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DIVORCE 

      There are many ways to end a marriage. Divorce is one of the ways to end a marriage. Other ways includes annulment, death, etc. In this article I will deal with divorce as a way of ending a marriage. I will concentrate on the three most popular types of divorce; Uncontested divorce, Contested divorce , and divorce by publication . Divorce is therefore the most popular way of ending a marriage. Either party can initiate a divorce action . All divorce case must be brought in the superior court and in the county where the defendant resides, except in some cases, example divorce by publication,  and where the defendant specifically consents to a particular jurisdiction other than his /her county , then it can be brought in the county where either the plaintiff or defendant resides.  Each jurisdiction have different requirements for filing divorce.There are many reasons that make one file for divorce. The catch all reason used most of the time and provided by the status, Georgia code is “ Irreconcilable differences”. Other reasons includes spousal adultery, Cruel treatments , Desertion for over a year, etc. For more information on reasons for divorce, please contact attorney Isaac T. Ntuk for a no obligation free legal consultation. Also, if you are planning to file a divorce check with the particular jurisdiction that you want to file , their requirements for filing a divorce, or more importantly, call my office at the numbers above for a no obligation free phone consultation.

                                           TYPES OF DIVORCE.

      The most popular types of divorce used in most of the courts in United states are: Uncontested divorce, Contested divorce and divorce by publication.

 

                                        UNCONTESTED DIVORCE.

        This is the type of divorce in which the parties must agree to all aspect of the divorce, except child support which is governed by a standard child support guidelines .The parties can agree to pay the amount lower or higher than what is in the child supports guideline. The parties to an uncontested divorce must agree to all aspect of the divorce including property division, child custody, child support,  alimony, insurance, pension , etc. If they have children, in most of the jurisdictions, each of them must take parenting classes in the county in which they resides.Also in most Jurisdiction, each of them must submit a completely executed financial affidavit statements , and a child support work sheets.  In most Jurisdiction, the party can obtain the divorce without going to court. The attorney or the pro-se plaintiff can request a judgment on the pleadings after or with the filing of the initial petition. If this is approved, they can obtained their divorce without going to court on the judgment on the pleading . There are some judges and jurisdictions that may require the plaintiff to appear in court on an uncontested proceeding before they can obtain their final divorce decree. A majority of the judges and jurisdictions will grand the final divorce decree without the parties appearing in court. However,  the plaintiff must request for a judgement on the pleadings  before he/she can obtain a divorce without going to the court.
If the divorce does not involve children and division of properties, most courts will grand the final order without going to court. If it involves children and property division, some court will require the parties or the plaintiff to appear in court, while others will not.  In most of the jurisdictions, if the Plaintiff is asked to appear in court, the defendant may not have to appear in court before the final decree is granted in an uncontested divorce.  Usually, both the plaintiff and the defendant must sign the settlement agreements, the affidavits (required by some jurisdictions) and the  acknowledgment of service , verification , and consent to try at first term .The defendants or both the defendant and the plaintiff must sign the consent to jurisdiction. A divorce must be brought in the county where the defendant resides, however, if the defendant sign the consent to jurisdiction, or if the defendant cannot be found as in the case of divorce by publication, then it can be brought in either the plaintiff’s county or the defendant’s county. No service of process is required in an uncontested divorce,  but each party must sign and notarize the settlement agreements, the acknowledgment of service, verification, consent to try at first term and consent to jurisdiction. Each party must also verify the petition in the presence of a notary public. The plaintiff must also submit a notarized affidavit.Uncontested divorce can usually be obtained in about 30 to 60 days depending on the jurisdiction. Uncontested divorce is also cheaper than other kinds of divorce that will be discussed below.  A word to save you some money ; if you are planning to file a divorce, discuss it with your husband or wife , if you are on a speaking terms and see if this can be done uncontested. If both agrees, then go uncontested, because it will be less time consuming and less expensive  If one or both of the e parties disagrees, then go contested.   For further information and discussion concerning uncontested divorce, please contact attorney Isaac T. Ntuk. acntuk@comcast.net

                                         CONTESTED DIVORCE.

