When a person files for divorce in Georgia, the spouse might be tempted to simply let the case move forward without a response and not participate. This could be based on the hope that the person changes their mind or a belief that the outcome will be the same regardless of whether they take part or not.
However, people must remember that it is important that they take part in the case for no other reason than to ensure they have some say in its key aspects personally and financially.
What will the judge do in an undefended divorce case?
After a divorce filing, the respondent is not legally required to take part in the case. Failure to do so can result in the judge simply deciding that the reasons presented for the divorce were justified according to the law and are provable. The judge can also appoint an attorney to fulfill that duty.
During evidentiary hearings to sift through the key issues of the case, the grounds for divorce – adultery, cruelty, addiction, abandonment and others – will be assessed. The court will also hear evidence to decide on child custody, child support and alimony. The hearings are not legally necessary if a party does not respond to the filing.
When there is no evidentiary hearing, the party who is taking part in the proceeding has a good chance of getting what they are asking for due to the nonparticipation of the other party.
In a family law case, being legally protected is vital
People who are informed by their spouse that they want a divorce might be emotional and resigned to the marriage ending. This could lead to them making the mistake of not taking part in the case. When they fail to do so, the lingering issues could be decided without their input.
If, for example, there are children, they will want to have their say with custody, child support and more. To understand the law in these matters and to have help, it is important to have someone on their side from the start and throughout the case.