(Note: For the Online Divorce Forms Package and the Online Divorce Coach Package, prices do not include any filing fees charged by the county)
(Our uncontested divorce packages serve the entire state of Georgia)
In Georgia, uncontested divorce can absolutely save you time and money vs. a contested divorce. Uncontested divorces are typically much shorter than a normal contested divorce. Lawyers generally bill by the hour, and since uncontested divorces take less time, you will likely save money as well. To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement about how the following 4 core aspects of divorce will be resolved, child custody, asset/property division, child support, and alimony. Since uncontested divorces are typically less complex and a bit shorter in length than the traditional divorce, the main question most people have is, "how much does it cost"?
At Meriwether & Tharp, we offer 2 options at varying price points. The M&T Forms Package is $99 and it includes all forms, explanations, M&T's exclusive Georgia Divorce Guide Book, M&T's Negotiation Guide, and M&T's How to File Guide. It includes everything you need to successfully run your uncontested divorce from start to finish at a low price point. If you like everything you get in the M&T Forms Package, but you'd really like help/assistance from one of our experienced divorce lawyers, the M&T Assisted Package is for you. Our M&T Assisted Package includes everything in the Forms Package plus M&T will draft and file your forms for you and you get 3 hours of additional support from one of M&T's experienced divorce Lawyers.
Another common misconception about an uncontested divorce is that since we have a general idea about how to resolve an issue that means the matter is uncontested. While it is helpful to have general guidelines for how the parties desire to resolve a divorce, it is equally important to understand that the devil is in the details. General ideas about how the divorce will be resolved are not enough. You must have a specific idea for how each area of the divorce will be resolved.
A simple example, in terms of child custody, may be that the parties have agreed that the father shall be the primary physical custodian for the minor children. Unfortunately, that does not fully address the matter of child custody. A visitation plan must still be put in place, minor details such as who is responsible for driving the children, how holidays and summer vacations will be handled, and who has ultimate responsibility for decisions related to the minor children (along with a host of others) must still be put into place before a matter will truly be considered uncontested.
An uncontested divorce can only remain uncontested as long as the parties agree on how to resolve all aspects of the divorce. If the parties agree at first, then after some more communication they start to disagree - the divorce will turn into a contested divorce. Even if the parties agree on how to resolve all issues in the divorce, if they disagree on just one issue - it will turn the divorce into a contested divorce.
Similarly, please don't forget that just because a matter initially appears contested, doesn't mean that it has to remain contested. If a divorce starts out contested and contentious - it's possible to negotiate an agreement and resolve all the areas of disagreement. Through various alternatives to trial, such as mediation, the parties can narrow their differences and often cause a contested matter to become uncontested. This negotiation process is much easier with the expertise of an experienced divorce lawyer.