Question: I live here in Atlanta and my wife moved out to Florida with our daughter. I want to get a divorce and move on with my life so I want to know where I can file for the divorce. I'd like to file here in Atlanta, of course, since it's easier for me than to file in Florida.
My wife took our daughter and moved to Florida because our marriage isn't good and she doesn't want to work on it. She doesn't want to try marital counselling. We've been fighting about money and she thinks I'm having an affair with a woman I met on Craigslist.
We're having money issues because she won't stop spending money on things like luxury cars (she bought a BMW and a Range Rover), expensive clothing (she buys high priced clothes from boutiques and Phipps Plaza and Lennox Square on a daily basis when she lived here), pricey dinners (at famous Atlanta restaurants) and plastic surgery (she had her nose and eyes done last year).
She saw some texts from a lady who's a friend and she thinks we're involved in a relationship. Some of the texts did involve nudity but not many.
So now she moved in with a friend in Palm Beach and she says she's not coming back to Georgia ever. She's asked me for child support and alimony, but no divorce papers have ever been filed. I don't want to sign anything unless I get a good Georgia divorce lawyer because I know I'll regret it if I try to do my divorce without an attorney.
You handled my sister's divorce and wrote her QDRO and she said you are really good so I'm writing to find out where I can file for divorce. Since I live here in Georgia, can I file the divorce in Georgia, even though my wife lives in Florida now?
B.D. in Dunwoody, Georgia
Answer: You need to file a divorce in Georgia in the county where the defendant (in your case your wife) lives. But since your wife now lives in Florida, you would need to bring the divorce action there. She can, however, consent to doing the divorce here in Georgia. If she consents, then the divorce can be in the county where you live (in your case DeKalb County).
As local divorce lawyers, this is a very common question because many times when a marriage isn't working out, a party will move out of the marital home, and sometimes this means moving to another Georgia county. As an example, a couple has a house in Fulton County and a spouse moves to Cobb County. In this example, if the spouse in Fulton wants to get a divorce, they would have to bring the divorce action in Cobb County, because that's where the other party resides.
Sometimes, though, a spouse does not know where the other party lives. Perhaps the other party has moved to a different county, another state or even to a foreign country. In this case we can sometimes do a divorce by publication. A publication divorce gives the husband or wife the ability to get a divorce from a spouse who has simply left and not provided any good information of their whereabouts.