One of the most common questions we get asked by clients is whether they need grounds for divorce. It is easy to get confused as to whether Georgia is a no-fault state and as to the various reasons that are acceptable for divorce in the state.
As each state has different rules and requirements for filing for divorce, it is important to understand how Georgia handles the issue.
Grounds for Divorce
Are specific grounds required for divorce in Georgia? Yes. There are 13 grounds for divorce in Georgia:
- The marriage is irretrievably broken
- Intermarriage by people within the prohibited degrees of kinship
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
- Impotency at the time of the marriage
- Force, menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage
- Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage (and unknown to the husband)
- Adultery during the marriage
- The conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that results in a prison sentence of two years or longer
- Habitual intoxication
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual drug addiction
Does it Matter Who is at Fault?
Yes it does. If the cause for divorce is habitual intoxication, for example, the one who is shown to be habitually intoxicated will likely be given less consideration in the divorce. Custody and parenting plans will likely favor the other spouse, and if the intoxication has resulted in reckless spending, the court will likely favor the other spouse when assets are divided, as well.
You will be in a much better negotiating position in most aspects of your divorce if you can avoid being at fault in the manners described above. If, on the other hand, your spouse is the one at fault in any of these ways, you could use that to your advantage in the divorce.
Most importantly, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can explain the different grounds for divorce in detail and help you through the process.