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What Are Georgia's Divorce Laws?

Georgia divorce laws in a no fault state

Just as states have regulations on the marriage process, they also have legal requirements for divorce that define the procedures a person must go through in order to get divorced. Georgia's divorce laws are no-fault based. The most common ground for divorce is to cite irreconcilable differences, meaning no one is at fault for the marriage's failure. Other grounds like cruelty or adultery may also be invoked during a divorce.

In Georgia, at least one party must have been a Georgia resident for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. In other words, neither party must prove the other one was at fault for the marriage's failure.

This article provides a brief overview of Georgia divorce laws.

Georgia Divorce Laws: At a Glance

To learn more about Georgia's divorce laws, see the following table and the in-depth descriptions below it. FindLaw's Divorce section contains additional articles and resources.

Code Section  § 19-5-1 et seq. of the Georgia Code
Residency Requirements One party resident for 6 months before action
Waiting Period The couple must wait 30 days after filing for divorce before a decree may be granted
'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce Irretrievable breakdown
Defenses to a Divorce Filing For adultery, desertion, cruelty, or intoxication: collusion, both parties guilty, subsequent voluntary condonation and cohabitation, consent
Other Grounds for Divorce Adultery; cruelty or violence; willful and continued desertion for at least 1 yr.; drug/alcohol addiction; impotency; mental incapacity or insanity; pregnant at the time of marriage by a man other than husband; conviction of a crime for which the sentence is 2 yrs. or more; force, duress, or fraud in obtaining marriage; irreconcilable differences; intermarriage within prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Requirements for No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is the most common form of divorce in Georgia. This is because, even when one spouse is at fault (there is a legal justification for the divorce), the divorce process is a lot faster if the divorcing spouse files for a no-fault divorce. In order to get a fault-based divorce, the divorcing spouse must prove the facts that justify the divorce.

On the other hand, in a no-fault divorce, the divorcing spouse only needs to show the court that there has been an "irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage. This means that there is a substantial incompatibility between the spouses that will never be resolved.

Getting Divorced? Get Help From a Georgia Family Law Attorney

If you would like to know more about the Georgia divorce laws and requirements, and whether you have met them, there are many divorce attorneys throughout Georgia who may be able to help. In addition to letting you know if you qualify for a divorce, attorneys may also help you with planning for other divorce issues like child custody and property division.

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