Georgia divorce laws covers a variety of issues couple deal with when going through divorce: alimony, property distribution, child support and child custody. Divorce law can be complex, and there are many exceptions to the rules, so you may want to speak to a local Georgia divorce lawyer about state divorce laws and how your divorce will be affected.
For your convenience, the chart below summarizes a few of the key concepts of Georgia's divorce laws:
State divorce laws allow couples file under either no fault or fault grounds for divorce.
In a no fault divorce, the couple sites that the marriage is irretrievably broke when filing for divorce. A no fault divorce doesn't blame for the end of the marriage on either spouse. During a no fault divorce, the couple may be required to follow Georgia divorce waiting periods.
When a couple files for fault divorce, one spouse may file under the following grounds for divorce:
Before filing divorce, one spouse needs to meet the divorce residency requirement.
State divorce laws require one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months before filing for divorce. The divorce petition is typically filed in the county where the filing spouse lives.
When filing for divorce, most states have divorce waiting periods before, during or after the divorce process to ensure there isn't a possibility of the couple reconciling.
Divorce laws in Georgia don't require a divorce waiting period before filing divorce. After the divorce petition is entered in court, there is at least a 30 day waiting period for marriages filed on the grounds of the marriage being irretrievably broken. If the couple has children then the waiting period is extended to 120 days.
Once the marriage is final, there isn't a remarriage period for either spouse.
State divorce laws follow equitable property distribution in Georgia.
The divorce courts divides property by what is considered fair but not necessarily equal. When deciding property division, the divorce courts will consider the circumstances of the divorce on a case-by-case basis.
Most state divorce laws allow couples to negotiate alimony if the spouses can work together, and then the divorce court can approve the agreement.
When filing for divorce in Georgia, the divorce court will determine how alimony will be distributed by the following factors:
Divorce laws in Georgia terminate alimony if the supported spouse remarries, unless otherwise specified in the divorce settlement.
Some state divorce laws allow parents to negotiate child custody arrangements, and then provide the plan to the divorce court to approve the agreement.
In Georgia, if the couple can't come to a child custody agreement when filing divorce, the divorce court will consider the following factors:
If the child is 14 years old, the child has the right to select the parent he or she would like to live with. The child's choice will be the determining factor unless the parent he or she chooses to live with is determined unfit for child custody.
When a child is at least 11 years old but not yet 14, the divorce court will consider the child's desires and educational needs to determine which parent will have custody.
Divorce laws don't automatically grant child visitation rights to grandparents, but grandparents can petition for visitation rights.
Grandparents may intervene in any action regarding child custody when parents are filing for divorce, parental rights are being terminated, courts are deciding visitation rights or a blood relative or stepparent is adopting the child.
The grandparent's visitation rights don't terminate as long as the adoption is by a blood relative of the child or the child's stepparent.
State divorce laws don't set specific factors to consider when determining child support.
When parents are filing for divorce, there are specific child support guidelines that the divorce court will follow if the parents can't agree on child support in a divorce settlement. The special circumstances that will be considered include:
When parents default on child support payments, state divorce laws have different child support enforcement techniques to help collect unpaid child support.
Please understand that this information is provided for illustration purposes only and is not legal advice.
Connect with a local Georgia divorce attorney today and protect you and your family during the divorce process. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out our divorce case review form to connect with an attorney who can review your case and help you learn about filing divorce.
This "Georgia Divorce Laws" page was last updated April 2009.
The above synopsis of Georgia divorce laws is by no means all-inclusive and has been adapted from applicable state laws. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local Georgia divorce lawyer in your area.
Note: Keep in mind that all divorce laws are complex. If you need legal divorce advice or want to fully understand how these laws affect you, please speak with a local divorce attorney.