How Long Does a Divorce Take in Georgia?

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Georgia?

Once you decide to get divorced, you are probably ready for the process to be completed as soon as possible. However, the divorce process in Georgia takes time. How long it takes to get divorced in Georgia depends on the facts of your case.

Therefore, to answer the question “How long does a divorce take in Georgia,” a Lawrenceville divorce lawyer begins by analyzing the factors involved in your case.

Factors that impact the timeline for a divorce case include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of divorce case
  • Whether the divorce involves minor children
  • The number of contested issues to be litigated, if any
  • The experience and negotiation skills of the divorce lawyers
  • Whether the divorce case involves complicated issues, such as hidden assets, parental alienation, complex marital assets, or others
  • The court’s docket schedule
  • The willingness of the spouses to compromise to reach a divorce settlement

The first step is to consult with a Lawrenceville divorce attorney. The attorney discusses the issues relevant to your divorce case to provide a more accurate estimate of how long your divorce might take to finalize.

Keep reading to learn about the factors that impact how long it takes to get a divorce in Georgia. Do you have a divorce case situation? At Crystal Wright Law we can help you, contact us today at (404) 594-2143.

Meeting the Requirements To Obtain a Divorce in Georgia

Meeting the Requirements To Obtain a Divorce in Georgia

Before you begin the divorce process, your attorney will ensure you meet the necessary requirements to obtain a divorce in Georgia.

The basic requirements for obtaining a divorce in Georgia are:


According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-2, you must be a Georgia resident for at least six months before filing a divorce petition. A non-resident may file a divorce petition against a resident who has lived in the county where the divorce petition is being filed for at least six months.

Valid Marriage

You must have a legal, valid marriage for a Georgia Family Court to have jurisdiction to grant a divorce. Therefore, if the issue is challenged, you must prove you are legally married.


You must be legally separated when you file your divorce petition. This requirement does not refer to your living arrangements. Instead, it means you consider yourself in a state of separation and intend to cease marital relations.

The divorce petition alleges the above requirements to establish that the court has jurisdiction over your divorce. If your spouse files an answer with evidence that neither they nor you have met the residency requirements, the court will likely dismiss your divorce case unless you can prove otherwise.

Grounds for Obtaining a Divorce in Georgia

When you file for divorce, you must state the grounds for doing so. You must have a legal reason for obtaining a divorce. The grounds for your divorce can impact the timeline for obtaining a final decree.

No-Fault Divorces in Georgia

A no-fault divorce does not require you to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to break up the marriage. Instead, you allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken because of irreconcilable differences. Even if your spouse objects and does not want a divorce, the court can grant a no-fault divorce.

Some states require you to be separated for a specific period before filing for a no-fault divorce. For example, South Carolina requires the couple to be separated for 12 months before the court will grant a no-fault divorce.

However, Georgia does not stipulate a mandatory separation period. If one spouse is a resident for six months, you can file for a no-fault divorce in Georgia the next day.

Once the divorce papers are served on your spouse, they have 30 days to respond. If they fail to file an answer, you can ask the court for a default order granting the divorce. 

Therefore, depending on the court’s schedule, if your spouse does not respond, you could obtain a no-fault divorce in two or three months – provided no issues arise.

Fault Divorces in Georgia

Fault divorces are filed using the same process as a no-fault divorce. However, the statutory grounds for divorce allege that your spouse’s wrongdoing was the cause of the divorce. Fault grounds in Georgia include, but are not limited to:

  • Adultery
  • Pregnancy by another man
  • Abandonment and desertion
  • Drug addiction or alcoholism
  • Abuse and cruelty
  • Undisclosed impotence at the time of the marriage
  • Fraud or coercion at the time of the marriage

As with a no-fault divorce, there is no time limit you must meet other than the residency requirement. If your spouse does not respond to the divorce papers, you can petition the court for a hearing on the 31st day after the papers are served. However, you must provide evidence of your spouse’s wrongdoing for the court to grant the divorce on fault grounds.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce Cases in Lawrenceville, GA

Even when your spouse does not respond to the divorce complaint or they agree to all of your demands, an uncontested divorce can take several months to complete. Numerous issues must be decided in a divorce, including:

Each of these issues can take time to sort out. An uncontested divorce could take several months to obtain, even when there are no issues.

If spouses disagree on any divorce terms, the divorce is contested. Contested divorces take much longer to resolve, especially if the case goes to trial. A contested divorce could take a year or longer to complete, depending upon the disputed issues and the spouses’ willingness to negotiate a settlement.

Can I Speed Up the Time It Takes To Get a Divorce in Georgia?

You cannot change statutory requirements, such as the six-month residency requirement or the 30 days your spouse has to respond to the divorce papers.

However, you can reduce the time it takes to get a divorce if you are willing to compromise to obtain a divorce settlement. Unfortunately, you cannot control your spouse’s conduct.

Hiring an experienced Lawrenceville divorce lawyer can help. A divorce attorney with significant experience understands the Georgia divorce process. Therefore, they can keep your case moving along as quickly as possible, given the statutory deadlines.

An experienced divorce attorney is also skilled at negotiating divorce settlements. They can advise you when it might be best to compromise versus holding out for better terms.

If you have questions about getting divorced in Georgia, call us for a free, confidential consultation with a Lawrenceville divorce lawyer at at (404) 594-2143.