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Georgia Divorce Law Basics (Part 1)

As an Atlanta Divorce Lawyer, one of the most frequent areas of confusion that I have to clear up in consultations with new clients is the difference between an Uncontested Divorce and a No-Fault Divorce. As I have previously written about, many people think they want an Uncontested Divorce, but they just have not found out what they are fighting about. The following explains the difference between the two closely linked ideas.

Under most circumstances, the Divorce Complaint is the initial document or pleading filed with the Superior Court in the County in which the defendant resides. This document must spell out the specific grounds under which the petitioner is seeking to end the marriage.

A final decree of divorce shall be granted under the following grounds:

(1) The marriage is irretrievably broken with no hope of reconciliation. This is the ground for divorce that many people think of as Irreconcilable Differences. If the parties agree, in writing, to settle all issues (Child Support, Custody, Division of Assets and Liabilities, etc), then, under this ground, the parties may jointly request of the Court a decree of divorce after the expiration of 30 days (an uncontested divorce)
However, if the parties want to fight, they can proceed with a divorce case under the first ground or any of the following grounds:
(2) Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity;
(3) Mental incapacitation;
(4) Impotence at the time of getting married;
(5) Force, duress and fraud
(6) Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband;
(7) Adultery by either spouse
(8) Willful and continued desertion by either of the spouses for the term of 1 year;
(9) Conviction of a felony and imprisoned for a term of 2 years or longer;
(10) Habitual drunkenness;
(11) Cruel treatment;
(12) Incurable mental illness.
(13) Habitual drug addiction. (Georgia Code – §19-5-3)

Every divorce matter filed in Georgia must state a ground for the Court to grant the Divorce, a ground that must be substantiated with evidence at trial. If you would like further explanation of the ramifications of the grounds for divorce and how they could potentially affect your case, please call SHAPIRO LAW GROUP at 770.604.9292 for a free consultation.