You and your spouse are full of uncertainty, worry and other strong emotions when going through a divorce. And if there are children to consider, you must see to their welfare. Therefore, the simpler the divorce procedure, the better. Filing for divorce in Chatham County, Georgia, is relatively simple. You can file on your own if your divorce will be uncontested; that means you and your spouse won't disagree on anything, including child support and visitation. You'll need a lawyer if your divorce becomes more complicated.
Determine whether you meet Georgia's residency requirements. To file for divorce in Chatham County, you must have been a resident of the state for the previous six months, or have Georgia listed as your last place of residence while you were with your spouse. Even if you've moved to another state, if you spent your last six months of marriage in Georgia you can file for divorce there.
Decide on the grounds for divorce. Georgia has 13 grounds for divorce. One of them is a "no-fault" ground, in which one of the parties refuses to live with the other, making the marriage irreconcilable. The other 12 reasons for divorce involve some "fault"--adultery, cruelty, deliberate abandonment, physical abuse, and the like.
File a petition for divorce. Obtain the petition from the clerk of Superior Court in the county your spouse lives in. Complete and sign the forms and submit them to the clerk of court, who will record and stamp them with the date of application. The Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia, is located at: 133 Montgomery Street Suite 304 Savannah, GA 31401 Phone: (912) 652-7197 Fax: (912) 652-7380
Have your spouse served with the divorce decree. A county sheriff or independent process server will do this.
There is a 30-day waiting period following your petition. Be patient. Your divorce will go through much more quickly if your spouse doesn't contest your requests, or if the two of you had drafted an agreement beforehand about the division of property, assets, child support and alimony.
Attend the hearing if your spouse is contesting the divorce petition. Based on testimony from you and your spouse, a judge will rule on the separation of marital assets, custody of children and visitation rights.
Obtain your final divorce decree from the clerk of Superior Court when your divorce is finalized.