The Law Office of Antonio B. Mari is located in downtown Cartersville, Georgia in the historic Bradley Building - just minutes from I-75. Please call to schedule an appointment. Weekend and evening appointments are available.

5 S. Public Square

Suite 301

Cartersville, Georgia 30120


When is an uncontested divorce the right solution?

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

When is an uncontested divorce the right solution?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the couple generally agrees on most key issues (especially any property division) and the couple desires to avoid courtroom litigation. Georgia allows a divorce without attempting to asses fault on one party or the other. This “no-fault” basis can open the door to civil and speedy negotiations.  

The main advantage to an uncontested divorce is cost. As long as the parties can continue to communicate with each other, cost can generally be assessed on a flat fee basis. However, if communication becomes strained and the parties are forced to turn to litigation, the cost can quickly escalate. Open and straightforward communication is the key to a low cost and amicable uncontested divorce. Time can also be an advantage to an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce can take many months even years. An uncontested divorce without children can be completed in just over a month.

Before speaking with an attorney it is a good idea is to make a list of possessions and have a civil discussion as to who should get what. If this process can be completed, an uncontested divorce may be a practical solution. However, keep in mind that an uncontested divorce does not mean there will be no disagreements. The parties may disagree, but in the end they should be willing to negotiate and eventually resolve all issues.

While an uncontested divorce can often have a cooperative feel, the parties should understand that a lawyer cannot represent both of them and they should be wary if a lawyer promises to do that. In an uncontested divorce, a lawyer is ethically bound to only represent one client. The other spouse must proceed without a lawyer or hire their own attorney. 

Occasionally, individuals will attempt to save money and file for an uncontested divorce with forms purchased online. This is generally not advisable and you may inadvertently give away some of your key rights or cause the matter to take longer than it should to resolve. Additionally, an uncontested divorce is more affordable than you might think.

Before considering and uncontested divorce ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are there open lines of communication between you and you soon-to-be ex?
  2. Are your financial affairs straightforward?
  3. Are you able to sit down and divide up personal property?
  4. If a house is involved, are you able to decide who take possession of the property?
  5. If children are involved, are you able to decide issues like custody and financial support?

If you answered yes to all those questions, you may be a good candidate for an uncontested divorce. Contact our local office to create an affordable solution that will best protect your rights.

Antonio B. Mari, Esq.


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Georgia Divorce Issues: When can a child decide?

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

A question that comes up frequently in a divorce with children is, “when can a child decide which parent they want to live with?” Georgia law states that when a child reaches the age of 14 they have the right to decide which parent they would like to live with. However this decision is not binding to a judge. If the judge feels that the parent chosen would not be in the best interest of the child, the judge will essentially overrule the child’s wishes.

After a divorce a child over 14 can, through the parent seeking custody, ask the court to modify a custody order giving custody to the requesting parent. Under the right circumstances this change in selection may be sufficient to meet the statutory requirements.

A child age 11 to 13 can make their opinion known to the court, but the judge is guided by the child’s desires but also the educational needs of the child. The judge in these situations has complete discretion in making their decision and may or may not give weight to the child’s specific wishes. A judge’s is guided in these matters by the legal standard known as “the best interest of the child”.

As to a post-divorce change in custody, an 11 to 13 year old change in parent selection will not meet the statutory requirements to change custody.  

Georgia statutes do not mention the any rights to children younger than 11. Generally speaking a child under the age of 11 will not have his wishes given any weight by the court.

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Georgia Resources

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is a collection of resources for those contemplating a divorce in Georgia

Georgia Legal Aid 

» Family Law and Domestic Violence
» Children and the Law
» How Courts Work
» Wills and Life Planning

» Criminal Law

Fulton County Family Law Information Center

» Forms
» Tips, FAQ’s, and Articles

 Georgia Justice Project 

» GJP Legal Services


» Georgia Law Links

Georgia Legal Service Program
» Legal System F.A.Q.

Georgia Public Defenders Standards Council

 »Circuit Public Defender Office Locations

 State Bar of Georgia

» Consumer Pamphlet Series

» Pro Bono Project

Atlanta Legal Aid Society

 » Library

» Frequently Asked Questions

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