A Georgia Divorce case is often the first time that a person will ever come to a Georgia divorce attorney. This occasion may be marked by confusion, anger, frustration and many questions. It is important to find out facts as well at the earliest possible stage. We want you to know what your rights are under the Georgia divorce laws and what alternatives you may have. Thank you for visiting our website for help concerning Georgia divorce law. It is our aim to give you important facts and information which may help you. This website is for your information and education only and is not to be construed as legal advice between attorney and client. You should consult with a Georgia divorce attorney personally for specific advice and questions about your case. The materials included on this website are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by the use of the information from our site or the links from our site to other servers.
ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT A GEORGIA DIVORCE?
About 20% of people that contact a divorce lawyer about a Georgia divorce are not "ready" to actually get a divorce,according to a statistic cited by Dr. Phil on his show Are You Ready For Divorce? Dr. Phil believes that most people are too quick to get divorced. The best Georgia divorce attorneys routinely advise their clients to explore every option for keeping their marriage together before filing for a divorce in Georgia. Dr. Phil says, before you get a divorce, you should make sure your emotional business is finished, you are prepared legally, and you are ready to move to a co-parenting relationship with your soon to be ex spouse.
Dr. Phil has a Divorce Advice Readiness Test:
1.Have you done everything you can to save your marriage?
2.Do you have unfinished emotional business?
3.Have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself legally for divorce?
4.Are you ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children?
5.Are you will to create a new relationship as a co-parent?
To make sure you are ready for divorce, Dr. Phil suggests reading books about repairing your marriage, going to a marriage counselor, speaking with a clergy person and spending time focusing on what each person's role is in the marital break-up. You should evaluate: How did the marriage go wrong? Is what the fight about worth ruining the marriage? Are you willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work? What is your role in causing the break-up of the marriage?
However, once you have exhausted all of possibilities of repairing your marriage, it is time to consider proceeding with a Georgia legal separation or Georgia divorce.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR A DIVORCE IN GEORGIA
In order to file for a Georgia divorce, residency requirements must be met for the Georgia family court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdiction to hear the divorce it will not be accepted or it will be dismissed. In order to file an action for a divorce, the plaintiff must have lived in Georgia at least six months before the filing of the petition for divorce, provided that any person who has been a resident of any United States army post or military reservation within this state for one year next preceding the filing of the petition may bring an action for divorce in any county adjacent to the United States army post or military reservation; and provided, further, that a nonresident of this state may file a petition for divorce, in the county of residence of the respondent, against any person who has been a resident of this state and of the county in which the action is brought for a period of six months prior to the filing of the petition. (Georgia Code – Sec.: 19-5-2)
GROUNDS FOR A DIVORCE IN GEORGIA
No-Fault Divorce: To obtain a Georgia divorce on the basis that the marriage is irretrievably broken (no fault), one party must state that they refuse to live with the other party and that there is no chance of reconciliation. Both parties do not have to agree the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Fault: Georgia Has 13 At Fault Grounds (1) Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity; (2) Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage; (3) Impotency at the time of the marriage; (4) Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage; (5) Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband; (6) Adultery in either of the parties after marriage; (7) Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year; (8) The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, under which he is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer; (9) Habitual intoxication; (10) 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; (11) Incurable mental illness. (12) Habitual drug addiction. (Georgia: Code - Sec 19-5-3)
For adultery you will need to prove inclination and opportunity. Even if one party admits to adultery, that is not sufficient grounds for a divorce. Normally such evidence is gathered by retaining a private investigator.
Desertion or more commonly called abandonment must be the complete cutting off of contact and support for a minimum term of one year.
Physical cruelty requires some proof of the abuse such as doctor's reports. A single incident will probably not be sufficient cause, you will need to show a repetitive pattern. Mental or verbal abuse can be a grounds for divorce in Georgia.
Habitual drunkenness is not going out on every Saturday night and getting loaded. It means that it is an everyday thing that prevents the person from performing the normal activities of everyday life. In order to prove habitual drunkenness, there must be a showing that the abuse of alcohol caused the breakdown of the marriage and that such abuse existed at or near the time of filing for divorce.
For all of the grounds for a Georgia divorce the court will require sufficient evidence and normally the actual testimony of a third party witness. Just an admission by a party is usually not sufficient proof. (Georgia Code Sec. § 19-5-11).
This site covers a number of Georgia divorce advice issues. Please scroll down to review the various divorce topics or use the links on the left. If you need to contact a divorce attorney, please click on the link below and fill out the contact form.
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