Does It Matter Who Files First in a Georgia Divorce?

If you are considering getting a divorce in Georgia, you may be wondering whether there are any advantages to filing first. Although it’s never a good idea to rush into anything, especially divorce, there are actually some benefits to filing for divorce before your spouse in Georgia. Before discussing these benefits, however, it’s important to ensure that you understand the basics of divorce in Georgia.  

An Overview of Divorce in Georgia 

In order to file for divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse must file a divorce petition with the court. Ordinarily, the divorce petition must be filed in the non-filing spouse’s county of residence, and it must include:

  • The reason for the divorce
  • A list of assets 
  • An explanation of current arrangements for children of the marriage 

Georgia law recognizes 13 causes for divorce, the most popular of which is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Additional grounds for divorce include adultery, intoxication, drug addiction, and cruelty. 

Regardless of the reason for your divorce, there are definite advantages to filing for divorce before your spouse. 

Benefits of Filing for Divorce Before Your Spouse in Georgia

In Georgia, there are several advantages to filing for divorce before your spouse, including: 

Getting a head start on hiring professionals: Finding the right professionals can take time, so it’s helpful to start as early as possible. If you plan to file for divorce, you should first meet with a Georgia divorce attorney. In addition to hiring a Georgia divorce attorney, you may want to enlist the services of a therapist. A therapist can help you with any emotional issues you may be experiencing due to the divorce. Finally, if substantial assets are involved, you should consider hiring a divorce financial analyst. 

Having more time to prepare paperwork: Divorce is a paperwork-intensive process. A wide range of documents are required to ensure a fair divorce settlement, including insurance documents, tax returns, estate plans, and information regarding retirement plans and stocks.

Reducing the risk that your ex will hide assets: Finally, filing for divorce before your spouse can ensure that he or she doesn’t attempt to hide assets. Most assets in divorce are protected throughout the duration of the divorce proceeding through Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders. An Automatic Temporary Restraining Order is a court order that freezes divorce accounts in order to protect assets. In most cases, an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order prohibits both spouses from transferring bank accounts, property rights, and insurance documents before the divorce is final. These orders are designed to reduce the risk that spouses will hide or destroy assets in an attempt to keep them from one another. 

Contact a Georgia divorce attorney

Finally, if you’ve run out of options and feel like your marriage is irretrievably broken, you should contact an experienced Georgia divorce attorney to explore your options. At Carter/Pilgrim, our experienced divorce attorney will guide you through the Georgia divorce process while fighting hard to ensure that you obtain a just result in your Georgia divorce. Experienced family law attorney Amy Carter has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you acquire the results you desire in your Georgia divorce case. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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Our Service Area

We are located in Suwanee Georgia, but we defend clients throughout Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County, Barrow County, Jackson County, and Dawson County.  Contact our Atlanta law firm as soon as possible to learn how we advocate for your best interests.

Carter Pilgrim
Attorneys at Law


3725 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suite A-4
Suwanee, GA 30024

Phone: Call our office 770-945-2320

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