Your attorney will schedule the final hearing and give you the location and time of the hearing. Make sure you are 15 minutes early for your scheduled hearing. Most jurisdictions in the metro Atlanta area will put you on a domestic calendar.
Wait until your case is called
If you are on a regular domestic calendar, the judge will call the uncontested divorce cases in the order that is listed on the calendar. You and your attorney will approach the bench when your case is called.
Swearing In and Testimony
Your attorney or the judge's bailiff will swear you in, ie. they will ask you to raise your right hand and swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing else so help you God. You will say, "I do." Then your attorney will ask you a series of questions in order to establish the basic burden of proof, ie. that you and your spouse were a resident of Georgia for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the divorce, that the petition for divorce was properly served or the defendant properly acknowledged service of the petition, that you and your spouse want a divorce because the marriage is irretrievably broken, that there is no chance for reconciliation, that you have both read and signed the settlement agreement which settles all issues of the divorce, and that you want that settlement agreement to be incorporated into the divorce decree. You will give simple yes or no answers to the questions.
Judge enters final decree of divorce
Once you have completed your testimony, the judge will sign your final judgment and decree of divorce. Typically these hearings, once you take the stand, are completed within 5 to 10 minutes. Then you and your attorney will take the final decree to the Clerk's office and have it file stamped. You can get certified copies for your file there.
Keep a certified copy of the divorce decree and any settlement agreement
Be sure to keep a copy of your final decree, the settlement agreement, the final child support worksheet (if applicable), and the permanent parenting plan (if applicable) in a safe and secure place. These documents will be necessary for many things, ie. if you get remarried, if you want to apply for a passport for your children, etc. You can always get another copy from the Court, but they will charge you for them.
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