How to Answer Divorce Complaints in Georgia

By Wayne Thomas

Being served with divorce paperwork can be a stressful experience. These documents are often difficult to understand and you may be left confused and unsure about how and when to respond. Knowing how to properly answer a divorce complaint in Georgia will help ensure that you are able to exercise all your rights in the divorce.

Being served with divorce paperwork can be a stressful experience. These documents are often difficult to understand and you may be left confused and unsure about how and when to respond. Knowing how to properly answer a divorce complaint in Georgia will help ensure that you are able to exercise all your rights in the divorce.

Initiating a Divorce

To start a divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse needs to first file a complaint. The complaint indicates the reason for the divorce, also known as the grounds for divorce, and includes information about the marriage, as well as specifics regarding property, child custody and support issues. After your spouse files the complaint, she must have a sheriff personally deliver a copy of the document to you, along with a summons. A summons is a court order that requires you to participate in the divorce. It also tells you which court to file in, and it specifies your initial obligations.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Answer Form

Georgia law requires that you file a written answer no later than 30 days after receiving the complaint. You may obtain fill-in-the-blank answer forms from the court clerk. The document first requests that you go through every claim made by your spouse in the complaint, and indicate whether you believe each statement to be true, untrue, or that you do not have enough information to make a determination. If you believe a statement is partially true, you must specify why.

Counterclaims

You may also include counterclaims in your answer. A counterclaim is a request to the court that is additional or contrary to your spouse's requests. For example, if your spouse made a claim for sole custody of your children, you may decide to make a counterclaim for sole custody. Once the answer is complete and signed, it may be filed with the appropriate court. After filing, Georgia law requires that you must provide a copy to your spouse by mail.

Next Steps

After the court has received your answer, the case can move forward. The next step often involves hearings to establish temporary orders for support, custody, and property matters that last, until the divorce is finalized. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement before your case goes to trial, you may submit the agreement to the court for approval. If not, you will need to go to trial and present your case. At the end of the trial, the judge will make a ruling declaring you divorced, and resolving all other divorce-related matters.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Documents Needed for the Respondents in a Divorce Summons

References

Related articles

Time That it Takes to Finalize a Divorce in New Jersey

Filing for divorce can be a stressful and emotional process. Therefore, knowing how long you can expect your divorce case to take to become final can help you prepare. Many factors can determine how long it takes to finalize your divorce in New Jersey. For example, if you and your spouse do not agree about the important terms of your divorce -- including the division of assets and whether one spouse will receive spousal support -- it can lengthen the time it takes to finalize your divorce.

How to Get a Divorce in Indiana Without an Attorney

Navigating the legal process in a divorce can be overwhelming. In Indiana, divorces are referred to as dissolution of marriage actions and require you to pay strict attention to many applicable laws and procedural rules. Although you are not required to hire an attorney, court officers are not allowed to provide you with legal advice. Knowing the basics of filing and how each stage of the dissolution process operates may help ensure that you are fully prepared if you decide to represent yourself in Indiana.

Ohio's Steps for a No-Fault Divorce

Ohio offers two ways to end a marriage: dissolution and divorce. Both processes are similar, but dissolution is often faster and cheaper because the spouses file jointly and agree on all terms. The dissolution method requires that both spouses agree their marriage should be terminated and reach mutual agreement on the details of their separation, including child custody and property division. Spouses can file on no-fault grounds whether they choose divorce or dissolution.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Types of Pleadings in a Divorce

Like any legal matter, divorces can generate reams of paperwork. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially when ...

The Steps for Obtaining a Divorce in Virginia

Correctly following all of the rules and procedures for obtaining a divorce can seem like a daunting task. In Virginia, ...

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both ...

What Forms Are Required to File for Divorce in Michigan?

Michigan has afforded spouses the opportunity to obtain a no-fault divorce since its divorce laws were revised in 1972. ...

Browse by category