• What to Consider When Filing an Uncontested Divorce

    One of the most difficult challenges that any person can experience is that of a divorce. The process is often emotionally devastating and financially draining. However, despite the hardships that must be faced during the dissolution process, the reality is that thousands of marriages will end in divorce every year in our country. The divorce rate in the United States in 2005, the last year for which reliable data is available, was 3.6 for every 1000 people. This figure marks the lowest divorce rate since 1970, but still accounts for many marriages coming to an end. In Texas, the divorce rate for the same year was slightly lower than the national average at 3.3 per 1000 people. If you are a resident of Texas and you realize that your marriage is headed for an inevitable divorce, there is an option available that will make this life transition as amicable and painless as such a difficult process can possibly be. Assuming you are willing and able to work with your estranged spouse on the divorce agreement, the approach known as an uncontested divorce certainly should be considered.

    With an uncontested divorce, both parties are able to come to a mutual agreement concerning property division, sharing of child custody, and financial support issues. This type of divorce filing usually saves both parties a great deal of time and money, as well as provides the best possibility of maintaining a sense of peace for any children involved. If you believe you and your spouse may be able to work together to create an acceptable agreement to end your marriage, consider these factors and then decide if an uncontested divorce is the best approach for your situation:

    1. Communication – You both have decided that you no longer wish to be married. Are you still able to speak to one another in a civil manner and with an honest interest in hearing the other’s perspective? In an uncontested divorce, the husband and wife must be able to cooperate on all of the key decisions. This does not mean that there will not be any points of contention, but that both of you are willing to work through them together.

    2. Character – Are you planning to file for divorce due to your spouse’s infidelity, lying, money mismanagement, or other poor decisions? In this instance, it may be more beneficial to you to file for divorce on specific and contested grounds. If you have not been able to trust your spouse during your marriage, you hardly can expect a more amicable relationship to begin now. This is especially true if there was any abuse in the relationship.

    3. Cost – An uncontested divorce certainly is the least expensive way to move through the divorce process. If you do not wish to spend thousands of dollars fighting over each item that was purchased during your marriage and negotiating the specific hour at which the children will be picked up on Friday evenings, an uncontested divorce may fit your needs. However, in some instances, it many prove impossible to reach common ground on the assets you accumulated as a couple as well as other details of the settlement. Do not accept less than what you know you deserve simply in order to save a few dollars now.

    Now that you have determined that an uncontested divorce is a viable option, what needs to happen now? There are residency requirements that first must be met. In order to file for divorce in Texas, you need to have been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county in which you plan to file for at least ninety days. Since you do not plan to have major issues of contention, only one spouse needs to hire an attorney who then will prepare and file a divorce petition.

    The spouse who does not hire an attorney will receive a copy of the divorce decree as well as a waiver of citation which must be signed. A waiver of citation simply acknowledges that the spouse received the divorce decree and does not need to be served officially with papers by a representative of the court. The waiver also excuses the spouse from appearing at the final divorce hearing in court.

    After a sixty-day waiting period, the spouse who filed the divorce decree must appear before a judge with his or her attorney and have the settlement approved. You simply allow another thirty days for the agreement to be processed, and your divorce is considered legal and final in the state of Texas.

    Divorce is never an easy process for two individuals who once shared dreams of a life together. There are feelings of guilt, sadness, disappointment, fear, and failure that must be processed. Children who are a part of the family must be secure in the fact that they are still loved by both parents and that their lives will continue with as much normalcy as possible. When both parties are able to come together across a table and discuss the details like two mature, peaceful adults, an uncontested divorce is often the best possible option. In Texas, this process is designed to be simple and sensitive to the needs of all parties involved. If you are ready to move forward with an uncontested divorce, contact a family law attorney today.

