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Georgia Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Georgia, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Georgia should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Georgia Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Georgia Divorce Professional.

  • In any Georgia divorce, papers must be filed in the Superior Court.
  • To file for divorce in a Georgia court, one spouse must have lived in Georgia for six months or Georgia must have been the last residence of the couple.
  • Georgia recognizes common law marriages (if united before Jan. 1, 1997).
  • To get a Georgia divorce on "no-fault" grounds, one spouse must show that they cannot live with the other spouse. They must also show that there is no chance that the spouses will change their minds. Georgia divorce laws do not require one spouse to show there is any misconduct by the other spouse.
  • To get a Georgia divorce on one of the "fault" grounds, the spouse must prove adultery, desertion for at least a year, mental or physical cruelty, marriage between persons who are related by blood, mental incapacity, impotency, force or fraud in getting married, wifes pregnancy unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage, conviction and imprisonment, habitual intoxication or drug addiction, or mental illness.
  • The Georgia divorce court may grant the uncontested divorce 31 days after the defendant spouse has been served with the complaint.
  • The judge at the final trial always decides child custody, child support, and visitation.
  • Divorcing spouses have the right to a jury trial in Georgia. The judge or a jury decides the financial issues, such as division of property and alimony.
  • In a Georgia divorce, the mother is not automatically given custody of the children. The judge considers the best interests of the child. The court considers the age and gender of the child, the child's relationship with each parent, and the ability of each parent to take care of the child. Sometimes, the court will allow a child over 14 years old to choose who he or she will live with. Visitation rights are usually given to the parent who does not get legal custody.
  • In any Georgia divorce, both parents can be required to pay child support until a child reaches the age of 20, dies, graduates from high school, marries, is emancipated, or joins the military.
  • The Georgia divorce court may give alimony, or spousal support, to either spouse. Often times, alimony is granted until the spouse dies or remarries. Alimony can also be paid in one lump sum payment of money or property, or it may be paid over an extended period of time.
  • Georgia divorce law says that marital property is any property obtained during the marriage, except for property received as a gift from someone outside the marriage or by inheritance. Each spouse is entitled to a fair share of any marital property obtained during the marriage. The court does not use a set formula when dividing the marital property. Instead, the court will divide the marital property equitably, but not necessarily equally. This occurs regardless of whose name is on the title.

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