Does Adultery Matter In A Georgia Divorce?
Infidelity wrecks many marriages. And adultery is one of the statutory grounds for divorce. On the other hand, Georgia is also a no-fault divorce state, so it is not necessary to accuse a spouse of any wrongdoing to get divorced.
Is there any benefit to suing for divorce on the basis of adultery? Yes. If proven, marital infidelity can affect alimony, asset division and even child custody. But there are downsides too. The experienced divorce lawyers of The Siemon Law Firm can explore the pros and cons of fault-based divorce and advise you accordingly, whether you are the faithful spouse or the one accused of cheating.
The Advantages Of Adultery As Grounds For Divorce
Georgia statute recognizes 13 grounds for divorce. Most divorces are filed as “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” (no-fault divorce), which does not cast any blame or require any proof. Marital infidelity is the most common fault-based ground for divorce. While revenge may be a motive, the primary advantages of filing for divorce for adultery are more practical:
- If adultery ended the marriage, the straying spouse is not eligible for alimony
- If a spouse expended marital assets on an extramarital affair, he or she may be required to compensate the other spouse in the property settlement
- The court may decide not to not “reward” infidelity by awarding the house or other key assets to the adulterous spouse
- Adultery can be one factor in the determination of custody and visitation
The Drawbacks Of Suing For Divorce For Infidelity
There are also reasons not to allege adultery as grounds for divorce:
- The court requires admissible proof, which usually means hiring a private investigator to spy on your spouse and catch them in the act. This can get quite expensive.
- The court may determine that adultery is not sufficient grounds for divorce, especially past infidelities or flimsy evidence.
- You are airing the “dirty laundry” of your marriage, and divorce proceedings are public record.
- Your children may be hurt, humiliated or teased after revelations that Mom or Dad was unfaithful.
- It escalates the cost and animosity of divorce proceedings.
If you suspect your spouse is unfaithful and want to pursue a fault-based divorce, our law firm can hire or recommend a reputable private investigator. Some investigators engage in shady and unlawful tactics that will backfire in court.
What If You Are Accused Of Adultery?
Some spouses will allege adultery or domestic violence as leverage in divorce and custody proceedings. If you are accused (fairly or unfairly) of marital infidelity, there are legal defenses to prevent it from being used against you in court. Our attorneys are veteran litigators who know how to challenge allegations or the admissibility of evidence, or argue that the conduct should have no bearing on matters of property, custody or financial support.
We Can Help You With The Big Decisions
Fault-based or no-fault divorce? Our lawyers can knowledgeably advise on this and other important considerations in your Georgia divorce. Our established law firm is widely touted for our integrity, service and results. Call us today at 770-203-1483 or use our online form to arrange a divorce consultation. We have four convenient office locations in Cumming, Alpharetta, Marietta and Atlanta.