    Tony R. Bertolino is the managing partner at Bertolino LLP with law offices located in Austin, Houston and San Antonio, Texas. A member of the Trial and Appellate Litigation Team, Mr. Bertolino’s practice is devoted largely to complex transactions, commercial litigation, business law, entertainment law and family law matters. You can read more about Mr. Bertolino at http://www.belolaw.com.

  • An Introduction to Georgia Divorce Procedure

    Copyright (c) 2013 VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC

    It is no secret that, unfortunately, approximately half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce. And although some states require long waiting periods prior to the divorce action being finalized, a divorce may be obtained in Georgia as quickly as thirty-one (31) days after the divorce action is filed.

    In Georgia, there are basically two types of divorce actions, uncontested and contested divorces. In order to obtain an uncontested divorce in Georgia, both parties will have to agree as to all issues pertaining to the divorce (e.g., custody of the minor children, division of assets and joint debts, visitation of children, child support, etc.).

    The divorce action must be filed in the County in which the Defendant resides, if the Defendant resides in the State of Georgia. If the Defendant resides outside of the State of Georgia, the divorce action may be filed in the County in which the Plaintiff resides. Prior to the filing of a divorce action, the Plaintiff must have been a resident of the State of Georgia for six months.

    Uncontested Divorce

    Typically, in an uncontested divorce, the attorney will prepare the Complaint for Divorce, a Settlement Agreement, a Disclaimer of Representation (if only one party is represented by legal counsel), a Consent to Trial after thirty-one (31) days, and an Acknowledgment of Service. If the Defendant is willing to permit the divorce action to be heard in the County in which the Plaintiff resides, and the parties do not both reside in the same county, then the attorney will prepare a Waiver of Jurisdiction for the Defendant to sign.

    And if there are minor children born of the marriage, the attorney will also prepare a Child Support Addendum, Permanent Parenting Plan, a Child Support Worksheet, and both parties will be required to prepare financial affidavits and attend a parenting seminar. The typical grounds for an uncontested divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning there is no possibility of reconciliation.

    Once all of the above documents are prepared prior to filing, the attorney can request a trial date as early as thirty-one (31) days from the date the documents were filed, and the Defendant is not required to appear in court.

    Service by Publication

    In the event that the Plaintiff does not know the whereabouts of his or her spouse, a diligent search must first be initiated to attempt to locate the spouse, and an affidavit of diligent search must be filed at the time the Complaint for Divorce is filed. Additionally, a notice must be placed in the local legal organ (newspaper) for the County in which the Plaintiff resides. After the expiration of sixty (60) days from the date of publication, the attorney may request a trial date to conclude the divorce action.

    Contested Divorce

    A contested, as the name implies, is a divorce action in which all of the issues are not agreed upon or resolved prior to filing the action. In this instance, the attorney will file the Complaint for Divorce in the County in which the Defendant resides (if within the State of Georgia), or in the County in which the Plaintiff resides (if the Defendant resides outside of the State of Georgia).

    In the Plaintiff’s Complaint, the Plaintiff will make his or her allegations and state the issues for the Court to resolve. The Defendant must then be served by the County Sheriff’s civil process office or a private process server who is authorized to make service of process in that County.

    Once the Defendant is served, he or she has thirty (30) days in which to file an Answer. If the Defendant is seeking relief from the Court, in his/her Answer, it will be necessary for the Defendant to include a Counterclaim.

    Typical issues in a divorce action include: custody of the minor children, child support, division of assets, attorneys fees, alimony, joint debts, etc. And the grounds for divorce may vary.


    On the issue of alimony, the Court tends to address this issue on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the evidence presented. Neither party is automatically entitled to alimony. And depending on which judge the case is heard before, the Court’s ruling can vary widely. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon the party seeking alimony to make out a good case.

    Length of Contested Divorce Action

    Unlike an uncontested divorce action which may be completed in as little as thirty-one (31) days, contested divorces can last from several months to several years, depending on the complexity of the divorce action and the will of the parties. Typically, if the parties are intent on making the other party suffer, the conclusion of the divorce action can be delayed substantially.


