Grounds for Divorce in Georgia

Georgia is not a no-fault divorce state. For you and your spouse to obtain a divorce, you must choose one of 13 grounds, which range from irreconcilable differences to conduct grounds such as cruel treatment and adultery. The grounds you choose can have an effect on divorce issues such as marital property division, alimony and child custody.

What Are the 13 Grounds for Divorce in Georgia?

  1. The marriage is irretrievably broken
  2. Intermarriage by people within the prohibited degrees of kinship
  3. Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
  4. Impotency at the time of the marriage
  5. Force, menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage
  6. Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage (and unknown to the husband)
  7. Adultery during the marriage
  8. Desertion
  9. The conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that results in a prison sentence of two years or longer
  10. Habitual intoxication
  11. Cruel treatment
  12. Incurable mental illness
  13. Habitual drug addiction

To obtain a divorce on any of the grounds other than “the marriage is irretrievably broken,” you must prove the conduct or fault.

At The Siemon Law Firm, our family lawyers are here to advise you concerning grounds for divorce in Georgia. If you have questions about grounds for divorce in Georgia, count on The Siemon Law Firm. Call 770-888-5120 today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate family lawyers. We’re conveniently located, and represent clients throughout Atlanta and Northern Georgia.

Can a Conduct for Divorce Affect My Settlement?

In Georgia, fault in the breakup of the marriage can affect the outcome. For example:

  • If your conduct (such as an affair or cruel treatment) causes the breakup of the marriage, the judge may decide it is not fair to make the innocent spouse lose the marital home or may award a greater percentage of marital property to the innocent spouse.
  • If you are convicted of a crime such as domestic violence, the judge may decide that your spouse should have sole custody of children.
  • If your adultery is the cause of the breakup of the marriage, you are not eligible for alimony.

It’s important to obtain legal advice before you assert a fault ground for your divorce. For example, if your spouse committed adultery in the past, but you and your spouse were able to work things out, the court may say you condoned the conduct and it can no longer be used as a ground for divorce.

Breaking Down Georgia’s 13 Grounds For Divorce

Spousal misconduct

If a man marries a woman who is pregnant and he does not know the child is another man’s, he has grounds for divorce when he learns the truth. Either spouse can file for divorce because of adultery.

Sexual misconduct isn’t the only kind that can lead to a fault-based divorce. Georgia also permits divorce based on habitual intoxication or habitual drug addiction. Cruel treatment or abuse is also grounds for a divorce. For such claims, you will need actual evidence of the misconduct that you assert gives you cause to divorce.

Evidence of serious misconduct during the marriage could come from medical records, police reports, financial documents or even your spouse’s behavior on social media.

Extended separations

Georgia recognizes divorce for several kinds of long-term separations between spouses. Desertion or abandonment is one reason. One spouse’s conviction of a crime of moral turpitude and the requirement to stay in prison for two years or longer is another reason. Finally, incurable mental illness, which may require institutionalization, is also grounds for divorce.

With the exception of desertion, which can be harder to prove, convictions and issues with mental health often leave professional paper trails that can help you as you plan to divorce. Communications about someone leaving the marital home could be a good starting point for someone claiming desertion, and financial records can also help.

Issues before marriage

If you discover that you have a prohibited degree of kinship, you can file for divorce, as can those who can show mental incapacitation at the time of the marriage. Impotency at the time of marriage is another viable reason to file for divorce. Finally, if force, duress, fraud or menace played a role in the decision to marry, that can also be grounds for divorce. Medical records, family documents or even genetic testing could help you establish that you qualify under one of these grounds.

Irretrievable breakdown

For some people, the best option will be a no-fault divorce because they will not have the necessary evidence to validate their claims of physical abuse or infidelity. Claims of an irretrievable breakdown of your marital relationship will lead to a no-fault divorce. This approach can be the fastest solution, as you won’t have to prove certain behavior or worry about your spouse fighting against the divorce and preventing it.

Contact Our Atlanta Divorce Attorneys Today

Whether you are planning for a future divorce or you need to respond to a divorce filing by your spouse in Fulton County, our lawyers are here to advise you. Please contact us today to arrange a personal, discreet consultation.

Reach Out To Our Experienced Team For Help With Your Legal Issues

How The Siemon Law Firm Can Help

Contact our Georgia Family Law Firm by calling 770-888-5120 or by completing this contact form.

An attorney will respond within 24 business hours.

    Fields marked with an * are required

    I Have Read The Disclaimer *

    Our Office Locations

    Cumming, Georgia

    347 Dahlonega St #100,
    Cumming, GA 30040 770-888-5120 Cumming Law Office Map

    Marietta, Georgia

    1850 Parkway Pl Suite 715,
    Marietta, GA 30067 770-888-5312 Marietta Law Office Map

    Alpharetta, Georgia

    4555 Mansell Rd,
    Alpharetta, GA 30022
    770-888-5093 Alpharetta Law Office Map

    Atlanta, Georgia

    3400 Peachtree Rd NE Suite 555,
    Atlanta, GA 30326 770-888-5078 Atlanta Law Office Map