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Does Georgia have requirements for divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2021 | Family Law

If you and your spouse decide to part ways, you may believe that doing so is as simple as filing divorce paperwork with the courts and waiting for a judge to finalize the process. Unfortunately, there is more to the Georgia divorce process than that.

Georgia is one of many states that has eligibility criteria for divorce. Though few, these criteria could create a few hurdles for unhappy couples. FindLaw briefly details the state’s divorce requirements.

Residency requirements

Not just any disgruntled couple can file for a divorce in Georgia. To receive a divorce in the Peach State, at least one of the spouses must be a state resident. Moreover, only the state resident may file for a divorce. Though there is no advantage to being the petitioner, residency status could be beneficial if you want to separate but your spouse does not. Per Georgia law, the petitioner must possess residency status for at least six months before filing for divorce.

Required waiting period

It is not enough to be a state resident of at least six months to obtain a divorce in Georgia. Once they receive the paperwork, the courts will want to make sure that neither you nor your spouse filed for a divorce in the heat of the moment. To ensure this, it will require you to wait 30 days from the date the non-filing spouse receives the paperwork to grant the divorce. This is the case even if both you and your spouse agree to the divorce sooner.

Grounds for divorce

Georgia’s divorce laws are no-fault, meaning that neither party needs to prove that the other is to blame for the breakdown of the union. However, the divorce paperwork requires a petitioner to cite grounds for divorce. The most common reason — and the one that aligns with Georgia’s no-fault stance — is irreconcilable differences. Other grounds for divorce include cruelty or violence; adultery; drug or alcohol abuse; willful and ongoing desertion for at least one year; insanity or mental incapacity; duress, force or fraud involved in obtaining the marriage; the conviction of a crime that results in a prison sentence of two or more years; incest; and pregnancy by a man other than the husband during the marriage.

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