Grounds for divorce in Georgia

Marriage is a sacred institution for many, based on mutual commitment and love. It is, however, a legal institution as well. When two people choose to enter into marriage, they legally bind their lives together, from their shared duties to co-parent their kids to the money and property they acquire following their union.

As readers know, many marriages do not withstand the test of time. Men and women discover that they are not compatible with their partners in the long-term. When this happens, individuals may choose to end their marriages through divorce.

To get a divorce in Georgia a person must be able to plead a legally recognized reason to end their legal marriage. These reasons are called grounds for divorce, and in Georgia there are 13. Some of these grounds include:

Prohibited intermarriages

One reason that people can divorce in Georgia relates to their blood relationship. Individuals who are closely related are prohibited from marrying each other. If a couple discovers that they are related, they may be able to divorce based on that fact.

Adultery, pregnancy and impotence

Many marriages end because of adultery, or sexual relationships outside of the marital relationship. Adultery is a grounds for a divorce, and so too is pregnancy by a father who is not the woman’s husband. A person may also choose to end their marriage if they discover that their spouse is impotent and unable to produce children.

Actions of one of the parties

There are several grounds for divorce in Georgia based on the intentional and hurtful actions of a married person. They include:

  • Willful desertion of one’s spouse for at least a year
  • Using force, fraud or other coercive means to procure a marriage
  • Some criminal convictions
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction
  • Cruelty

When a person’s spouse commits these infractions, the other may have options to end their marriage in divorce.

Other grounds for divorce

There are two other grounds for divorce recognized in Georgia: incurable mental illness and an irretrievably broken marriage. When a marriage is irretrievable broken, it is not always due to the fault or actions of one of the parties. It may simply be that the parties grew apart during their relationship and can no longer function within the bonds for their union.

Deciding when to file for divorce and deciding which grounds to use as reasons for the end of a marriage can be complex. Before beginning a petition to end one’s marriage, Georgians can get help from trusted local divorce and family law lawyers.

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