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Grounds for a divorce in Georgia

You are sitting in your Alpharetta, going down the list: your spouse is a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Check. Your spouse thinks Carrot Top is funny. Check. Your spouse has checked out of your marriage and checked into a hotel with an attractive co-worker. Check.

One of those things is grounds for divorce in Georgia, while the other two are probably just irritants. We're going to take a quick look at grounds for divorce in our state and how a person's conduct in marriage can affect divorce, including matters such as property division and child custody.

According to Georgia Code (Domestic Relations § 19-5-3), there 13 legitimate grounds for divorce in our state. The very first grounds listed is intermarriage between relatives of certain degrees. The very last on the list is one commonly used: the marriage is irretrievably broken.

In between are grounds that include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Impotency at the time of marriage
  • Habitual intoxication
  • Habitual drug addiction
  • Cruel treatment (physical or mental or both)
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage

Let's say that your spouse has committed adultery. Could that information, when shared with the court, affect the outcome of your divorce? In a word, yes. A court might decide that your spouse should not be entitled to child custody, for example. Outcomes can also be affected in divorces involving cruel treatment such as domestic violence and child abuse.

You can sit down with a knowledgeable family law attorney and learn more about grounds for divorce and your legal options.

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