Georgia Divorce Laws

Residency requirements when divorcing in Georgia

If you wish to file for divorce in Georgia then certain requirements must have to be met. No divorce is granted unless the spouse has lived in Georgia for a period of not less than 6 months before they apply to the courts to grant the divorce. A divorce may be applied for in any county and is usually applied for in the county of the spouse who requests the divorce.

Divorce grounds in Georgia

A Petition for Divorce is the document that is applied for when requesting a divorce. A divorce may be granted by the Courts on the basis on no-fault or fault-based grounds under the following conditions:

No-fault based grounds

  • A marriage that is irretrievably broken down – in this case it will take 30 days before the divorce will be granted from the time that it was filed

Fault-based grounds

  • Intermarriage by persons deemed of affinity or consanguinity
  • Mental health incapacitation
  • Impotency at the time of getting married
  • Any type of duress, fraud or force
  • If the woman was pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage without his knowledge
  • Adultery
  • Wilful desertion by either of the spouses for a period of 1 year or more
  • Convicted of a felony which led to imprisonment for 2 or more years
  • Drunkenness which is considered to be habitual
  • Treatment which is considered to be cruel
  • Mental illness which is incurable
  • Drug addiction Georgia Code – Sections: 19-5-3

Property division in the state of Georgia

As Georgia is classed as being an equitable state property division decided by the courts will be divided equitably as opposed to 50/50. Equitable means that property is distributed fairly.

  1. First, the courts will have to find out what property is classed as marital.
  2. Once this is decided a monetary value will be put on the marital property
  3. This is then divided equitably among the spouses

When it comes to dividing property there are no factors listed.

Child custody factors for Georgia

When it comes to child custody factors for Georgia the courts will look into all factors and circumstances of all parties concerned. These will include the following:

  • The parental suitability of both parents
  • The needs and wishes of the child
  • The role that each parent had in the upbringing of the child
  • The location in which the parents live to each other
  • Any agreement that the parents managed to reach
  • A history of family violence may be taken into account
  • If the child is over the age of 14 then they may choose who to live with
  • If the child makes a selection this will be so unless the court finds any reasons why that parent is not fit to take custody

Child support issues

Both of the parents or either may be asked to provide child support, this will be based on their ability to pay and circumstances. If the parents can reach an agreement themselves then the court will have no say, otherwise, the factors below are considered and the court will make a judgement.

  • The age of the children
  • The need for any extraordinary medical costs
  • Educational or day care costs
  • Shared physical custody arrangements
  • Support obligations of parents when it comes to housing costs
  • Any income that is hidden
  • The income of the parent that has custody
  • The contributions of each parent to the household
  • Economic circumstances which are considered to be extreme
  • Visitation travel expenses of the spouses which are considered extreme. Code of Georgia Annotated; 19-5-12, 19-6-14, and 19-6-15