Georgia is a mixed divorce state. This means that the state has retained fault grounds for divorce but has also enacted a no-fault ground for divorce.

The grounds for divorce in Georgia are: intermarriage by persons within prohibited degrees of relationship; mental incapacity at the time of the marriage; impotency at the time of the marriage; force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage.

Additional grounds for divorce in Georgia also include: pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage unknown to the husband; adultery in either of the parties after marriage; willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year; the conviction of either party for an offense involving moral indecency, under which he 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; and habitual drug addiction, which shall consist of addiction to any controlled substance listed by statute. Incurable mental illness is also listed as a ground for divorce in Georgia—it requires certification by the court and is somewhat complicated.

Georgia unlike a great many states allows for a jury trial in divorce, although this is an option that must be exercised early in the proceeding. Georgia also allows for alternative dispute resolution depending on the county in which the action is filed.

Fault grounds are generally used when filing a divorce action in Georgia in order to obtain an advantage over the other spouse in contested custody cases, property division, or the determination of the amount of alimony. Custody of children in Georgia divorces is determined by the best interest of the child standard. The court assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain contact with both parents. Custody is usually given to the primary caregiver in cases involving young children; however, it is no longer true that the wife always gets custody of the children when they are older.

Georgia is an equitable division state in determining the division of the marital estate. At the time an action is filed the parties to the divorced are enjoined from disposing of any property without court consent until property division is decided. All property obtained during the marriage regardless of how it is titled is considered part of the marital estate. The judge divides the property in a way that is considered fair but not necessarily equal.

Georgia, like every state in the union, requires that both parents provide financial support for the child. The court attempts to maintain the standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage. The amount of support is determined by a formula that calculates the earning potential of each spouse and the amount of time each spouse spends with the child.


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