Helping families through difficult times
The decision to end a marriage is difficult. Unfortunately, what is a life-altering event in the best of circumstances can turn into a nightmare if the parties start a legal battle without considering all the consequences – the thousands of dollars spent on legal fees, the months or years of litigation, and the stress on the immediate family and all relatives and friends. The first consideration should therefore be whether an uncontested divorce is possible. An uncontested divorce is an agreed divorce, where the parties agree on all issues before filing any documents in court.
In most cases there is no need to rush to file a petition or complaint for divorce and have the other spouse served by the Sheriff’s Office. This is the way a typical divorce action is started when the parties are not in agreement on all issues. Most divorce law firms are geared towards litigation and they will have you sign a retainer and begin litigation as a matter of course. This is not necessarily the best decision.
If the parties are on speaking terms and both want a divorce, they should consider an uncontested divorce even if there are some disagreements. Differences can be overcome once the parties realize that an uncontested divorce in Georgia costs much less (a flat fee), takes much less time, is much less stressful, keeps your marital life and finances private, and can yield a better agreement than what you would wind up with if you go to trial.
Court Costs & Fees
- $495 – for a divorce without minor children; no court appearance (a motion for Judgement on the Pleadings will be filed). TOTAL with all fees and court costs: $750.
- $995 – for a divorce with minor children; generally no court appearance necessary. TOTAL with the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings): $1250.
Note that actual fees may vary depending on your specific case. The E-Filing court cost is $255 and is included in the totals above. In cases with children, if a court appearance is necessary we will represent you for an additional fee $350.
What is an Uncontested Divorce ?
In an uncontested or no contest divorce, you and your spouse agree on all issues before any papers are filed with the court. This means that both parties sign and notarize certain documents, including a Settlement Agreement, before they are filed. I will prepare all the documents and file them electronically.
The main issues you must agree on include:
- Division of property
- Allocation of debt
- Alimony (spousal support)
- Child custody (we prepare the parenting plan based on your input)
- Child support (we prepare the worksheets)
If you and your spouse can agree on these issues, you have an excellent chance of completing your uncontested divorce. Even if you and your spouse have a few outstanding minor disagreements or uncertainties, an uncontested divorce will likely work for you. I represent clients in Georgia uncontested/no contest divorces in Cobb, Fulton, Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Paulding, Bartow, Douglas, Clayton, Henry, Walton, Hall and all other Atlanta, Georgia metro counties.
Minimize expense, time and stress with a Georgia Uncontested Divorce Attorney
At the Hughes Law Office, we believe that divorce should be inexpensive, fair, and fast, to minimize conflict at an already difficult time. We also believe that, while difficult decisions must be made, the decision process can be simplified by following the divorce procedures our firm have worked out over the years.
We begin by emailing you a preliminary divorce agreement form to be filled out and emailed back to us. In 24 hours we will send you all the final documents ready for signature and filing. We do the filing electronically and represent you at the final hearing if there is one.
In general, no final hearing is necessary if there are no minor children involved. In our experience, couples with children have a good sense of what is fair and what will work for all members of their family. Our role is to clarify the law; your role is to give me direction regarding your divorce.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse settling all issues for an uncontested divorce or are served with divorce papers, the divorce is considered a contested divorce and you will either have to file a complaint for divorce against your spouse or defend against a complaint served on you by your spouse. The action (or "suit") will proceed according to Georgia law and a divorce will be granted when the litigation is either settled by the parties or decided upon by a Judge at trial.
The Hughes Law Office represents clients in low-conflict divorces and family law matters. These are cases in which the parties are close to an agreement but need a better understanding of what they are agreeing to. Our retainer and hourly fees are low and we will devote our full attention to your case.
Contested or Uncontested: You Decide
We recommend that every couple seeking a divorce first use all means possible to work out agreeable terms. One reason is that a flat-fee applies to an agreed divorce. If the divorce is not agreed upon, the fee structure changes. You will have to retain an attorney (typically $3,500 and up) and are billed by the hour (typically $200-$400). If the divorce turns nasty, the sky is the limit as far as cost is concerned, and you will likely run through all your savings and all you can borrow before you get the divorce. Another reason to work out disagreements between the parties before filing is that it is dignified and respects your privacy. There is no need to air your private lives and finances, and no Sheriff will come knocking at your door to serve papers.
Once you make the basic decisions in the preliminary agreement form we send you, and the final paperwork is signed and notarized, our top uncontested divorce attorneys will do the filing and represent you until the divorce is finalized, either at a final hearing or by Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. If you have an agreed divorce, it will take much less time, save you money and spare you unnecessary stress.