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Divorce in Meriwether County
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Online Divorce in Meriwether County
Please note: OnlineDivorce in Meriwether County is a paperwork drafting service, not a law firm. We help to collect and fill out divorce papers in Meriwether County, GA. The information below should not be considered legal advice.
OnlineDivorce.com provides divorce document preparation services for all couples who have agreed on an uncontested divorce and are now seeking a quick and easy divorce in Meriwether County. For their convenience, OnlineDivorce.com also provides step-by-step instructions for the filing process, which clarifies all the peculiarities of the local rules and laws.
Those who want to get a divorce in Meriwether County should know that the county has its own unique divorce forms and requirements. Our online tool will complete all the needed papers correctly and in the shortest terms, following the circumstances of each individual divorce case.
Online divorce is even available in cases with children or marital property involved, so long as there is a mutual agreement on matters of child custody, alimony, property distribution, etc.
So, if both parties agree to refuse a divorce trial and arrange an amicable dissolution process, why should it be a lengthy and stressful event? Using Online Divorce, you can get ready-to-file, printable forms within a couple of days. The service is straightforward and cheap, especially compared to the flat fees of no-contest divorce lawyers.
By using our service, you will not even have to leave your home or visit the clerk's office before filing the petition for divorce.
Thousands of couples across the U.S. have already enjoyed the fastest and easiest way to prepare for divorce in Meriwether County, GA, in a few simple steps with OnlineDivorce.com.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Meriwether County
Under the Georgia Code, Sec. 19-5-3, the Family Law recognizes both no-fault and fault-based grounds for dissolution of marriage.
Grounds for divorce in Meriwether County include:
Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity;
Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage;
Impotency at the time of the marriage;
Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage;
Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband;
Adultery in either of the parties after marriage;
Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year;
The conviction of either party to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer;
Habitual drug addiction;
Cruel treatment, which shall consist of the willful infliction of pain, bodily or mental, upon the complaining party;
Incurable mental illness. The mentally ill party has been adjudged mentally ill by a court of competent jurisdiction or has been certified to be mentally ill by two physicians, and he/she has been confined in an institution for the mentally ill or has been under continuous treatment for mental illness for a period of at least two years before filing.
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is the only no-fault ground for divorce in Georgia.
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In the case of divorce in Meriwether County with a child involved, each of the parents (or the parties jointly) should submit a parenting plan for the judge's consideration. In a parenting plan, the issues of child custody and visitation must be resolved and agreed upon.
The court will then decide whether the submitted parenting plan is fair. The judges may require a temporary court hearing at their discretion. Under Georgia Code, Sec. 19-9-1, the child custody order must meet the best interests of the child.
Typically, joint legal custody (the decision-making authority of each parent) and some form of joint physical custody (the child permanently lives with one parent but spends significant time with the other party as well) meet these requirements for the parenting plan in Georgia.
To issue a custody order in a particular divorce case, the judge considers specific factors including the individual circumstances of each couple to determine if awarding shared custody is appropriate. These factors include:
Each parent's fitness as a caregiver;
Overall mental and emotional condition and development of the child;
Each parent's ability and disposition to communicate with one another;
Support for the other parent’s continuing relationship with the child;
The past and continuing care that the parents have provided for the child;
The child's preferences (given to the child’s assumed maturity);
Overall presumed safety of the child;
Each parent's location;
Any custodial agreements between the parents;
Any history of domestic violence and abuse.
Following the Georgia Code, Sec. 19-9, joint legal or physical custody will not be awarded in the state of Georgia in any case that involves a history of domestic abuse.
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Rules for child support in Meriwether County
In a divorce in Meriwether County, child support can be ordered to be paid by one or both spouses, depending on the case, child's needs, and parents' financial capacity. Both parents are responsible for providing support to their underage child.
The spouses can reach an agreement on the amount of the payments on their own by using the Georgia Online Child Support Calculator. Using combined gross income, the Georgia Basic Child Support Obligation table determines combined child support payments.
