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Divorce Laws in Georgia

During a divorce, most States will give some consideration to the child’s wishes when granting custody, but the parent’s wishes and many other factors will carry more weight. The State of Georgia prefers to let the child choose which parent he or she will live with.

Georgia allows either spouse to transfer property prior to filing for divorce even when one or both parties know that divorce is eminent. Other States frown on this type of conduct and most will penalize the offending party when dividing property, even when marital conduct is not a deciding factor.

Residency and Jurisdiction
At least one spouse must have lived in Georgia for at least six months. If the spouse who is filing for divorce lives outside of the State, divorce must be filed in the county where the respondent lives. Those stationed in Georgia, by the military, must have been stationed in the State for at least one year and may file in any county adjacent to the military base where they live.

Fault or No Fault and Grounds for Divorce
Georgia allows fault and no fault divorces. No fault divorce can be granted on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, after a 30-day waiting period.

Grounds for fault are as follows:

  • Incest
  • Any of the following conditions if they were present at the time of marriage:
    • Mental incapacity
    • Impotence
    • Wife was pregnant by a man other than the husband and without the husband’s knowledge
  • Marriage obtained by fraud, menace, force, or duress
  • Adultery
  • Desertion for one year
  • Imprisonment for two years or more for crimes involving “moral turpitude”
  • Habitual alcohol or drug abuse
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Incurable mental illness

Division of Property
Georgia is an “equitable distribution” State meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties.

Unlike most States, Georgia law does not list specific factors which must be considered when determining property division.

Spousal Support
Georgia will not award support to a spouse who has committed adultery or deserted the other spouse.

Many factors are considered when determining support including:

  • Marital conduct
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Contribution of each spouse to the marital estate
  • Value of separate property
  • Future financial resources of each spouse
  • Age and health
  • Future earning potential
  • Length of time needed by spouse receiving support to gain employment

Child Custody and Support
Children who are 14 years old or older decide which parent will have custody, unless the parent they choose is not fit to be a parent. The wishes of children between the ages of 11 and 14 are given strong favor in determining custody.

Georgia has specific provisions regarding domestic violence when considering child custody. It does not go so far as to rule out any possibility of custody for parents who have committed domestic violence, but says that the safety of the child and the other spouse are the most important consideration. Parents who have left the family home to escape domestic violence are not penalized for abandoning their children. A history of violence is not required, just one incident of domestic violence is admissible, in a custody hearing.

Georgia uses the Percentage of Income formula to calculate child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Georgia, contact an experienced Georgia divorce attorney today.

Click here to select from Georgia divorce lawyers in your area.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Georgia and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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