Adultery can significantly impact your divorce proceedings in Georgia. If you are filing for divorce on grounds of adultery, it will be a serious detriment to the adulterous spouse. However, proving adultery in Georgia takes concrete evidence and can be difficult to prove without the help of a Georgia divorce attorney.
Proving Adultery as Grounds for a Total Divorce
In Georgia, you can choose to file for a no-fault divorce or file under one of 12 grounds. GA Code § 19-5-3 includes adultery of either spouse after marriage as grounds for granting a total divorce. To prove your spouse cheated on you is more than a matter of pointing fingers. You must have substantial and corroborating evidence to prove the adultery occurred.
GA Code § 19-5-11 states confessions from the spouse accused of adultery will be “received with great caution.” This law means you need corroborating circumstances if you plan to use your spouse’s confession as evidence of adultery. You cannot use the confession alone as evidence of adultery and grounds for divorce.
Obtaining the right evidence to support adultery claims can be difficult. Before you go hiring a private investigator or snooping around on your spouse’s computer, talk to a Georgia divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you legally obtain the right evidence.
The Advantages of Filing Divorce on Grounds of Adultery
GA Code §19-6-1(b) provides a law that denies alimony if the adultery of a spouse caused the separation of the parties. This means that if your evidence supports, without a doubt, the accusation of adultery, your spouse will not be entitled to alimony.
However, you must prove adultery was the cause of the breakdown of your marriage for a judge to consider it grounds for divorce.
In other words, if one spouse committed adultery, but the true cause for divorce was the other spouse’s habitual intoxication or cruel treatment, the adulterous spouse may still be entitled to alimony.
What happens if both parties committed adultery?
Under GA Code § 19-5-4, a judge will not grant a divorce if the adultery occurred under one of the following events:
- The adulterous spouse engaged in adultery (in collusion with the other spouse) for the purpose of causing the divorce, i.e., the spouses used adultery to end the marriage.
- The spouse filing divorce on grounds of adultery was consenting of the other spouse’s actions (i.e. open marriage).
- Both spouses are guilty of adultery.
- The accuser previously forgave or condoned the adultery.
If you plan on filing for divorce on grounds of adultery, you will need to discuss your case with a divorce attorney if there is any risk you engaged in one of the above situations.
Before you accuse your spouse of adultery in a divorce petition, make sure you are making the right moves. Contact a Gwinnett County family law attorney at The Ward Law Firm today to schedule your REAL Case Analysis: 770-383-1973.
David Ward will help you approach your divorce with a plan that protects your rights and works in your best interests.