Filing for divorce is a difficult emotionally – but everyone still has to file their divorce case subject to the law regarding jurisdiction and venue. One of the first things you will deal with is filing for divorce. Jurisdiction and venue play an important role in the process, as you will need to file the paperwork in the correct place in order to open your case.
Jurisdiction refers to the court’s authority to hear a case, as determined by its legal boundaries. A court with jurisdiction to hear a divorce has the right to grant the divorce itself and to decide on orders connected to the divorce, such as child support, custody, and property division.
Venue refers to the proper geographical area in which a spouse can file. Usually, Georgia law requires that you file your divorce complaint in your spouse’s county of residence. If your spouse has moved away from Georgia, you may file at the Superior Court in your county. If you do not file in the proper place, you run the risk of your case being dismissed, thus it is important to know where you should be filing and note that your case could be specific – you should always double check with your court and your attorney that you are filing in the right place.
Generally, if you are filing for an uncontested divorce with your spouse, the complaint can be filed in either party’s county, provided both parties have given consent that this is alright. Once your case is open, court hearings will usually resume in the Superior Court in which you filed your complaint. If you or your spouse lives in Atlanta, you will file in in the Fulton County Superior Court, which can be located at:
136 Pryor Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
However, if you have an Atlanta, Georgia address but residing in DeKalb County, your case will generally be filed in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, which is located at:
556 N. McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 371-2836
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