    Mediation is available to the parties should they so desire to mediate the issues of their divorce action. In fact, some courts will require that the parties go to mediation. A mediator is an independent, neutral party who listens to the issues and concerns of each party and attempts to help the parties reach an agreeable resolution. In the event that some, but not all issues are resolved in mediation, then a mediation agreement will be signed by the parties as to those issues that were resolved. The remaining unresolved issues will be determined by the Court at trial.

    Attorney Anthony Van Johnson has represented thousands of clients in over forty (40) courts throughout the State of Georgia in personal injury, family law, DUI, as well as, other legal matters. Call VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC, for legal representation or to have your questions answered. (404) 551-2428 or toll free (866) 834-3762. http://www.vanjohnsonlaw.us

  • DIY Uncontested Divorce in Texas

    It’s completely possible to file your own divorce in the state of Texas without hiring an attorney. There are some who would advise against it and suggest you need legal representation, but if both parties can agree to all the terms of divorce and make their own arrangements regarding division of property, child custody, etc, the divorce process will go much more smoothly. This kind of divorce is an uncontested divorce.

    The steps to filing an uncontested divorce in Texas are as follows:

    1. File the petition at the County Clerk’s office of your local courthouse. This petition outlines the grounds for divorce and addresses all of the issues in the dissolution of the marriage such as child support payments, visitation, who gets to keep which property, and so on. There is a filing fee of $250-$300 associated with filing the petition. However, if you are unable to pay it, you may submit an affidavit stating that you are unable to afford this fee and the judge may waive it. Make three copies of the petition. Keep one for your records, mail one to the other party in the divorce, and file the third with the clerk.

    2. File the waiver of citation along with your petition. The waiver of citation just means that the other party has received a copy of the divorce petition and does not need to be officially served by the constable or sheriff.

    3. A final divorce decree will then be prepared by the judge and both parties will appear in court to sign the decree. The final decree of divorce is the final document in the divorce and is basically the same as the petition as it outlines all of the agreements to be enforced within the divorce. This won’t happen until sixty days have passed, as there is a waiting period imposed on final decrees of divorce. After this waiting period has passed, a final hearing will be scheduled. You will appear in court to answer questions from the judge consisting of things like:

    Your name

    Your spouse’s name

    Texas and county residency

    Dates of marriage and separation

    Is there a signed waiver of citation?

    Is there a signed divorce decree?

    Is there no hope of reconciliation?

    Are there children?

    At this time, the judge will sign the final decree and, after another thirty day waiting period, your divorce is final. That’s it – done!

    The proper documents may be hard to find and you will discover many, many places on the internet that want to charge you an outrageous fee for some “Do it yourself” kit. You don’t need to waste that money. You can find the documents, available for download and printing in PDF form, at www.womenslaw.org free of charge. At this site, you will also be able to find links to your local courthouses and other information regarding the different divorce laws that are on the books in the state of Texas.

    Senobia Torres is a freelance writer who, sometimes, finds the time to write for fun instead of business. Senobia offers a full range of writing services via her personal website, located at www.senobiator…  View profile

  • How to Find Uncontested Divorce Forms – File for Less

    Filing for divorce is never an enjoyable process, but if you and your partner can agree on all terms of the separation you can use Georgia uncontested divorce forms to make everything much easier. Also, it is much faster to get a divorce finalized if you both agree on all terms and file with uncontested forms filled out on your own or by a mutual representative. There may be a lot of emotional issues and that goes along with the divorce, but for many people the real pain comes with fighting things out in court. There are possessions to fight over and sometimes kids to fight over. Things get messy and extremely expensive, especially if there is a heated battle over child custody or there are a lot of properties and assets to divide.

    Fortunately, many couples are able to get through divorce without adding all of that stress and pain on top of everything else they are going through. These are couples who can agree on all aspects of the divorce, fill out the uncontested divorce forms, and sign on the bottom line in agreement.

