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How To File For A Fault-Based Divorce In Georgia

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Georgia is one of the remaining states in the U.S. that has the option to file for divorce on fault-based grounds. Although many states have shifted to a purely no-fault model, Georgia still permits spouses to file for divorce on fault-based grounds. The “no fault” option in Georgia is actually one of the grounds listed for divorce under Georgia law, which is based on the ground that “the marriage is irretrievably broken.” If you want to file for a fault-based divorce in Georgia, what do you need to do? While the general process for filing for a fault-based divorce in Georgia is similar to filing for a no-fault divorce, it is important to know the steps that you will take during the divorce process.

Learn the Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce Under Georgia Law to determine if any of the fault based grounds apply to the facts of your case. 

While the marriage being irretrievably broken is one ground for divorce that is the “no-fault” option, there are a number of fault-based grounds for divorce that are based on marital misconduct and other related issues. The following are the potential grounds for a fault-based divorce according to Georgia law:

  • Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity (i.e., the parties are too closely related to one another);
  • Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage;
  • Impotence at the time of the marriage;
  • Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage;
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband;
  • Adultery by either of the parties after the marriage;
  • Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for a term of one year;
  • Conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, for which he or she is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer;
  • Habitual intoxication;
  • Cruel treatment, which shall consist of the willful infliction of pain, bodily or mental, upon the complaining party, such as reasonably justifies apprehension of danger to life, limb, or health;
  • Incurable mental illness; or
  • Habitual drug addiction, which shall consist of addiction to any controlled substance.

Besides Looking At The Grounds For Divorce, You Must Ensure That You Are Eligible to File for Divorce Based on Residency Requirements Under Georgia Law 

To be eligible for any divorce in Georgia, one of the spouses will need to have lived in Georgia for at least six months prior to the divorce filing.

File for Divorce and Plead One of the Fault-Based Grounds, Then Have Your Spouse Served 

Next, you will file for divorce and will plead one of the  grounds for divorce, whether that is no-fault or fault- based.  If you want to file a fault-based divorce,, it is important to speak with an Atlanta divorce lawyer to ensure that you will be able to gather the evidence you will need to prove one of the grounds cited in the statute. Once you file a petition for divorce, you will need to have your spouse formally served, and your spouse will have an opportunity to file an answer.

Gather Evidence to Prove the Fault-Based Ground for Divorce You Are Pleading 

In your  divorce, you may need to go before a judge, where both parties will present their sides of the case. If you are pleading a fault-based ground for divorce, you will need to gather and present evidence that proves that fault-based ground for divorce you have claimed.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Atlanta 

If you have questions about fault-based divorces or need assistance, you should contact an Atlanta divorce attorney at Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French.

Sources:

ga.elaws.us/law/section19-5-3

ga.elaws.us/law/19-5

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