Contrary to many other states, Georgia does not have a statute requiring a couple to reside apart before filing for divorce. While they are preparing for a divorce, it’s common for couples to temporarily live together. For financial reasons, to provide their children stability, because they haven’t yet secured separate housing, or for other reasons, spouses in Georgia will sometimes decide to obtain a divorce while still cohabiting.
Although it is possible to divorce while still cohabiting in Georgia, there are some requirements you must meet, such as being “legally separated,” in order to do so effectively. Here are some typical worries people have about divorcing in Georgia and continuing to live together.
Clarifications about Getting a Divorce while Cohabiting
In order to obtain a divorce in Georgia, you must be legally separated from your spouse and have ceased your “marital relations.” If a couple is “legally separated,” it indicates they aren’t having romantic interactions, whether they are cohabiting or not. They now believe themselves to be in a state of separation because they are no longer sleeping in the same bed together or having sexual intercourse. Although an agreed-upon or verified date is advised, being “legally separated” does not need a separation agreement, either orally or in writing.
You are not required to be living apart for a set amount of time in Georgia. On Monday, you may decide you want to get a divorce, and on Tuesday, you can start the divorce process itself. Meanwhile, Georgia requires a minimum waiting time of 45 days before granting a divorce, with some exceptions allowing it to be granted after 31 days. Even in no-fault divorces, this waiting time is essential. The average time of the procedure for undisputed cases when the sides agree on almost everything varies depending on a range of circumstances, but undisputed divorces are often concluded within 60 – 90 days assuming there are no concerns that the court would not allow.
Do’s and Don’ts while Getting a Divorce and Cohabiting
- Both persons require privacy throughout the separation, and you should sleep in different places where both people can have privacy during times of stress or anxiety.
- It’s vital to communicate properly about children and bills if you want to live separately under the same house.
- To reduce arguments and maintain a level of stability for the children, try to reach general agreements on how to handle children’s schedules and activities.
- When living together before the divorce is official, each spouse should pay their bills from their own separate accounts, according to their agreed-upon budget.
- When married, many couples have a joint account to which they have equal access throughout a divorce. This account should be kept open until all marital property has been distributed.
Things to remember
Safeguarding your livelihood and getting a divorce in Georgia while cohabiting is difficult, and divorce may be complicated under any condition. It is possible to divorce while living together in Georgia if you are “legally separated.” Divorce is a difficult time for most people, and divorcing while living together may add to the stress, which is why hiring a knowledgeable family law attorney to assist resolve matters as quickly and peacefully as possible is always recommended.