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Acceptable Grounds for Divorce in Georgia


The state of Georgia recognizes no-fault and fault-based divorce processes for a couple wishing to end their marriage. In fault cases, your divorce will be blamed solely on the actions of either you or your spouse. This can influence a judge’s decision about spousal support, child support and custody plans.

In Georgia, the 12 recognized grounds for divorce based on fault are:

  • Intermarriage: The spouses are directly related to each other.
  • Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage: One spouse was unfit to consent properly to a marriage, most commonly because of drug or alcohol usage before the ceremony.
  • Impotency at the time of marriage: A divorce can be granted if a spouse was sexually impotent at the time of the marriage, and the other spouse did not know.
  • Force, menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage: Marriages that take place under threats of violence or fraud are subject to dissolution by a judge.
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage: The pregnancy is a proper ground for divorce only if the husband was unaware that the woman he was marrying was pregnant by another man.
  • Adultery: A spouse has a sexual relationship with another party outside of the marriage.
  • Abandonment: If your spouse abandons you for more than a year, a judge can dissolve your marriage.
  • Conviction: This is an acceptable ground for divorce if your spouse has been convicted to a prison sentence of two or more years for a crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Habitual intoxication: This condition involves an extended period of alcohol abuse and addiction.
  • Cruel treatment: Various kinds of physical and mental abuse perpetrated by your spouse are considered cruelty.
  • Incurable mental illness: A divorce may be granted if your spouse has been institutionalized for more than two years since your marriage.
  • Drug addiction: An extended period of drug abuse/addiction is a ground for divorce.

Contact Athens divorce attorney Michael S. Brown to discuss your options in pursuing a fault-based divorce from your spouse.

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