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If you have divorce questions

Who files for divorce in Georgia and does it matter?

Publish Date: 07/01/2007

To formally initiate a divorce in Georgia, one party must file a Complaint for Divorce. This is a pleading filed with the trial court that formally asks the court to grant a divorce and requests that certain things be awarded to the filing party, such as child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable division of property. As Atlanta divorce attorneys, we are often asked whether it makes a difference for one party to file versus the other. Generally, it does not make a difference. The party who does not file the Complaint for Divorce has the opportunity to file an Answer to the Complaint and Counterclaim for Divorce requesting the same things as the filing party (ex: child custody, child support, alimony, equitable division of property). Thus, that party does not lose out on anything by not filing first.

However, the timing of the filing of the Complaint for Divorce may be important in some situations. For example, if you discover your spouse is having an affair and you wait awhile to file for divorce, the court could use this timing to find that the affair was not the cause of the divorce, which could allow the cheating spouse to suffer no repercussions from his/her behavior during the divorce action. Thus, it is important that you provide your Atlanta divorce attorney with as much information as possible about your unique situation so that he/she can assess whether the timing of filing the Complaint for Divorce could be advantageous for you.


Divorce Process
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