How Do I File For Divorce in Georgia?

To begin a divorce proceeding a spouse must go to Superior Court (usually in the county where the couple lives) and file a Complaint for Divorce, also known as a Petition for Divorce. There is a filing fee that must be paid to the clerk’s office at the time of filing – contact your local court for the exact amount, plus ask about any other fees that may apply.

The divorce petition is a formal and legal declaration to the court and to your spouse that you are seeking a divorce. This document also states that you are seeking relief for all other related issues such as alimony or spousal support, child custody, and equitable division of property including any outstanding debts.

A copy of the Complaint for Divorce will be served on (personally delivered to) the other spouse by a sheriff of the appropriate county, a private process server, by you, or by your divorce attorney.

Does It Matter Who Files First In a Divorce?

Legally it does not matter which spouse initiates the divorce, but of course the person filing will typically pay the filing fees mentioned above. Regardless of who files first, both parties are treated equally under the law.

Emotionally it can make a difference who files first, and I have had clients who were completely caught off guard when they were served with divorce papers. Hopefully the couple already has talked about the state of their marriage and their options before the courts get involved. Of course their relationship may be too strained for those talks to happen.

Do Both Parties Have to Pay For the Divorce?

The spouse who files for divorce in Georgia will pay the filing fee unless the other spouse agrees to cover this cost. I can help you file your Petition when you are ready and also show you how and where to file.

Each family situation is different, and over my 30-year law career I have helped couples reach an agreement regarding their financial situation so that there is an equitable outcome. Beyond court fees there will be legal fees if an attorney is hired. Personally, I ask for a retainer when you hire me, and I will return any unearned portion at the end of a case once your divorce is finalized.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Georgia?

The answer depends on whether a divorce is simple or complicated, and how well the spouses can resolve all living arrangements and financial issues between them. Every divorce is different. Understandably, the more the two of you can agree on terms, the more both of you will save on time and on divorce attorney legal fees.

Please call my office at (770) 980-9096 if you are thinking of filing for divorce. Even if you decide to represent yourself, or hire a different Atlanta divorce lawyer, I can answer your questions and advise you on the best way to proceed.

Need Help Submitting Your Georgia 2020 Corporate Registration?

If you or your business is registered with the state of Georgia as a corporate entity, you should have received notice from the Secretary of State’s office that your annual registration and payment for 2020 is due by April 1, 2020. I can help you fill out the online registration form and guide you through the process. If you would like to make changes to your corporation then I can help you achieve those as well.

Businesses require precise, professional, and experienced representation. I keep up with changes in incorporation law and recent court cases that could have an impact on your business revenue and operations.

30-Year Veteran Business Law Attorney and Business Owner at Your Service

I take pride in delivering top-notch services in a cost-effective way. I also understand that time is money for a business owner. Perhaps a legal check-up is needed. Together we can discuss solutions and options completely personalized to your situation.

Call me at (770) 980-9096 if you have questions about the SOS corporate registration and payment submittal process. It is very important that you submit your registration and payment on time.

According to the official notice issued by the GA Secretary of State’s office, “Your annual registration must be postmarked by April 1, 2020. If your annual registration and payment are not postmarked by the April 1st deadline, you will be assessed a $25.00 late filing penalty fee and/or your entity may be administratively dissolved or revoked by the Secretary of State.”

You can file your annual registration online with a credit card at The Corporations Division accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and ATM/Debit Cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo for online filings only. The annual registration fees are: $50 for profit corporations, LLCs, and LPs; $30 for nonprofit corporations; and $25 for foreign LLPs.

If you want to mail your registration form along with a check you must follow certain rules to ensure your payment is processed for 2020. I have years of experience filling out these forms by the non-negotiable deadline and using the correct form of payment required. Call me at (770) 980-9096 anytime you have questions about the GA SOS corporate registration process, or other year-end business questions.

All Business Law Practice Areas Covered

My Sandy Springs law firm, Nancy N. Ghertner, P.C., specializes in the following Business Law practice areas:

Formation of Corporations, LLCs and Related Documentation

Start-Up Business Planning and Consulting

Business Contracts

Buy-Sell Agreements

Buying and/or Selling a Business

Shareholder Agreements

Security Agreements

Operating Agreements

Advisory Services for Ongoing Business Legal Needs

Employment Agreements

Independent Contractor Agreements

Call (770) 980-9096 and get a free 10-minute phone consultation with 30-year veteran Business Law Attorney Nancy Ghertner.

How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting a Divorce

The holiday season is upon us, and there are lots of opportunities to create joyous moments with family and friends. However, not everyone is full of tidings of comfort and joy, especially spouses who have really tried to hold their marriage together “for the kids” but now feel that a divorce is inevitable. How do you tell your kids about a major change in their young lives, and when do you tell them? Should you wait until after the holidays when things aren’t so hectic?

The answers will be different depending on how old your children are. For this article I am talking about children who are pre-teens or younger. Through working with many clients as a divorce attorney in Atlanta I have found that the best approach is for mom and dad to sit down together with their children, and beforehand agree on what to say, and how best to say it.

Emotions will naturally want to spill out, including unhelpful ones, so I recommend that both spouses focus on the needs of their children. Kids want security and routine and they will want to know where mom or dad is going to live, and how things will be different.

Before you ask the kids to gather for a family talk, I suggest that you and your spouse decide ahead of time who is going to speak first. Usually this person will be the one who is filing for divorce, but the other spouse should be supportive regardless of how they feel about the breakup. The goal here is to reassure the kids that they will be safe and loved even though the living arrangements are changing. Remember to tell your kids that this is a permanent change so that they don’t hold out hope for a reunion of mom and dad.

If you can hold off on having this courageous conversation until after the holidays, that may work out better for everyone. I am available anytime to talk to you about how to file for a divorce in Georgia and answer any questions you have.