I occasionally run into a spouse who is in a hurry to divorce their husband or wife. On the other hand, the opposing spouse is not in a hurry. They do not respond to offers to resolve the divorce without going to court and they do not hire their own lawyer. Eventually, they are served with the divorce papers and the lawsuit begins.
Once they are served with divorce papers they have 30 days under Georgia law to file what is called an answer. Many times they don't even answer the complaint. In those cases, clients often times come to me urging that we resolve the case immediately. They want to know when they can get divorced.
The law is clear and in divorce cases as long as the parent has done the parenting class and their children involved it can be done relatively quickly. All civil cases, including divorce and other domestic relations cases, shall be triable any time after the last day upon which defensive pleadings were required to be filed. This means that a final decree of divorce may be taken at any time after 30 days from the date of service of process.Harris v. Harris, 228 Ga. 562 (1972).
Uniform Superior Court rule 24.6 provides:
Uncontested divorce actions may be heard at times agreeable to counsel and the court, subject to the following rules:
a) By written consent of both parties to hearing a divorce may be granted any time 31 days after service or filing acknowledgment of service .
b) In an unanswered action, a divorce may be granted any time 46 days after service , unless the time for response has been extended by court order .
c) A divorce action served by publication may be granted any time suitable to the judge and attorneys 61 days or more after date of the first publication .
d) All divorce actions with orders for publication or acknowledgement of service should be filed prior to or contemporaneously with the signing of the order or acknowledgment.
The Uniform Superiot Court Rule 24.6 must yield in case of conflict, to the applicable substantive law ,and accordingly , the trial court will be authorized pursuant to statutory law to grant divorce after 30 days from the time an answer would have been due. Hammack v. Hammack, 281 Ga. 202 (2006).
Contact a Dallas Georgia family law attorney to help you with your divorce case.