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If you have divorce questions

How long do I have to wait before my divorce will be finalized in Georgia?

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This is an often asked question that unfortunately, does not really have an answer. The reason for this is the delay for a divorce to occur in Georgia is not really a statutory delay.Technically, the proper answer is that Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.6(a) provides that the parties must wait a minimum of thirty-one days from the date of service (or date an acknowledgment ofservice is filed with the Court) prior to the Court being allowed to issue a decree of divorce. This technically correct answer is rarely the case in Georgia – especially in the metro Atlantacounties.

To better understand, it is important to understand what is required prior to a divorce being granted. Generally speaking, this means the parties must either agree to everything that is at issuein a divorce or have the court decide things for them through hearings and/or trials.

In regards to a settlement agreement, the biggest difficulty is the parties must reach an agreement on all issues pending in their divorce. While in an ideal world this sounds like (and generallyis) the better way to handle a divorce, it is often difficult for two parties that are dealing with the numerous emotional and financial issues that surround a divorce to reach an agreement oneverything. Of course, this entire process of presenting offers and counteroffers can become time consuming and often takes longer than the thirty day mandatory waiting period in Georgia becauseattorneys take time to careful draft and review proposals sent by each other and sometimes involve third party mediators to help facilitate negotiations. In addition, even once the parties agree,it may take weeks or even months for a judge to be able to review and finally approve a settlement agreement and final divorce depending upon his or her schedule and the volume of other cases that judge is handling.

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