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Category Archives: Georiga Law

When can a divorce decree be set aside in Georgia?

As a general rule, a divorce decree can only be set aside in Georgia within three years of the divorce decree having been entered. OCGA § 9-11-60(f) establishes the exclusive time limitation for when a judgment is attacked by a motion to set aside. Importantly, the statute provides that a judgment void for lack of subject matter or personal jurisdiction may be attacked at any time, but further states that in “all other instances,” a motion to set aside a judgment must be filed within three years of entry of the judgment.

The 2016 Georgia Supreme Court case of Myles v. Myles, 300 Ga. 261, 794 S.E.2d 56 (2016) discusses when it is appropriate to set aside a divorce judgment. The court reversed the judgment of the trial court; the trial court had granted wife’s motion to set aside the final judgment and decree of divorce due to husband’s misrepresentations about income and ownership in real property. Although the grant of the motion to set aside seemed proper on its face, the motion to set aside was filed more than three years after the final judgment and decree of divorce, well outside of the three-year statute of limitation.

The trial court incorrectly held that the statute of limitation started to run upon wife’s knowledge that husband possessed certain undisclosed assets. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-60(f) states that a motion to set aside must be brought within three years of a judgment, not within three years of a party’s knowledge of a reason to attack that judgment. A judgment may only be set aside outside of the three-year statute of limitation period when a party seeks to set aside the judgment for lack of subject matter or personal jurisdiction. Since wife did not allege that the final judgment and decree should be set aside due to the absence of subject matter or personal jurisdiction, the court ruled that her motion to set aside divorce must be dismissed despite its perceived merit.

Due to the potential time limitations and implications, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Georgia divorce attorney or law firm if this is a situation you are facing.

Set Aside Divorce Georgia

Setting Aside Divorce in Georgia

CHANGING CHILDREN’S SURNAMES

Name Tag

In many cultures, a child’s surname has a significant symbolic value attached to it. A surname serves to mark our heritage, our religion, and, perhaps most importantly, our family origins. On this note, when a child is born in Georgia, if the child’s paternity is known, the father’s surname is given to the child.

The practice of giving a child the surname of his or her father predates our nation and stretches back centuries; however, this rule is not absolute, given situations in which a child is exclusively raised by their mother, or the father is not involved in the child’s life.

In these cases, the custodial parent may wish to change the child’s surname. As such, Georgia law recognizes three scenarios under which a child’s surname may be changed, dependent on whether the child was born in or out of wedlock, or if the name change is being exercised by consent of one of the parents.

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