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Grounds for Divorce in West Georgia

Do I Have to Prove Fault in Order to Get a Divorce?

In earlier times, a person who wanted to file for divorce in Georgia would first have to be able to prove that the other party was to blame for the failure of the marriage. Unless one of the 12 fault-based grounds for divorce could be met, the family law court would not grant the petition to divorce, and the couple's only options were to pursue a legal separation or to continue to live together in a loveless marriage.

Times have changed, and it is now possible in Georgia and every state in the country to get a "no-fault" divorce. All that is necessary for a no-fault divorce is for either or both of the spouses to affirm that he or she refuses to continue living with the other spouse and that there is no hope of reconciling to salvage the relationship. By demonstrating that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the couple (or either spouse) can file for divorce.

While a large percentage of the people who come to Howard and Arca Attorneys at Law for help choose to pursue a no-fault divorce, this is not true of all of our clients. No-fault divorce has the advantage of typically being faster, simpler and far less stressful, since neither party has to prove or disprove allegations of fault, and it is often possible therefore to obtain an uncontested divorce.

In many situations, however, it is advantageous to pursue the divorce based on one of the fault based grounds, which include:

  • You and your spouse share close blood relations
  • Your spouse was mentally incapacitated at the time of the marriage
  • Your spouse was impotent at the time of marriage
  • The marriage was entered upon through force, duress or fraud
  • Adultery committed by either spouse
  • Habitual intoxication on the part of either spouse
  • Cruel treatment which places the victim in fear of danger to life, limb or health
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Habitual drug addiction
  • Either spouse has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude and is sentenced to serve two or more years in prison
  • The wife was pregnant with another man's child at the time of the marriage, and this fact was not known to the husband
  • Either spouse has willfully deserted the other for at least a year (includes constructive desertion such as by engaging in emotional or physical abuse or refusing to engage in sexual relations)

How Allegations of Fault May Influence a Divorce

If you can prove that your spouse is guilty of any of the above actions, you may be able to use this fact to obtain a more favorable outcome in the divorce. For example, you could be awarded spousal support based on the fact that your spouse cheated on you, or you might be able to win child custody and to deny the other parent any rights of visitation in light of his or her history of domestic violence.

Whether you are alleging fault-based grounds or if you have been accused of causing the breakdown of the marriage, you need a dedicated Douglas County divorce attorney who is willing to fight for you.

Contact us for a consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help!

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