The decision to end your marriage is never easy. When you and your spouse find that you can no longer continue your union, it is time to get a divorce. Some states allow no-fault divorce, where couples do not have to provide grounds for divorce. In Georgia, this is not the case. Which grounds for divorce you choose will have an impact on some of the settlement issues, such as division of marital property, child custody, and alimony. It is helpful to seek guidance from an experienced Carrollton divorce attorney throughout the process.
Georgia Grounds for Divorce
Georgia divorce law (O.C.G.A. 19-5-3) lists 13 grounds for divorce. These include:
- Intermarriage by persons who are prohibited from marrying
- Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage
- Impotence at the time of the marriage
- The marriage took place due to duress, force, menace or fraud
- Pregnancy by a man other than the husband (unknown to the husband at the time of marriage)
- Conviction of a crime of moral turpitude which a person is sentenced to a prison term of two years or more
- Habitual intoxication
- Cruel treatment (willful infliction of mental or physical pain)
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual drug addiction
- Marriage is irretrievably broken
It is essential to consider the grounds for divorce carefully before you file a petition with the court. You need to understand the potential consequences of the assertion and what it could mean to the outcome of the divorce.
How Does Marital Fault Affect the Outcome of a Divorce?
The judge will evaluate the grounds for divorce in your case and determine whether they are valid. You must prove the behaviors you assert in the grounds for divorce. Some grounds are easy to prove, such as your spouse is in jail for more than two years. Other grounds are more challenging to prove. Just because your spouse committed adultery doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it as grounds for divorce. For instance, if you previously worked out problems after adultery in the past, the judge might not allow you to use adultery as grounds for divorce.
Misconduct on the part of a spouse could result in an unequal distribution of assets. An innocent spouse could be awarded a more significant percentage of the marital property. If a spouse was convicted of a violent crime, such as domestic violence, the judge could deny child visitation. If adultery is the cause of the breakup of the marriage, that spouse will not be awarded alimony. Some grounds for divorce could also prolong the process. It is best to review the grounds for divorce with a knowledgeable Carrollton divorce attorney.
Contact a Carrollton Divorce Lawyer Today
Whether you are the spouse who is asserting wrongdoing or the spouse who is defending against the assertion, you need help from a skilled Carrollton divorce attorney. You need to protect your rights and make sure that you get a fair divorce settlement. Contact our legal team at Moffitt Law, LLC, for a free initial consultation.