce is one of the most challenging events a person can experience. From dividing assets to fighting in court for custody of minor children, dissolving a marriage when both parties aren’t on the same page can be an incredibly emotional, exhausting, and expensive experience.
The good news is that there is a way to avoid this and have a clean break without going to court. This is known as an uncontested divorce. However, obtaining an uncontested divorce is easier said than done. Below, we will explain what an uncontested divorce means and the criteria required.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
In the state of Georgia, a divorce can be either contested or uncontested.
An uncontested divorce is where parties agree to both the divorce and the terms of the separation without going to court. Terms can include:
- Division of assets
- Child custody
- Child support
In a contested divorce, parties do not agree to some or all of the divorce terms. As a result, the divorce terms must be settled in court. Contested divorces are often more expensive and take much longer to resolve than uncontested divorces.
How a Mediator Can Help with Your Divorce Proceeding
Mediation is one of the most effective tools for achieving an uncontested divorce.
Even when a couple thinks they will have an uncontested divorce, there are usually a few sticking points that need to be negotiated. Those issues prevent them from moving forward, and sometimes leads them to hire expensive lawyers to help them settle those matters.
This is where a mediator can add great value. Once a couple hires lawyers, they frequently lose the “amicable” spirit they thought they had. With divorce mediation, sessions are led by a neutral mediator who helps both parties work together to resolve any outstanding issues and negotiate a legally binding divorce agreement.
How to Get an Uncontested Divorce
You must meet the following requirements to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Georgia:
Georgia requires that either one or both spouses have lived in the state for at least six months before filing for divorce.
Both Parties Agree on the Grounds for Divorce
Georgia requires divorcing spouses to have a legally acceptable reason for filing for divorce, otherwise known as grounds for divorce. Both parties must agree to these grounds.
Grounds for divorce can include:
- The marriage is “irretrievably broken”
- Habitual intoxication or drug addiction
- Cruel treatment
It should be noted that the only way you can obtain an uncontested divorce where neither party is considered at fault is to claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be saved as grounds for the divorce.
Both Parties Agree on All Major Issues
As previously stated, the main feature of an uncontested divorce is that both parties agree to the divorce terms and don’t require a judge to settle any matters. In Georgia, this is a requirement for uncontested divorces.
Issues that must be resolved include:
- how a real estate or personal property obtained during the marriage will be divided
- how outstanding debts will be divided
- how much alimony or child support will be paid, if any
- who is responsible for health insurance and medical and dental expenses for the spouses’ children
- how child custody and visitation will be arranged
Divorce Mediation in Atlanta
At Blue Skies Mediation, we aim to use mediation to make your divorce as simple and peaceful as possible. If you are interested in pursuing an amicable uncontested divorce in Atlanta but are struggling to keep the peace and agree to important terms, contact Blue Skies Mediation today.