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Obtaining a Divorce in Georgia

Granim's Law > Obtaining a Divorce in Georgia

Navigating through the legal process to obtain a divorce can be both technical and confusing. Before a court can grant a divorce in Georgia, certain requirements must be met. There must be legal grounds for divorce, the court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties, and the court granting the divorce must have proper venue.

Grounds for Divorce

  1. Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity
  2. Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
  3. Impotency at the time of marriage
  4. Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage
  5. Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown by the husband
  6. Adultery in either of the parties after the marriage
  7. Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for a term of one year
  8. The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude and under which he or she is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years of longer
  9. Habitual intoxication
  10. Cruel treatment
  11. Incurable mental illness
  12. Habitual drug addiction
  13. The marriage is irretrievably broken

Although the grounds for divorce are fairly extensive, many of grounds are seldom used. With the exception of the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, all the other grounds are “fault” grounds that must be alleged in the lawsuit and proven. For this reason, the grounds most often alleged is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Despite the requirement that “fault” grounds must be proven, sometimes they are alleged in the divorce based on the impact they may have in determining issues of alimony, child custody, child support and equitable division.

Marriage is Irretrievably Broken

Proof of fault is not required to show that a marriage is irretrievably broken. The parties need only state that their marital differences are insoluble and that they request a change of status. An irretrievably broken marriage is one where “either or both parties are unable or refuse to cohabit, and there are no prospects for a reconciliation.” Harwell v. Harwell, 233 Ga. 89 (1974).