How To File For Divorce In Georgia Without A Lawyer

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How to File for Divorce in Georgia Without a Lawyer

Going through a divorce is never easy and dealing with the paperwork can be overwhelming. Many people choose to hire a lawyer to guide them through the process. However, you do not have to hire a lawyer to file for divorce in Georgia. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can save money and represent yourself in this legal matter.

Requirements for Filing Without an Attorney

Georgia courts do not require divorcing individuals to be represented by an attorney. However, if your situation is complex, involves substantial assets or child custody disputes, it may be advisable to seek legal counsel.

Filing for Divorce Yourself

1. Determine Eligibility for No-Fault Divorce

Georgia offers no-fault divorces, meaning you do not have to prove fault or blame on your spouse’s behalf. You can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This is the most common type of divorce and does not require a waiting period.

2. File a Divorce Petition

Obtain a divorce petition form from the clerk’s office of the superior court in the county where you reside. The petition must include basic information about you and your spouse, such as names, addresses, and the date of marriage. You will also need to state the grounds for divorce, which can simply be “irretrievable breakdown.”

3. Serve the Petition

Once you file the petition, you will need to serve your spouse with a copy of the paperwork. This can be done through certified mail or by having the sheriff’s office deliver the documents.

4. File Proof of Service

After you serve the petition, you must file a proof of service with the court. This document verifies that your spouse was properly notified of the divorce proceeding.

5. Wait for Response or Default

Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the petition. If they do not respond, you can request a default judgment from the court, which will grant you a divorce without further action.

6. Attend a Hearing (If Necessary)

If your spouse responds to the petition, a hearing may be scheduled to resolve any outstanding issues, such as property division or child custody. Be prepared to present evidence and argue your case to the judge.

7. Obtain a Divorce Decree

Once all issues have been resolved, the judge will issue a divorce decree. This document will finalize the divorce and legally dissolve the marriage.

Tips and Expert Advice

Filing for divorce without a lawyer can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are a few tips to make the process smoother:

  • Gather all necessary paperwork: Collect all financial documents, property records, and other relevant information before filing.
  • Consider mediation: If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on certain issues, consider using a neutral third-party mediator to facilitate discussions.
  • Be prepared for a hearing: If a hearing is scheduled, prepare yourself by practicing your testimony and gathering any necessary evidence.
  • Follow court rules: Make sure to file all documents on time and follow all court rules and procedures.
  • Seek support: Talk to friends, family, or a therapist for emotional support during this difficult time.


  • Q: How long does it take to get a divorce without an attorney?

    A: It depends on the complexity of your case and whether your spouse responds to the petition. Uncontested divorces can be finalized within a few months, while contested divorces can take longer.

  • Q: Can I change my mind after filing for divorce?

    A: Yes, you can withdraw your petition at any time before the divorce decree is issued. However, if your spouse has already filed an answer or a counterclaim, you may need to obtain their consent to withdraw.

  • Q: What happens to property and debts after a divorce?

    A: Georgia follows the principle of “equitable distribution,” which means that property and debts are divided fairly between spouses, not necessarily equally.


Filing for divorce in Georgia without a lawyer is possible, but it requires careful preparation and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article and seeking support from trusted sources, you can navigate this legal process successfully.

Are you interested in learning more about divorce law and procedures in Georgia? Leave a comment below with your questions and we will be happy to provide additional information.

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