What are the grounds for Divorce in Georgia? What does that even mean? Well, the grounds for divorce are the specific circumstances under the law where the court can grant a divorce. A person seeking a divorce must state one of the grounds and be able to prove this to the court. Each state has different sets of grounds for divorce.
There are 13 grounds for filing a divorce in Georgia which are found in O.C.G.A. § 19-5-3. However the most used is the “no fault” ground that the marriage is irretrievably broken. For this to be sufficient there must be no hope of reconciliation between the parties.
Other commonly used grounds would include adultery, habitual intoxication, habitual drug addiction, and cruel treatment. These grounds will require certain types of proof.
For adultery, the act must have been committed during the marriage. Circumstantial evidence can be used to prove the adultery. (You don’t have to have pictures of your spouse in the act.) Sometimes proving this is a tricky thing. An experienced attorney can advise you on this.
For habitual intoxication one instance of intoxication is not enough. However, the spouse does not have to be continuously intoxicated for this ground to be sufficient. The same issues apply for habitual drug addiction. There is a wide range between one time and continuously. It will all depend upon the circumstances of your case.
For cruel treatment to be sufficient, the treatment must be willful (on purpose) and cause apprehension of danger to the spouse. Unless it is a severe act, generally one act of personal violence is not considered cruel treatment. There are a lot of factors to be considered before filing a divorce solely on the ground of cruel treatment.
Other less commonly used grounds for divorce include: a marriage formed between people too closely related; mental incapacity at the time of the marriage; impotency at the time of the marriage; pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage and unknown to the husband; willful and continued desertion by one of the parties for a year; conviction of a party for a crime involving moral turpitude in which there is a two year or longer sentence of imprisonment; and incurable mental illness. Although these are not as common, they may be relevant to your personal situation.
Often, if the parties can work out an agreement for an uncontested divorce, the general no fault ground is used even if there are other grounds for the divorce. There is no need to cause additional drama if an amicable divorce is possible.
Your situation may include one or more of the grounds for divorce. Your family law attorney can help you decide on the proper strategy for your situation.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355