Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

February 22, 2024

Divorces can either be filed contested or uncontested in Georgia. The main difference is that uncontested divorces are filed with a full Settlement Agreement as to all issues in your divorce: custody, child support, division of marital property and debts, alimony, and any other issues. A contested divorce is filed without a final agreement, meaning there are issues to be resolved in your case after filing.

An uncontested divorce is filed by one spouse. The other spouse generally consents to service through the filing of a signed Acknowledgement of Service, which means they don’t need to be served by a sheriff or private process server. Uncontested divorces can be finalized by the court as soon as 31 days from the date of service. This is the fastest route to your divorce being finalized. To avoid a brief final hearing after the 31 days has passed, we file a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings to state that no hearing is needed. After this motion is filed, the judge will review your agreement and finalize your case if the agreement is approved. Uncontested divorces are generally the most cost-efficient way to get divorced.

While contested divorces are not filed with a full agreement on all issues at the outset, an agreement can occur at any time during the case. Filing a contested divorce does not mean your case will not resolve through agreement. The vast majority of our cases reach agreement at either mediation or through negotiations. Like uncontested divorces, contested divorces must be served on the opposing party. Usually, the other spouse consents to service through an Acknowledgement of Service, but sometimes service through a private process server or sheriff is more appropriate. Once your spouse is served, they usually file a formal response to the Complaint for Divorce called an Answer. Next, the “discovery” period begins, where each side can request information from the other relevant to the issues in your case. Once each side has the information they need, your case will either be resolved through agreement or a judge will decide the issues at a final hearing. If your case needs to be resolved by a judge, we have over 40 years combined courtroom experience and are ready to fight for your interests.

We have extensive and trusted experience with all issues that arise in uncontested and contested divorces. Call us at 404-909-8300 to determine the best path forward for your unique situation.