Is Georgia a "fault" or "no-fault" Divorce State?
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And the answer is both. In Georgia there are thirteen independent grounds that are recognized for divorce, 12 of those grounds are considered to be fault grounds.
The first ground recognized by Georgia is called the intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of affinity. What does that mean, well in English that means the parties were too closely related by blood. We've all heard the term kissing cousins well believe it or not there are such things and the law addresses under what circumstances people are too closely related in order to be married.
The second has to do with the mental incapacity of one of the parties at the time that the marriage occurred and this really impart goes to the validity of the marriage because in order to form the marital quote on quote contract both parties have to be capable of making sound decisions about that.
The third round recognized and it's pretty self-explanatory is impotency at the time of marriage. Before it has to do with forced Menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage and again these are things that can go to the actual validity of the marriage but what this has to do with his taking somebody and compelling them to do something that they otherwise would not have done.
The fifth ground is pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage, unknown by the husband. This is a ground for divorce for situations that have arisen in the past where somebody is told that they are going to be the father of a child, they end up deciding they want to get married only to find out that the child really was not theirs at all to begin with.
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The sixth ground is one of the ones most commonly thought of by people and that's adultery by either of the parties after the marriage has occurred and number seven is desertion by either of the parties for a term of one year or more. What's important to know about both number six and number seven, is there are some specific consequences that relate to alimony, if either one of these is determined to be the cause of the dissolution of the marriage.
The eighth grounds for divorce is the conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude and under which he or she is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of two years or more. There are a number of crimes that you can actually commit not intending to not meaning to, that just sort of happened, one example of that is that's commonly used it is sometimes a speeding ticket or some other type of driving offense, because those are strict liability offenses, that doesn't mean that you're a bad person it just means you violate some provision of law, where is this involve actual character flaws.
The ninth and this is actually also related to the twelfth is Habitual intoxication by one of the parties.
Number ten is cruel treatment by one of the parties and cruel treatment as defined by the law is treatment that either involves the willful infliction of pain or bodily or mental injury upon the other party whose filing asserting that has a ground, provided such reasonably justifies an apprehension of danger to life, limb or health. Those are read extremely broadly by the court and in fact it's very common for a situation where somebody search the ground of adultery to also assert cruel treatment because that is considered mental cruelty.
Number eleven is incurable mental illness and one very interesting thing about this is unlike virtually every other type of ground to assert for divorce, when asserting a around for incurable mental illness, it is often decided by the court that you never less have to continue to support that person throughout their life.
Number twelve as I said was related to number nine and number twelve is the habitual drug addiction by one of the parties. Those are what are considered to be fault the grounds for divorce in Georgia and thirteenth and this the no fault one and as a practical matter the one that is usually the basis for almost all of the divorce is that are granted in Georgia today and that is that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no hope of reconciliation .