How to Get a Free Divorce in Georgia

There is no doubt that a divorce is one of the most devastating events in family life. However, most often, apart from emotional damage, spouses also have to spend a lot of money on legal services when seeking marriage dissolution. But what if you can’t afford a divorce lawyer?

Luckily, there are some alternatives that can make the process much cheaper. If you wonder whether a divorce without money is possible, read on to find out about your options.

Can I Get a Free Divorce in Georgia?

You can get a low-cost divorce if you choose to file without a lawyer’s assistance. However, you must qualify for an uncontested marriage dissolution to do so. Also, if you are eligible, you can potentially decrease the cost of a divorce by waiving the filing fees in court. We will explain how to do it and who qualifies for a waiver further in the article.

Who Qualifies for a Free Divorce in Georgia?

You can obtain a low-cost marriage dissolution if one of these situations applies to your case:

  • You can file for an uncontested divorce. This type of case is available for couples who have no disagreements concerning important questions, such as property and assets division, alimony, child custody and support, etc. Having reached a full agreement with your spouse, you do not necessarily require a lawyer’s assistance and can proceed with the steps of your divorce on your own.
  • You meet Georgia low-income qualifications, which allow you to waive your fees and/or seek free legal aid. You will have to provide evidence that your level of income does not allow you to cover the fees or attorney’s costs. If you meet these qualifications, you can get your marriage dissolution almost free of charge.

Steps to File for a Georgia Divorce for Free

In order to file for divorce in GA for free, you need to take the following steps:

  • Collect and fill out your paperwork. If you do not qualify for legal aid, you will have to look for the documents on your own. You will need to allocate some time to searching for up-to-date documents, ensure that the package of forms is full and that you did not miss any form, and fill out each paper attentively without making mistakes.
  • File the papers with the court. You should bring the papers to the Clerk of the Superior Court of the county where you or your spouse live. Apply for a fee waiver if you qualify to reduce your expenses at this step.
  • Serve your spouse and wait for their reply. You must officially notify your spouse about starting the divorce case by sending them copies of filed documents. In Georgia, you must do it with the help of a county sheriff or private process server. However, please note that you must pay for their service.
  • Be ready to come to the final hearing. In GA, spouses may need to come to the court to have their divorce finalized. In uncontested cases, such a trial is typically short and does not require any specific preparation that cannot be made without the lawyer’s help.

Where do I get Free Georgia Divorce Papers?

You can always look for free divorce papers in Georgia on the Internet. However, it is paramount to be attentive when searching for the forms online. If you download some outdated forms that are not approved by the court, you will face rejection and have to start the whole process over.

It is best to download the forms on the official website of GA courts or visit some credible resources where you can find samples of the most common documents. Alternatively, you can order the papers for your uncontested divorce online at a very reasonable cost. For a set fee, you will get a package of case-specific forms filled out with your data and ready for submission in court. This way, you can save money, time, and effort.

How to Waive Court Fees?

To waive the filing fees, you must submit additional forms to the court and provide evidence of your financial hardship.

Typically, when filing paperwork, spouses have to cover the court costs of around $220. If you cannot afford it, you can get help with divorce fees by asking the judge to waive them.

To make this request, you must fill out and file an Affidavit of Poverty and Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. Please note that you will have to provide information about all of your sources of income.

The judge will review your paperwork and decide whether to grant your request. Overall, you have a chance for a positive decision if you meet these criteria:

  • You receive governmental benefits.
  • Your income is below the state level.

If you qualify for a waiver, you won’t pay a divorce filing fee in Georgia.

Free Divorce Options in Georgia for Low-Income Individuals

If you want to get a divorce without spending a lot of money, you have several alternatives to choose from. Let’s consider them below.

1. DIY Divorce

A do-it-yourself divorce is a great option for those who cannot afford a lawyer. However, it is only available if you seek an uncontested marriage dissolution. Spouses who cannot reach an agreement must hire lawyers to defend their interests in court.

Moreover, you will need to go through each step of the divorce process completely on your own, starting from researching the court information and ending with paperwork preparation and representing yourself in court. Even though a DIY divorce is a cheap option, it is not an easy one.

2. Online Divorce

Many spouses going through marriage dissolution would agree that dealing with the paperwork is one of the most difficult stages of the process. Luckily, today, if you wish to get help with forms for a divorce online, Georgia assistance services, such as GAOnlineDivorce, are ready to help you.

The service is pretty straightforward; all you need to do is fill out the questionnaire, pay with the convenient method, and wait for your forms to be prepared. The fee for a set of forms is very moderate and surely much cheaper than working with a lawyer. Finally, since you will get your papers in less than a week, this option is faster than a DIY divorce.

3. Free Legal Aid Services

Since Georgia divorce lawyer cost ranges from $200 to $600 per hour, it is not a surprise that many couples cannot afford to hire an attorney. Fortunately, low-income individuals can obtain free legal aid from several organizations across the state.

However, please note that just like with a fee waiver, only certain groups can qualify for this kind of assistance. Moreover, a lawyer may not be able to guide you through all the steps or represent you in court. Most likely, you can only obtain a few consultations regarding your case.