In 1980, Ted Turner launched the Cable News Network (CNN) from downtown Atlanta, Georgia, creating the first 24-hour news network. If the happy days of your marriage are old news, then you probably need to get to know the divorce laws in Georgia.
Georgia divorce laws – Grounds
In Georgia, divorces can be granted on either a fault or a no-fault basis. A fault divorce requires one spouse to prove the other spouse did something wrong. In the old days, that was the only way to get divorced. Today, fault divorces are very rare and abolished in many states. Georgia still allows fault divorces for incest, mental incapacity, impotency, pregnancy of the wife by another man, adultery, desertion, conviction for a serious crime, habitual intoxication, cruel treatment, incurable mental illness, and habitual drug addiction.
No-fault divorces are granted under Georgia divorce laws if the court finds that a couple’s marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This really just means that at least one spouse wants out of the marriage. Modern courts do not force couples to stay married if they do not want to be, though Georgia courts will not grant a divorce in less than 30 days.
Georgia divorce laws – Property division
Georgia courts add up everything that a couple acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions like gifts and inheritances, and then try to fairly split up these assets. The courts will look at things like the earning capacity of each spouse and their behavior during the marriage and divorce process. The court then has to decide on a fair way to split things, though it usually comes out to be about even. For example, if a couple has $100,000 in equity in their home the court might allow one spouse to keep the home but pay $50,000 cash to the other spouse to even things out.
Georgia divorce laws – Alimony
Georgia courts can order either temporary or permanent alimony, which is also sometimes called spousal support. Alimony is one person making regular payments to their ex-spouse to help the ex-spouse maintain an acceptable standard of living.
Alimony is not available in Georgia to a spouse that abandons the other spouse or commits adultery. Judges have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony, as the Georgia divorce laws just say that alimony is authorized but not required in accordance with the needs of one party and the other party’s ability to pay.
Georgia divorce laws – Child custody
During a divorce, the parents are typically required to propose a parenting plan to submit to the court. This is a huge help for the court because it can try to find a middle ground between the two plans instead of having to totally decide from nothing on issues like child custody and support. The courts will always look to do what is in the best interests of the child, regardless of what the parents want.
Georgia divorce laws for men
Divorce tends to be slanted towards the female perspective, as the law has historically treated women as dependant on their husbands. Men also commonly have particular financial challenges. Any man getting divorced in Georgia should consider hiring an attorney that specializes in the male side of divorce.