Divorce is a huge and complex legal process. Searching for resources can bring hundreds of thousands of results that help you understand property division, child custody arrangements, how to co-parent and more.

But, the first step before delving into all this is to know how to file for the divorce to get the wheels turning on this process. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Ensure you meet requirements to file

Until you actually have to file for a divorce, you may not realize that there are qualifications to do so. One eligibility requirement is your residency. In Georgia, you’ll need to have been a resident for six months before you can legally petition for divorce. Exceptions apply to those who are serving as military members.

Gather information and documentation

Next, you’ll want to collect the necessary documentation for filing. Some of the documentation you’ll need includes:

  • Proof of residency requirement (mortgage or rent payment or mail from six months prior)
  • Pay stubs (proof of earnings)
  • Bank statement (marital assets)
  • Proof of other joint assets, such as insurance payments, vehicle registration and payments, property payments and a list of any other marital property

You may also be asked to provide the following information:

  • Date of marriage and date of separation (if applicable)
  • Names and ages of minor children you have guardianship of
  • Grounds for divorce

Gain legal counsel

Having a consultation with a lawyer concerning your divorce can make the attorney partial to you — even if you do not hire the attorney. For this reason, it’s important to look for a Family Law lawyer as soon as possible, so that you aren’t unable to use the services of an attorney your ex-spouse has already spoken with.

This may seem like a heavy workload on your part since your ex-spouse will simply need to acknowledge your petition to divorce once he or she receives notice. However, getting the necessary documents and legal counsel in place sooner can help you better prepare for proceedings.