In states, such as Arizona, South Carolina, and many others, married couples can legally separate from one another. Unfortunately, in GA, just like in five more states, courts don’t recognize legal separation. However, if spouses are willing to get separated, but are not sure that they want to dissolve their marriage yet, they have another option.
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Georgia Separation Laws
No one will tell you how to file for legal separation in GA simply because there is no actual statute for it in the area. In the Peach State, they allow couples to obtain separate maintenance and remain married on paper. Separate maintenance in Georgia is a good option for those who want the court to make decisions, including visitation, asset division, alimony, and so forth that would help spouses to start living separate lives while maintaining their marital relations.
Pursuing separate maintenance over a divorce is a personal choice that every family should make for themselves. Many married people just want to take time away from their spouses to think about their relationships and whether they are worth salvaging. Also, while some don’t want to end their relationships for particular religious reasons, others are simply afraid of the social stigma associated with divorce.
Separation Period Before Divorce
Only “separated” spouses can file for divorce in the state. But this doesn’t mean that spouses must move out of their matrimonial house or that they need to pursue separate maintenance first. Spouses can be considered separated even if they continue living under the same roof, but do not have any marital relations and maintain separate households within the house. Moreover, they are not required to draft any agreement unless they find it necessary.
How long does it take to get a legal separation?
Partners can get separated immediately. For this, they need to choose and agree upon a date of their separation and ensure that they don’t have sexual intercourse from that moment. It can be the first day of a month if spouses do not remember when exactly they have made a decision to split up, the day when someone moves to another bedroom, or any day after a big fight – what matters most is that this date can be easily verified by both parties.
How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce?
There are no specific time frames but one month tends to be a recommended period. You and your spouse are considered legally separated if one of you moves out of the house or bedroom with the intention to end a marital union.
Filing for Divorce After Separation in Georgia
A divorce process in GA is very similar to that in other states. However, to file, a petitioning party must claim that he or she is separated from their partner and that they are no longer maintaining marital relations.
Only spouses who have been residents of the state for at least six months can initiate a divorce process. Before that, they should decide on who gets what in terms of property and debt responsibilities. In case of a long-term marriage, the issue of spousal maintenance should also be addressed. Additionally, if spouses have minor kids, they will have to settle on child-related matters.
How Long Does a Divorce Take After Separation?
On average, it takes up to 3 years to finish a contested case and up to 45 days to finalize an uncontested one. The latter is more popular mainly because it allows both parties to cut legal expenses significantly. Those involved in an uncontested case can get their Georgia divorce forms at a relatively low price on our website. While we don’t give any legal advice, we do provide court-approved papers complemented with detailed instructions on how to file them to make every case much cheaper and less stressful for all couples.