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How does fault affect divorce in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Divorce

Georgia divorce laws acknowledge both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce. You can file a fault-based divorce if certain actions by your spouse caused the end of the marriage.

Understanding the role of fault in divorce can help you favorably navigate this challenging situation.

No-fault divorce in Georgia

Georgia allows for a “no-fault” divorce. In this case, neither spouse has to prove that the other did something wrong to justify the end of the marriage. Instead, spouses can cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce, indicating that the marriage is beyond repair.

Grounds for fault

If you decide on a fault-based divorce, the specific grounds can influence aspects of the divorce settlement.

Cruel treatment or domestic violence can also serve as grounds for divorce in Georgia. Finally, if a spouse has deserted the marriage without cause for at least one year, it can represent fault in divorce.

Impact on divorce proceedings

If you can demonstrate any of these grounds for fault in court, it could affect property division, alimony and child custody. The specific impact depends on the circumstances of your case.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that violence at home affects 7% of American children. When abusive behavior by one parent leads to divorce, the judge may order sole custody for the other parent.

Georgia follows the principle of equitable division when it comes to dividing marital property during a divorce. The court may award the at-fault spouse a smaller share of assets if they spent marital funds on an affair. However, the goal remains a fair split of assets and debts.

Most couples opt for no-fault divorce proceedings. Fault-based divorce can have important implications for your future whether or not you are the at-fault party.