Schedule of Georgia Basic Child Support Obligation
Combined Adjusted Gross Income
The amount that each parent contributes towards child support is then determined based on the percentage of the combined adjusted gross income that each parent makes.
In such cases, the court considers the factors that include:
The age of the child;
A child's medical costs or extraordinary needs;
Current custody arrangement;
A parent's support obligations to other children;
The income of the parent with custody;
Each parent's contributions;
Any special needs of the parents;
The price of insurance coverage for the child, etc.
Rules for spousal support in Meriwether County
In a divorce in Meriwether County, GA, alimony may be awarded to either spouse unless he or she has committed adultery or deserted the other party, according to Sec. 19-6-1.
If a spouse qualifies for an alimony award, the Superior Court will order support on a case-by-case basis.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement concerning spousal support, they must participate in a court hearing (a jury trial or a bench trial), at which the court will decide if alimony is appropriate and determine the amount and duration of the payments.
There are two types of alimony, according to Georgia Family Law:
Rehabilitative. This type of maintenance is a short-term measure to help one of the spouses to become self-sufficient by gaining education or training to find appropriate employment.
Permanent. This type of alimony usually may be awarded if a divorce occurs after 10 years of marriage or more. It is paid to a spouse who has minimal income earning potential.
The contribution of each party to the marital property;
The length of the marriage;
The financial information on each spouse's earning capacity and resources;
Each spouse's age and health;
Each spouse's future earning capacity;
The value of each party's separate property;
The standard of living established during the marriage;
Where applicable the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment;
And other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.
Uncontested Meriwether County divorce with children
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Property division in Meriwether County
To understand how property is divided in a divorce in Meriwether County, it is important to note that Georgia belongs to equitable distribution states. Equitable distribution means that the marital property of the spouses should be divided in a fair and equitable (not necessarily equal) manner, and the separate property of each spouse is not subject to division.
If the spouses cannot divide the assets on their own as part of a marital settlement agreement (property settlement agreement), the court will consider the issue on a case-by-case basis.
In determining a fair and equitable division, the judges consider several factors including:
Each spouse's financial condition and earning potential;
Each spouse's separate property, including business, business interests, retirement plans, stocks, etc.
Each spouse's contribution to the acquisition and increase of marital property;
Each spouse's contribution to the education and earning power of the other party;
Each spouse's financial needs and liabilities;
Each spouse's age and health;
Any relevant prenuptial agreements, and other factors the court may consider as essential.
Mediation support in Meriwether County
Under the Georgia Code, Sec.15-11-22, divorce mediation in Meriwether County is a voluntary process. It is aimed to help spouses to reconcile and avoid divorce, or, at the very least, to arrange for the divorce to occur as amicably as possible by coming to an agreement on the major issues related to the dissolution.
A mediator is an impartial professional who assists the parties through the process of reaching their own agreement which is fair and mutually beneficial.
Divorce mediation is not mandatory in Meriwether County. However, if the spouses have underage children, they are typically required to attend a parenting class to learn how to assist the children in adapting to their new life after the parents' separation.
How to file for divorce in Meriwether County | Step-by-Step
Under the Georgia Code, Sec.19.5.2, the foremost requirement for filing for divorce in Meriwether County, GA, is that either party must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing. A nonresident may apply for divorce in Georgia as well, but in the county where the second spouse (who meets the residency requirements) lives. If both parties are residents of Georgia, the petition for divorce must be filed in the county where the non-filing spouse currently lives, unless he/she waives venue. In the state of Georgia, divorces are processed at the Superior Court of an appropriate county.
The petitioner needs to prepare, fill out, and submit the necessary divorce papers with the court. At the time of the filing, the case obtains a Case Number, and thus the divorce procedure officially starts.
After the petition for divorce is filed, the plaintiff should serve the other party with copies of all submitted documents and Summons. There are specific rules on how to serve divorce papers in Meriwether County. According to GA Code, Sec. 9-11-4, you cannot serve your spouse by yourself. The papers must be handed personally by:
- The sheriff of the county where the action is brought;
- The marshal or sheriff of the court or by such official's deputy;
- A certified process server;
- Any adult person who is not a party in the case and has been appointed by the court to serve the process.
