If you are seeking to end your marriage, you may wonder what reasons you can provide the court to pursue divorce. Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, meaning couples do not have to have specific grounds for divorce. “Irreconcilable differences” is an acceptable reason.
However, if there are specific grounds for divorce that you can prove in court, it may be beneficial to pursue a fault divorce. Showing your spouse’s negative behaviors or actions can influence the judge’s decisions regarding factors like child custody or property division.
Thirteen Grounds for Divorce in Georgia
There are 13 legal grounds for divorce that spouses may claim to be the fault of the divorce. Spouses may also claim multiple reasons, if applicable.
The 13 grounds include:
If your spouse had or is continuing to have an extramarital affair that you did not agree to, you can claim adultery as a reason for the dissolution of your marriage.
2. Criminal Conviction
To claim criminal conviction, your spouse must be convicted of a crime of moral turpitude and be sentenced to two or more years in prison for their actions. Crimes of moral turpitude are morally reprehensible and criminal in nature. Examples include:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
3. Cruel Treatment
Cruel treatment can include mental abuse and physical mistreatment or harm.
Desertion can apply if your spouse abandons you or your family for a year or more and shows no intention of returning.
5. Forced or Deceptive Marriage
If your spouse forced your hand in marriage or deceived you so that you would not have been willing to marry them otherwise, you may claim force, duress, or deception as a ground for divorce.
6. Habitual Alcohol Addiction
You can claim alcoholism if your spouse has a habitual addiction and does not want to stop or control their drinking.
7. Habitual Drug Addiction
Whether your spouse’s vice is prescription drugs or illegal substances, you can claim drug addiction as a viable ground for divorce if your spouse has not tried to address the problem and stop the drug use.
To claim impotency, you must prove your spouse was impotent at the time of marriage and did not inform you of their condition before the ceremony.
9. Incurable Mental Illness
To use incurable mental illness as a reason for your divorce, the judge will require testimonies from two psychiatric professionals regarding your or your spouse’s mental condition. Additionally, you or your spouse must have been institutionalized or received continuous treatment for the mental illness for 2+ years prior to petitioning for divorce.
If your spouse is a blood relative who is close enough for your relationship to be considered incestual, you may claim intermarriage as a ground for divorce.
11. Irreconcilable Differences
Irreconcilable differences are what you or your spouse may claim to pursue a no-fault divorce. It is intentionally vague to allow both parties a sense of privacy during the divorce.
12. Mental Incapacity at the Time of Marriage
Mental incapacity applies if you, your spouse, or both were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or experiencing a mental condition that prevented clear thought at the time of the marriage ceremony.
If the wife becomes pregnant by someone other than the husband before the marriage and does not inform the husband, he may claim her pregnancy as a ground for divorce.
If you have grounds for divorce or are interested in pursuing a no-fault divorce, contact the Platt Law Firm.
Our dedicated divorce attorneys are experienced in fault and no-fault divorce proceedings and can offer complete support and guidance throughout the process. Our team offers in-depth knowledge regarding all facets of a divorce in Georgia, including property division, child support, child custody, alimony, and more. Schedule a consultation with our firm today: 404-255-3434