Divorce Without Children – What Are The Rules When It Comes to Georgia Law?
Divorce When Children Aren’t Involved
The Cost of Divorce without Children in Georgia
Whether you have children or not, divorce is a complicated business. A recent report found that spouses spend an average of $12,500 to resolve divorce without children cases. Even when compared to divorces where minor children are involved ($19,300 on average).
In general, cases that come to trial are more expensive than cases that are settled outside of a courtroom. Trial cases mean additional attorney billing hours, usually between twelve and twenty-five. On average, divorce without children cases that came to court cost $23,500. Again, nothing close to chump change.
Fortunately, in divorce cases when there are no children involved, spouses are often able to settle their issues without going to trial. Just twenty-six percent of these cases ever see a courtroom. Resolution can happen during meditation sessions or settlement talks. Sometimes, it happens right before a trial begins. Cases that were settled before trial cost an average of $7,500 – a far more manageable number.
The Waiting Game: How Long Does Divorce Take When Children Aren’t Involved?
Even when facing a divorce without children case, couples shouldn’t expect their divorce to go quickly. Divorcing couples without minor children take an average of 10.6 months to resolve their cases.
Time inflates significantly when couples go to trial, leaving them inundated with court calendars and schedules. Preparation for trial can take months, as attorneys write depositions, take written document requests, analyze evidence, and make legal motions. Couples who took their case to trial took an average of 16.8 months to resolve their issues, while those who settled out of court took an average of 8.8 months.
The moral of the story? Be as financially prepared as possible before heading into a divorce.
Divorce without Children – Property – Financial Assets & Debt
Roughly 84 percent of divorce without children cases involve property division, while 71 percent involve debt issues.
Most couples are forced to divide assets and debt during a divorce. Property and debt division often involves equity and mortgage debt, investment accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, and personal property acquired during the marriage.
On average, each spouse pays $8,200 when a dispute over property and debt division arises. Property division alone averages $5,000.
Property and debt division can take an average of 10.9 months to reach a resolution. As mentioned earlier in this article, settling in court (15.3 months) will take longer than settling out of court (9.3 months).
Divorces Involving Both Alimony and Property Divison Issues
Nearly half of divorce without children cases involve both property division and alimony issues. Unsurprisingly, multiple issues will require more attorney billing hours. On average, divorces with property and alimony issues cost each spouse $17,700, with an average of 12 months for resolution.
“Empty Nesters” – Divorcing After the Children leave the House
Divorce without children cases can involve spouses who never had children together or spouses with children who are old enough to be independent of their parents.
Some jurisdictions may offer a simpler divorce process for couples with no children and no assets, thus shortening the process. However, it isn’t available in every state.
Divorce in Georgia
Getting divorced in the state of Georgia is similar to getting divorced in other states. Two things are accomplished. The marriage is severed and assets/debts are divided. Couples who have been married for a significant period of time with one spouse who is unable to support his/herself may involve alimony.
Grounds for divorce are legally acceptable reasons for severing a marital relationship. Georgia recognizes both no-fault grounds and fault-based grounds. A no-fault divorce should state that “the marriage of the parties is irretrievably broken.” In this situation, a court cannot issue a final judgment until at least thirty days after a spouse has been served with a Petition for Divorce.
In the majority of divorce cases, there’s no real reason to use fault-based grounds. They make the process more complex and often require proof of force, duress, fraud, adultery, desertion, imprisonment, intoxication, addiction, incurable illness, and cruel treatment.
Still, these situations do happen.