The last option is the most popular and affordable since sheriffs and private process servers charge fees for their services.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse.
Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures.
Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal fees
Potential court battles adding to already high stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Meriwether County
The court filing fee is mandatory for all divorcing spouses except those who are qualified to submit an Affidavit of Indigency and Eligibility to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.
On average, the court filing fee in Meriwether County, Georgia, is $200. The exact amount of the filing fee will depend on what additional court services are used.
How long will it take?
The length of the divorce process in Meriwether County is hard to predict. Under the Georgia Code, Sec. 19-5-3(13), even in the case of no-fault divorce, it takes at least 31 days to finalize a divorce in Meriwether County. The countdown starts after serving the second spouse with the divorce papers. After being served, the defendant has 30 days to file a response before the case may be qualified as default.
Even if the spouses have settled all the disputes and filed a Consent to Try, the waiting period is mandatory.
Typically, the court issues a Final Order and Decree of Divorce much later than the 31st day of the divorce process. The spouses should be prepared to expect some delays in the timeline due to bureaucratic and administrative issues that may occur.
Filing for divorce in Meriwether County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Meriwether County?
It is impossible to say exactly how much a divorce will cost in Meriwether County. Getting a divorce can be inexpensive if the spouses are ready to negotiate, refuse litigation, and proceed without a lawyer, instead arranging their own DIY-divorce.
Other expenses like attorneys’ fees, mediation, or online divorce services depend on whether the case is contested or not, and whether the spouses prefer to arrange a do-it-yourself divorce or seek the help of legal representatives.
An uncontested divorce, where the parties have come to a settlement agreement on all issues and are only in need of paperwork, is usually quite inexpensive. In such a case, the cost of divorce may be limited to the cost associated with any service used to assist with the paperwork (for example, online divorce) and the filing fee.
The costs rise significantly in cases that involve mediation, legal representation, court hearings, and other additional steps and services.
How do you file for divorce in Meriwether County without a lawyer?
Filing for divorce without a lawyer is entirely legal in Georgia. However, it is not advised if the case is contested. For uncomplicated dissolution cases, a pro se divorce may be a great option to save money. County court websites provide self-help guides for self-represented litigants. There are also many online services, like OnlineDivorce.com, which help to prepare for divorce without overpaying for the services of a lawyer.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Meriwether County?
Divorce forms required for a divorce in Meriwether County vary depending on whether the spouses have minor children and whether an action is contested or not.
The primary forms the spouses need as the prep for their uncontested divorce include:
Complaint for Divorce
Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit
Mutual Restraining Order
Acknowledgment of Service
Settlement Agreement (signed before notaries by both parties).
When is it okay to remarry again in Meriwether County, Georgia?
After the court issues a Final Judgment and Decree of divorce, the former spouses are eligible to legally remarry without any waiting periods.
Divorce in Meriwether County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet that is required by a local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online.
In rare cases, some local forms specific to a filing county can vary in color, paper material, size and / or scanning bar code so they may need to be obtained from the county clerk's office directly.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on the answers they give in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to read through the legal jargon and try to figure out how to fill out those forms yourself.
We give the detailed and easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so a client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email or live chat and we'll do our best to help.
We save time and money for our clients - if divorcing spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer
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We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce
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Divorce Courts in Meriwether County, Georgia
Meriwether County Superior Court
A. Quillian Baldwin, Jr.
Dennis T. Blackmon
W. Travis Sakrison
John T. Simpson
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is
prepare, file and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for trial complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - expect at least $2000-3000 spending and more depending
on complexity of your case.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and averagely are $250-300 per hour. In rural areas,
attorneys may charge less, however, if you live in a large city local attorneys may charge up to
$1000 per hour.
At first glance using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing timeframes - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g. for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
actually based in other countries? No wonder that some clients are provided with outdated divorce
forms that will be rejected by the court. Result? Those people lose their time and money. Lacking
professionalism, these services are not keeping up-to-date with the state forms updates.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service it’s common that some
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