When filing for divorce in Georgia, you’ll need to identify a reason, or “grounds,” for divorce. As a no-fault state, it isn’t necessary to have grounds to file for divorce, but understanding the process before diving into it can limit disputes and help streamline your divorce.
Learning The Grounds For Divorce in Georgia
There are 13 grounds for divorce defined in Georgia Code §19-5-3. Most are straightforward, but some of these grounds require more evidence. These grounds are:
- Marriage between close relatives: Georgia prohibits marriage between parents, children, or other immediate relatives.
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage: if one of the spouses is mentally incoherent or incapable of thinking clearly at the time of the marriage.
- Impotence at the time of the marriage: if one of the spouses cannot perform sexually.
- The marriage was forced, a result of duress, or caused by fraud: one of the spouses was forced into marriage unwillingly.
- The wife was carrying another man’s child at the time of the marriage, unbeknownst to the husband.
- Incurable mental illness: if one spouse has a history of being institutionalized, and with doctors’ testimony.
- Adultery by one of the spouses during the marriage: if one spouse cheats during the marriage.
- One spouse deserts the other: if one spouse leaves the marriage for at least a year without contact or support.
- One spouse is convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude”: if one spouse has served a sentence of at least two years in prison.
- Cruel treatment: if one spouse can prove the other has caused mental or physical abuse.
- Habitual drug addiction: heavy drug use without seeking treatment.
- Habitual intoxication: heavy alcohol use without seeking treatment.
- The marriage is irretrievably broken: spouses agree they can’t get past their concerns.
Types of Divorces
When you’re considering the grounds of divorce, you should also keep in mind if you plan to file for a fault or no-fault divorce.
A no-fault divorce essentially means you and your spouse agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” A fault divorce means one of the spouses contests the grounds given in the divorce.
Will Grounds For Divorce Affect the Outcome Of Filing?
When you file for divorce, you’ll list details regarding your desire to end your marriage. There can be some grounds that put one party more at fault than the other for the need to end the union. A judge may determine levels of bias, especially if one spouse’s actions directly hurt the other. This is common with cases of adultery if it led to the end of the marriage.
Being able to identify and prove any grounds that apply to your situation is critical to ensure an advantageous outcome for you.
Turn to a Reliable Georgia Divorce Lawyer
Gentry Law Firm and our lawyers for divorce in Georgia can help you determine the proper grounds to list in your divorce complaint and will help you gather the evidence you need. The team at Gentry Law knows it isn’t a light decision to get a divorce, and they’re ready to assist you in your needs.