Just as there are certain criteria for getting married, states also have special requirements for getting divorced within their boundaries. Like other states, Georgia's divorce laws allow for "no-fault" grounds, although other grounds (cruelty, adultery, etc.) may be invoked. In other words, neither party must prove the other one was at fault for the marriage's failure. In Georgia, at least one party must have been a Georgia resident for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
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.
|Residency Requirements||One party resident for 6 months before action.|
|Waiting Period||Decree in effect immediately except for irretrievable breakdown, in which case court may not grant divorce in less than 30 days from service on respondent.|
|'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 time of marriage by man other than husband; conviction of 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.|
Requirements for All Divorces in Georgia: A Closer Look
In order to get a divorce in Georgia, Georgia law requires one of the spouses to be a resident of the state. The spouse that is a resident must also be the spouse that files for divorce. It is not an advantage to be the spouse that files for divorce, and normally, spouses will have agreed to the divorce and its terms before the divorce papers are filed. In Georgia, the residency requirement before filing for divorce is six months.
Georgia courts do not want to begin the divorce process, or finalize a divorce, for a couple that may reconcile. Arguments and frustrations are part of every relationship, and the courts want to give the couple an opportunity to cool down before they divorce. Georgia courts will not grant a divorce in less than 30 days after the divorce papers were served to the non-filing spouse, even if both spouses agree to the divorce sooner.
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 Divorce? 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 divorce, attorneys may also help you with planning for other divorce issues like child custody and property division.
Contact a qualified attorney.