We have navigated hundreds of clients through the divorce process. We have experience in handing everything from amicable divorces, where the parties are in compete agreement, to “knock down drag out” divorces, where every issue is hotly contested. Whether your divorce is friendly or you expect it to be bitterly contested, we can guide you through the process.
Scroll down for more information as to the services we offer in these areas.
Uncontested Divorce - Priced from as low as $850.00
It is often the case that divorcing parties are in agreement as to the terms of the dissolution of their marriage. However, even when there is no dispute between the parties, it is important that your divorce be handled by a competent and experienced attorney. A poorly drafted divorce agreement can result in a lot of confusion, and can sometimes even render the agreement unenforceable. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the divorce process and to avoid such pitfalls.
We provide our uncontested divorce clients with very prompt and user friendly services. In most cases, we can have your divorce documents completed and ready for your review within two business days after your initial appointment. Also, we can sometimes conduct the initial appointment by telephone if your work schedule makes it difficult to take time off to come into the office.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What qualifies as an “uncontested divorce”?
When we refer to an “uncontested divorce”, that means that you and your spouse are in agreement as to the issues of division of the marital property and debts, whether alimony is to be paid, and, if minor children are involved, the issues of child custody, visitation and child support.
What is the basic process?
On your initial appointment, we will inquire as to the details of your agreement with your spouse regarding the issues of property division and alimony. If minor children are involved, we will get the specifics of your agreement as to custody and visitation. Finally, we will inquire as to the information needed to calculate the award of child support. Your retainer fee will be paid at that time.
From there, we will prepare the Divorce Complaint, the Settlement Agreement, the Parenting Plan (if applicable), the Child Support Worksheet (if applicable), and an Acknowledgement of Service. You and your spouse will then review and sign the applicable documents.
Once the documents are filed with the court, we will wait the requisite 31 days until the next available court date. At that time, we will present the final order for approval by the court. Depending on the county of the divorce action, you may or may not be required to be present at the final court date. (For uncontested divorces in Gordon and Bartow counties, you are not required to be present at the final court date.) If minor children are involved in the divorce, you will each be required to attend the Divorcing Parents of Minor Children seminar prior to the final court date. (You will find more information about the seminar on our "Client Information" page.)
WHAT'S IT GOING TO COST?
The costs of of our uncontested divorce services are as stated in the following paragraphs. All totals include the filing fee of $207.00 that is required to be paid to the Clerk of Court upon the filing of any divorce action.
NO CHILDREN/ NO PROPERTY - $850.00
Where there are no minor children involved in the action and the parties have already divided up their property to their mutual satisfaction and there are no joint debts that need to be addressed. Each party keeps the property in his or her possession and assumes responsibility for all debts in his or her individual name.
PROPERTY DIVISION ONLY - $1,100.00
Where there are no minor children involved, but there is a need to address the division of marital property and allocation of marital debt
WITH MINOR CHILDREN - $1,450.00
Where minor children under age eighteen are involved. This includes the drafting of the Parenting Plan as well as the Child Support Worksheets that are required by law.
In many cases, the parties are simply not in agreement as to some or all of the terms of the divorce. This is especially true when the divorce involves the dissolution of a lengthy marriage, where there are significant assets to be divided, or where the parties cannot on custody of their minor children. Another situation we sometimes see is one where the opposing spouse simply does not want the divorce and thus refuses to participate or to "sign the papers" necessary to obtain an uncontested divorce. We have a great deal of experience in such matters and can guide you through this process in a manner so as to minimize the pain and frustration that naturally accompanies a contested divorce.
What if I want a divorce, but my spouse in not in agreement?
If you find yourself in a situation where you have decided that you wish to be divorced, but your spouse does not agree, either as to the terms of the divorce or the divorce itself, then we can help. There seems to be a fairly common misconception that a person can't get divorced if his or her spouse won't agree to the divorce. That is not the case at all. We can take you through the steps to a final divorce even when your spouse refuses to cooperate in any way whatsoever.
I've been served with a divorce action, now what?
If you have been served with a divorce complaint, it is advisable that you consult with an attorney as soon as practicable. Often, there is attached to the divorce complaint a rule nisi directing that you appear in court for a hearing within a week to two weeks from the date you were served. In such a case, it is advantageous to immediately retain the services of an attorney so that you may be properly prepared for the upcoming hearing and so that any necessary witnesses may be subpoenaed. Even if there is no rule nisi, you will need to file an answer to the divorce complaint within thirty days of the date you were served.
What is the basic process for a contested divorce?
The divorce action is initiated by the filing of a divorce complaint. The divorce complaint sets forth the grounds for divorce, as well as other pretinent information. The divorce complaint is then served upon your spouse, usually with a rule nisi that sets the date for a temporary hearing.
The purpose of the temporary hearing is heard by a Superior Court judge to determine the conditions that will apply while the divorce is pending. For example, typical issues resolved at a temporary hearing would be: Who stays in the marital residence? Who is responsible for the payment of certain bills while the divorce is pending? Who will have temporary custody of the minor children? How much will the noncustodial parent pay in child support while the divorce is pending, etc.
Before the matter comes on for a final hearing or trial, the parties will usually be required to participate in a mediation. A mediation is a settlement conference in which a neutral third party attorney will meet back and forth with each of the parties and their counsel to see if the parties can reach an agreement as to the terms of the final divorce without the necessity for a hearing. If an agreement is reached at the mediation, then those same terms will be incorporated into the final divorce decree and made an order of the court.
If the parties are unsuccessful in resolving the case at mediation, then the parties may either submit the disputed issues to the judge for determination at a final hearing, or to a jury at trial. One caveat is that the issue of custody is always determined by the judge, and is not left up to a jury even when there is a jury trial.