Uncontested Divorce in Georgia - How to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is where both spouses come to an agreement – before the filing of the complaint - on all matters of the settlement, child custody, child support, alimony (if any), division of property, and will execute all necessary documents: a full settlement agreement, parenting plan (if there are children), child support addendum (if there are children), and the necessary pleadings and motions for the court - complaint with verification, consent to trial, waiver of discovery, motion for judgment on the pleadings, plaintiff’s affidavit, etc. A lot of detailed legal documents are involved, and an attorney is needed to draft these.
Provided the parties have handled all of the negotiations themselves, and are in actual agreement on all terms, Mr. Hippe typically charges a modest flat fee of $1500 for an uncontested divorce without children and $1750 with children. This includes all filing fees with the court. Mr. Hippe has handled numerous uncontested divorces. But he has also seen cases where the parties say they are in agreement but won't actually sign the formal papers.
Until the parties both actually sign the final agreements and all supporting documents, there is no "uncontested" divorce. In this situation, the Roadmap steps need to be followed.
How to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce in Georgia:
First, you contact Mr. Hippe or a quality Atlanta divorce attorney or an attorney in your area who commonly handles uncontested divorces. Upon engagement (Mr. Hippe will only be representing you - not your spouse), Mr. Hippe will send you an "uncontested packet" - a detailed questionnaire, instructions, and a rough preliminary agreement (the parties are not formally bound until final documents are signed), for you and your spouse to review and complete and sign. These documents clearly set out all the details and terms that have to be included. (Other attorneys certainly have similar forms.) You go over the packet and instructions with your spouse. You see if you can reach an agreement.
If so, fill out the entire package, follow the instructions, sign it, and send it back. Mr. Hippe (or the attorney your hire) prepares the formal documents for final execution. And your spouse will need to retain a separate attorney to review the final documents prior to his or her execution - Mr. Hippe will only represent one spouse to the agreement. Or your spouse can waive the right to representation. Either way, Mr. Hippe cannot have any contact with the spouse he does not represent.
Again, the trick is the agreement with your spouse. And do not be foolish enough to try to handle document drafting yourself. A divorce settlement agreement, in particular if children are involved, will be one of the most important legal documents you ever sign. It needs to be drafted by a professional. (If you are struggling to come up with the retainer, Mr. Hippe will consider a payment plan, with the caveat that the papers will not be filed until the retainer is paid in full.)