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Grounds for Divorce in Georgia

Georgia's approach to divorce combines both fault and no-fault grounds, offering a comprehensive framework for couples seeking to dissolve their marriage.

Understanding the legal grounds for divorce in Georgia is crucial for anyone considering this process, as the state's laws provide specific criteria that must be satisfied.

No-Fault Divorce

Georgia recognizes "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" as the no-fault ground for divorce. This means that the marriage is considered beyond repair, and there is no need for either party to prove wrongdoing by the other.

Fault Grounds for Divorce

In addition to the no-fault option, Georgia law specifies several fault-based grounds for divorce, which include but are not limited to:

- Adultery: The infidelity of either spouse can be grounds for divorce, though it must be proven in court.

- Desertion: A spouse abandoning the other for one year or longer.

- Cruel Treatment: This includes physical or mental abuse that makes living conditions unsafe or unbearable.

- Habitual Intoxication or Drug Addiction: Regular abuse of alcohol or drugs that impacts the marriage.

- Conviction of a Crime of Moral Turpitude: If a spouse is convicted of a crime that results in imprisonment for two years or longer.

- Incurable Mental Illness: This requires medical or psychiatric proof that one spouse cannot recover from their mental illness.

- Marriage between persons who are too closely related.

Key Points

  • Choice Between Fault and No-Fault: Petitioners in Georgia have the option to file for divorce based on either the no-fault ground of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or one of the specified fault grounds.
  • Impact of Fault on Divorce Proceedings: Choosing to file under a fault ground can impact various aspects of the divorce settlement, including alimony, child custody, and the division of marital assets. Proving fault may lead to a more favorable outcome for the non-faulting party.
  • Requirement for Proof: When filing under a fault ground, the petitioner must provide evidence to support their claims. This can make the divorce process more complex and potentially longer, as it involves gathering and presenting proof of the alleged wrongdoing.


Georgia's divorce laws offer a dual approach, allowing for both no-fault and fault-based divorces. This flexibility enables individuals to choose the path that best suits their situation, whether they prefer a straightforward dissolution of the marriage without assigning blame or a process that considers the misconduct of one party.

Understanding the specific grounds for divorce and their implications is essential for navigating the legal process effectively and making informed decisions about how to proceed.

The choice of grounds can significantly affect the outcome of the divorce, including financial settlements and arrangements for children, making it a critical consideration for anyone contemplating divorce in Georgia.

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