Georgia law does not require a complicated or lengthy Petition for Divorce. Rather, the Petition is only required to include 6 things:
1. The residence or last known address of the respondent
2. That the applicant meets the residence requirements for bringing an action for divorce or that the applicant is bringing a counterclaim and is not required to meet the residencerequirements
3. The date of the marriage and date of the separation
4. The name and age of each minor child, if any. If there are no minor children, the Petition should include a statement indicating such.
5. The statutory ground(s) upon which the divorce is sought
6. If alimony, support, or equitable division is involved, the property and earnings of the parties, if known.
While these are the only statutory requirements, parties often include additional information and/or requests for relief. For example, a parent may state in his/her Petition for Divorce thathe/she is seeking primary custody of the children and that the other spouse should pay child support. Further, a party may list out items that he/she contends are separate property and, thus, notsubject to equitable division.
Additionally, the Petition must be verified by the Petitioner, which means that the Petitioner must swear in front of a notary public that all facts in the Petition are true to his/her knowledge.OCGA §19-5-5.
Though these are the only items required to be included within the Petition for Divorce, courts often require that several items be filed along with the Petition inclyding, but not limited to,child support worksheets (if applicable), Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits, and case filing forms. Each Georgia county has different requirements so, if you are unsure, schedule aconsultation with an experienced family law attorney who can help you get the proper paperwork filed and keep your case moving toward a resolution.