         This is a type of divorce in which the parties does not agree on issues concerning the divorce, for example the parties does not agree on child custody, child support, property division, alimony, pension(if any), etc. Or the parties are not on a speaking terms when they want the divorce. If the parties does not want the divorce to be uncontested, or they have decided to fight it in  court, then it becomes a contested divorce. Contested divorce is not usually a pleasant thing to do. It is time consuming and more expensive. There is no judgment on the pleading on contested divorce. The parties must go to the court in from of the judge or the jury , if requested by one or both of the parties, and have the case decided by the Judge or the Jury. In most Jurisdictions if the parties have children, they must each submits a completely executed financial affidavit, child support work sheet and must attend a parenting class. Service of process is very essential in an a contested divorce. The defendant must be served in the county in which he/she resides or by substituted service. Defendant can consents to service outside his/her jurisdiction . The case must be brought in the county where the defendant resides.  If the defendant resides out of the state, the case must be brought in the county where the plaintiff resides. Service must be made by a sheriff or by a qualify process server ( which must be specially requested and approved by the judge.).Only the complaint , petition and certificate of service is required to be filed with the clerk of the superior court. Settlement agreement, and acknowledgment of service, verification, consent to try at first term are not required. In some jurisdiction, the plaintiff is  required to file and affidavit in addition to the complaint.
Discoveries and production of documents request can be submitted with the petition at the time of filing, or after filing. Each parties, the plaintiff or defendant or their attorneys can request for discoveries or production of documents. The discovery period and production of documents is six months. Either parties can request for additional time if this can not be done within six months. If children is involve, the plaintiff or his/her attorney must request an immediate hearing to discuss issue of temporary child support. Motions and other trial techniques must be brought before the final hearing. All issues, evidence and supporting documents must be deliberated in the present of the judge or jury before the final hearing.
At the close of the case, most Judges may request a consolidated pre-trial order from both the plaintiff and defendant, or their attorneys if they were represented by  attorneys. The judge if no jury was demanded, will decide the issue of child support, (according to guidelines),child custody, alimony, property division etc. If the jury was demanded, the jury usually decides the issue of child custody, child support in accordance with the established guidelines. The judge is the one to sign the final divorce order. The order signed must be certified , stamped in order to be valid.
Before filing a contested divorce or any other type of divorce, please contact attorney Isaac T. Ntuk, at (cell), 678-437-9758, (office) 404-228-5656, or e-mail For further information. www.isaacntuk.com

                                         DIVORCE BY PUBLICATION

   This is the third commonly litigated type of divorce. This type of divorce is usually brought by one person, mainly the plaintiff. Divorce by publication is usually brought where the plaintiff spouse does not know where the defendant spouse resides. The plaintiff spouse must indicate on the petition that he/she has search for the defendant spouse through his/her former residence, employer, friends to no avail. Defendant is unavailable, and cannot be found. When this happen, plaintiff spouse can obtained divorce  ex-parte. To do this, plaintiff or his/her attorney must file a petition with the court. This must be published in the county newspaper to which the plaintiff resides for a period of sixty days. The plaintiff must pay the publication fees and the filing fees. In some jurisdictions, the clerk will schedule a hearing with the plaintiff after the case is published for sixty days. In other jurisdictions, the plaintiff or his/her attorney must request a hearing after the sixty days publication period. If the defendant did not contest the divorce, either by seeing it in the newspaper, or through other way of knowing it, then the plaintiff will get the final divorce order during the court hearing. However, if the defendant saw the notice, or the publication and appear in court, then the case becomes contested, and has to be treated as a contested divorce. Most likely, the judge will re-set the case for another hearing and presentation of evidence. There is no service of process for divorce by publication. Usually, the defendant in a divorce by publication will not be aware of the law suit since many people does not read the divorce section of the county newspaper, so in event, most divorce by publication are usually uncontested, and the plaintiff is sure to get it. Issues of child support, child custody etc is usually not deliberated, since defendant is usually unavailable.

There are other types of divorce that are rarely used in court. I hope I have explained in detail the most commonly used type of divorce in American Court. If you are planning to file a divorce, please contact attorney Isaac T. Ntuk & Associates.

Sample Case files:

Divorce Complaint #1
Divorce Settelment #2 icon
Divorce Parenting Plan icon
Child Support Addendum icon
DIVORCE BY PUBLICATION icon
FINAL JUDGMENT AND DECREE OF DIVORCE icon