Grounds for Divorce in Georgia
You have no doubt heard of no-fault states when it comes to divorce, but Georgia is not among them. In the State of Georgia, you must choose between either a no-fault divorce (one in which your marriage is deemed irretrievably broken) and 12 other fault-based grounds for divorce. The grounds for your divorce can affect its outcome, which makes it very important to work closely with an experienced Georgia divorce attorney.
The 13 Grounds for Divorce
In Georgia, in addition to one’s marriage being irretrievably broken, there are the following 12 grounds that you can site as the basis for your divorce:
- Adultery during the marriage, which means that one of you had an affair
- Habitual intoxication
- Habitual drug addiction
- Cruel treatment
- The conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that results in a prison sentence of two years or longer
- Incurable mental illness
- Force, menace, duress, or fraud at the time of the marriage, which means that one of you was forced or tricked into the marriage
- Impotence at the time of the marriage
- Intermarriage by people within the prohibited degrees of kinship, which means that you and your spouse are too closely related to marry
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage, which means that one of you was not capable of consenting to the marriage at the time you married (such as if one of you was incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs)
- Pregnancy – of the wife by a man other than the husband – at the time of the marriage (and unknown to the husband)
In order to obtain a divorce that is based on any grounds other than that your marriage is irretrievably broken, you will need to prove the fault involved, which can be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
How Fault Can Affect the Terms of Your Divorce
The judge in your case can take your fault-based ground for divorce into consideration when determining the terms of your divorce, and there are a variety of examples that demonstrate how this tends to play out.
Causing the Breakup of Your Marriage
If your spouse’s conduct, such as his or her adultery, cruel treatment of you, or desertion, causes your marriage to fail, the court may find that it is unfair for you to lose your family home as result or may decide to award more of your marital property to you.
If your spouse perpetrated domestic violence, it can affect how the court rules on your child custody arrangements and could lead to you having sole custody.
If your spouse is guilty of adultery, he or she will not be eligible to receive alimony (even if he or she otherwise might have been).
Turn to an Experienced Georgia Divorce Attorney Today
The knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland – proudly serving both Forsyth County and Cumming – are on your side and standing by to help. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 770-887-1209 today.