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Georgia Divorce Residency Requirements

In order to file for a divorce in Georgia, either you or your spouse must have lived in Georgia for at least six months before filing for a divorce.  But where one party needs to take action to protect their rights, there are still legal options.  Often, a petition for separate maintenance can be filed which allows the court to take up issues immediately and put the parties on a track toward resolving their issues.  After six months have passed, the party that brought the separate maintenance petition can amend the petition to ask for a divorce, or the other party can file for divorce (assuming the other jurisdictional requirements are met).  

Filing for a Divorce in Georgia

In Georgia, all divorces and other family law matters must be filed in superior court.  Under Georgia law, only a superior court has the jurisdiction to grant a divorce.  In order to initiate divorce proceedings, you must file a Petition for Divorce with the clerk’s office.  Once the Petition is filed, it must be served upon your spouse, who will be allowed thirty days to file an Answer to the divorce.  When you file your Petition for Divorce, you will be required to pay a filing fee as well as a fee to have the divorce papers personally served on your spouse.  Where a spouse can’t be located, the Court may allow service by publication after a diligent search for your spouse.

It’s important to ensure that you’ve met the residency requirements before you file for a divorce.  The failure to meet the residency requirements can cause your Petition for Divorce to be dismissed.  If your case is dismissed, you will lose your filing fees. 

Hiring an Attorney

Establishing residency can be a complicated legal hurdle to overcome if you’ve recently moved to Georgia or if your spouse lives in another state.   The Zdrilich Law Group can eliminate the hassle of proving residency for your divorce.  Contact The Zdrilich Law Group today for a consultation, or fill out our online form now for an analysis of your case.