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What are grounds for divorce in Georgia?

Georgia residents may have heard the term no-fault divorce being bandied about in the popular culture. This has been a trend in family law for several decades as states have moved away from the old 'fault grounds' of divorce to a process that makes it a bit simpler to dissolve a marriage contract without one party having to argue that the other did something wrong. In Georgia, this no-fault ground is sometimes called the irretrievably broken ground.

According to the Georgia Bar, the organization that licenses and regulates Georgia lawyers, to be granted a divorce on no-fault grounds, the marriage must be irretrievably broken in that one party refuses to live with the other and that there is no chance that the couple will be reconciled. It should be noted that both parties don't necessarily have to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, as long as one believes it to be. This is the ground most dissolutions of marriage use these days, as the evidentiary requirements aren't as high, and it doesn't require airing dirty laundry in a public court.

However, the older fault grounds still exist in the Georgia Statutes. These include adultery, physical or mental abuse, abandonment or desertion, mental illness, incapacity or impotency at the time of marriage, conviction for certain crimes and drunkenness or drug addiction. These grounds are used less often because they do require some showing that the stated conditions exist and they can create an incentive for one party to cast aspersions on the other, which may be undesirable, especially when children are involved.

As can be seen, it is usually a good idea to use the modern no-fault divorce grounds when a couple needs to end their marital arrangement. However, there might be sound legal reasons in specific circumstances to use one of the others. People with questions regarding this process may wish to consider contacting an experienced Georgia family attorney.

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