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Grounds for Divorce in Georgia

Many people decide they would like to obtain a divorce from their spouse after learning of an affair. However, few people realize that their own behavior can affect their ability to obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery. In Georgia, there are several grounds for divorce, including both "adultery" and "irreconcilable differences."

The Official Code of Georgia states that adultery in either of the parties after the marriage shall be sufficient to authorize the granting of a total divorce. Ga. Code Ann., § 19-5-3 (6). In addition, Georgia law provides that no divorce shall be granted if both parties are guilty of like conduct. Ga. Code Ann., § 19-5-4(3).

What this means is that if you discover that your spouse is having an affair, you may be granted a divorce based on adultery. If you are also guilty of adultery, whether the behavior began before or after you learned of your spouse's behavior, a divorce based on adultery will not be possible.

However, we frequently hear that Georgia is a "no fault" divorce state. What this means is that it is possible to obtain a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. The Official Code of Georgia also states that when the marriage is irretrievably broken that shall be sufficient to authorize the granting of a total divorce. Ga. Code Ann., § 19-5-3 (13).

When it is not possible to obtain a divorce based on behavior of the parties, obtaining a divorce based on irreconcilable differences is an option.

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