Legal matters never take overnight. Some last for months, even years. It is more than a bit difficult to predict the time a contested divorce case will take from beginning to end. Overloaded court dockets are a circumstance that may increase the duration of a divorce case. Some states, including Georgia, require a waiting period for divorce. For example, the State of Arizona will not grant a divorce in the period that ensues sixty days after service of the divorce petition.
Georgia law mandates that a petitioner must wait thirty-one (31) days after the filing of the divorce complaint to request the court to consider signing any divorce decree and final order.
Therefore, the earliest date after a divorce petition is filed that a Georgia court may grant a final divorce decree is thirty-one (31) days. However, this is simply the absolute minimum amount of time that a divorce case may take assuming the judge signs the decree and final order on the thirty-first day. As one would imagine, the chances of this happening are slim and none!
It is after thirty-one (31) days have passed that the clerk of court will submit the divorce file to the judge’s assistant for review. Once the judge’s assistant completes his or her review, only then will the matter be passed on to the judge for final review. How long this takes depends upon the work habits of the judge and his or her assistant. As mentioned earlier, it may also depend upon the volume of cases already on the court’s docket,
Once a judge has reviewed an uncontested divorce case, then he or she will sign or issue a final order and decree of divorce. It has been the experience of the Parker Law Firm that most uncontested divorce cases are completed and finalized within 60 days without the necessity of a court hearing. However, some judges will not issue a final order and decree without a hearing.
A party should utilize the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia family law attorney to provide representation in the event of divorce. Call 770-246-1331 or e-mail the Parker Law Firm to schedule a consultation to discuss any family law issue.