What is the process, and how long will it take to get divorce if:
1. He agree to sign divorce papers
2. He will not agree to divorce sign
If he agree to sign papers and send them back to me from India, how long will it take to complete divorce?
You will have to file a case in the place in which you or your spouse have legal residency for the required time. How long it will take will depend upon a number of factors, not the least of them being the location of the filing.
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Pick a place based upon residency of either party. quicker if he agrees to sign, longer if he does not sign. Speak to a local divorce lawyer to find out what the current backlog is?
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In Georgia you may file for divorce if you are a resident for six months prior to filing. Whether he agrees to a divorce is not pertinent. Whether he agrees to a division of marital assets is another matter. Agreements between the parties to the disposition of assets and liabilities certainly makes the divorce process easier.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If he will agree and sign, you can potentially get divorced in 31 days. Not having his signature will add significant time and expense. My office can certainly help you, and a lawyer is certainly going to be a good idea. My number is 404-768-3509 if you have any questions.
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The fact that the marriage took place in India is irrelevant. You can bring the divorce action in Georgia in the county where you live. Since you have lived in Georgia for two years, you meet the residency requirement for filing in this state. It does not matter whether your spouse has ever stepped foot in Georgia, you can still sue him/her for divorce. Once the case has been filed an immediate concern for the court is whether your spouse has been properly served with the divorce paperwork.
The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, more commonly called the Hague Service Convention, is a multilateral treaty which was signed in The Hague on 15 November 1965 by members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It allows service of process of judicial documents from one signatory state to another without use of consular and diplomatic channels. The Convention was ratified by only 22 countries. India ratified the treaty on 23 November 2006, which means there is an accepted international standard for service on your spouse because he/she lives in India, a signatory state.
If you can convince the court that you have properly served the defendant you will then have to have the court address the issues of child support and division of property. This issue could be rather tricky. The short answer is that the court has much more authority to make rulings on the children and property of the marriage that are in its jurisdiction of the court than if the property and children of issue of the marriage are out of the country.
Whether you decide to hire an attorney is entirely up to you. If you have children or marital property of any value it is probably best to seek the representation of an attorney with experience in international family law disputes to address the issues that are likely to come up. If there are no children and little or no marital property I can understand how it could be hard to justify using an attorney to handle this matter. The law is a luxury product (i.e. it’s expensive) even so in your case it’s probably wise to seek the advice of an attorney that you have paid to review the matter. By way of analogy, suppose you had a 1971 Ford Pinto, I doubt it’s worth the money to invest in the installation of leather seats and a DVD player at this point; it is not going to help resale. However, any time you have an international family law problem that could possibly result in a negative immigration impact for you or your family it’s probably best to spend the money and change the gas tank on the Pinto as the consequences for such a failure could be catastrophic. (Google Pinto and gas tank explosion if you are under 35.)
I could imagine a situation where you tried to get a divorce from your spouse and it was not legally binding because of service issues. It may never come up again but if you get remarried to another person from India, and the divorce you filed is invalid, you may have problems getting a visa for your new spouse when the first spouse calls the state department to say that you never divorced her.
Hope that helps.