    Are you one of those parting couples? If so, your job is not to hire an expensive lawyer and put on the battle gear for a vicious court battle, but to find authentic uncontested divorce forms and get them filed so you can become single and free.

    Finding Uncontested Divorce Forms Once you determine that all aspects of the divorce can be agreed upon without a fight (including child custody, visitation, and child support if applicable), you can go online to find legitimate divorce forms for your state. There are some sources that claim to offer completely free forms that you can simply print out, but make sure they are up to date and accurate before using those. The problem with most free divorce papers found online is they typically come with very little instruction on how to fill them out correctly and get them filed. In some cases the instructions are there but the information is not accurate or up to date.

    This is why most people get their uncontested divorce forms from services that offer packets of forms with complete instructions for the state for a small fee. You should be able to get all the papers needed to file an uncontested divorce for less than $20. There should be no shipping charges, since you can download and print the forms from the Internet. Your alternative is to hire a lawyer who will ask for big bucks just to fill the very same papers out.

    Filing Uncontested Divorce Forms Once you get your uncontested divorce forms, it is important that you know how to fill them out correctly. For instance, where it asks for the grounds for the divorce there are only select reasons that will be accepted by the courts. You have to know this information or you risk having your paperwork found unacceptable when presented in court. Make sure that your uncontested forms packet comes with up to date information about filling them out, or consider having someone fill them out on your behalf. At the very least, look up information online about filing uncontested divorce.

    Getting a divorce in Georgia? Make it easy on you and your spouse download uncontested divorce forms Georgia [http://uncontesteddivorceforms.org/state-uncontested-divorce-forms/download-georgia-uncontested-divorce-forms/] for quick and easy filing. Georgia uncontested divorce forms [http://uncontesteddivorceforms.org/state-uncontested-divorce-forms/download-georgia-uncontested-divorce-forms/] can save your family heartache and pain. Find forms for your state now!

  • Which type of divorce is right for you?

    When the decision to end a marriage has been made, the next step is to decide on what type of divorce is best for you, and your situation. There are six types of divorce commonly available, in most states. Each type of divorce differs in the type of requirements needed to satisfy the court, and thus be granted a Decree of Divorce.

    No Fault Divorce

    A No Fault Divorce does not require any allegations of wrong doing toward either party involved. Grounds for this type of divorce may include irreconcilable differences and irremediable breakdown of the marriage. The only state not honoring a true no fault divorce is New York. In most states, this is the most common form of divorce. A No Fault Divorce is commonly the least expensive.

    At Fault Divorce

    With an At Fault divorce one party has to have done something wrong that is resulting in the breakdown of the marriage. Wrongdoings, or grounds for divorce’, could include adultery, physical or mental cruelty, desertion, or imprisonment. If the spouse accused of such wrongdoing does not agree to the divorce, or the facts stated in the divorce agreement, he or she would have to deny the accusations and possibly prove a defense in court. Not all states allow this type of divorce.

    Summary Divorce

    A Summary Divorce is not commonly available. Also referred to as a Simplified Divorce, there are eligibility requirements to be able to pursue this form of divorce including limits on the term of the marriage and property. Simplified, or summary divorces, are uncontested, no fault divorces with absolutely no disagreements on the settlement. This type of divorce is typically the fastest.

    Uncontested Divorce

    An Uncontested Divorce is best when both parties agree, without hesitation, that the marriage cannot be saved. Most states require all issues related to the divorce to be agreed upon. This may include the custody of any children, support payments, real property, and any other assets the parties may hold. Approval rate of an uncontested divorce is high when the parties can present the court with a fair agreement. You may also agree on the divorce as uncontested and later ask the court to decided how to split property and decide on custody issues, although the approval rate would be less.

    Collaborative Divorce

    In a Collaborative Divorce the parties, with the assistance of attorneys, negotiate an agreed resolution. Often times a financial specialist will also assist in the negotiations. The parties are entitled to make their own decisions