The particular circumstances of each couple are what make every divorce unique. You may have numerous pieces of real estate, an investment portfolio and a large retirement account, along with other assets, and no children. On the other hand, you may have fewer assets, are still working on building up your retirement account and raising minor children.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter whether you have a significant amount of assets or if you have children, everyone must adhere to certain rules when it comes to getting a divorce here in Georgia.

Some basic facts about divorce in Georgia

The first thing you need to know is that you must be a resident of the state for at least six months in order to file for divorce here in the state. Only one of you must meet this residency requirement.

Most people rely on “no fault” divorce that asserts that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you go this route, the court will not grant your divorce for a minimum of 30 days after the other party responds or the response date has passed. Otherwise, you may allege any of the following grounds for divorce:

  • Cruelty or violence
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Adultery
  • Willful and continual desertion for at least one year
  • Pregnant at the time of the marriage by a man other than the husband
  • Impotency
  • Insanity or mental incapacity
  • Sentenced to two or more years for a criminal conviction
  • Marriage by duress, fraud or force
  • Irreconcilable differences

If you find out you are related to your spouse, that fact may also serve as a grounds for divorce if your relation is within a certain degree.

You can respond with any of these defenses

If your spouse files divorce based on one of the grounds above, you may respond with one of the following defenses:

  • Desertion
  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Collusion
  • Intoxication
  • Consent
  • Both parties guilty
  • Subsequent voluntary cohabitation and condonation

Which of these defenses will work best in your case may require some research.

What happens from here?

The next steps in your divorce proceedings depend on you and your future former spouse. You may be able to work out a settlement outside the courtroom with which both of you are satisfied. If not, you may need to prepare yourself for court. In any case, all of your issues will need a resolution before the court will grant you a divorce.