Do I Have to Prove My Spouse Was at Fault to get a Divorce in Albany, GA?

December 4, 2019

Georgia has one of the highest divorce rates in the United States. In 2017, the state recorded 3.5 divorces for every 1,000 people. This compares to a national divorce and annulment rate of 2.9 per 1,000 people. Despite the frequency with which divorce occurs, the process is not often understood. Many people think they have to air their dirty laundry or accuse their spouse of wrongdoing to file for divorce. However, this isn’t the case.

Many residents of Georgia simply say their marriage is “irretrievably broken”. You may know this by another term: irreconcilable differences. It simply means that the couple no longer wants to be married and there is no hope that they will reconcile. If you decide to seek a divorce on this basis, you don’t need to allege any wrongdoing. This is what is called a “no-fault divorce”.

However, there are 12 other grounds for divorce. If your spouse did something which led to the breakdown of the marriage, you can cite it. In some cases, this can affect the way things like custody and alimony are handled so you need to choose carefully. If you are considering divorce, you should hire an experienced divorce attorney in Georgia who will act in your best interest. In the meantime, we’ll discuss some of the basics here.

Grounds for Divorce in Georgia Which Your Divorce Attorney in Albany, GA Will Discuss

Individuals who choose to allege wrongdoing on the part of their spouse may cite:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Cruelty
  • Habitual intoxication
  • Habitual drug addiction
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Marriage obtained through force, fraud, duress or menace
  • Mental incapacity at time of marriage
  • Impotency at time of marriage
  • Marriage between certain individuals related by blood
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than her husband at the time of the marriage when this was unknown to the husband
  • Imprisonment for two years or more due to conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

Pros and Cons of a No-Fault Divorce According to Divorce Lawyers in Albany, GA

A no-fault divorce usually allows for a faster resolution. Many couples prefer this route, especially if there are minor children involved given all the stress than can be involved. There is likely to be less contention between the spouses and lower attorney fees. Court proceedings are usually shorter, and the costs are lower. In addition, there is no incentive for either party to manufacture or search for evidence of wrongdoing. No-fault divorces also allow the parties to maintain their privacy even if there were other grounds for divorce. This is helpful for divorcing spouses who prefer not to make it public that there was infidelity in their marriage.

There is a potential downside to a no-fault divorce. Sometimes, informing the court about wrongdoing can ensure the best decisions are made regarding child custody, property division, and financial support. If your spouse was unfaithful or cruel, the judge may rule more in your favor. They may determine that you deserve to get the marital home or a larger percentage of marital property. They also may be ineligible for alimony. Meanwhile, if your spouse was convicted of domestic violence, you may be awarded sole custody of any minor children.

If you choose a no-fault divorce, the court may not get this information. However, you must remember that if you accuse your spouse of wrongdoing, you must be able to prove it. In addition, there’s a chance that it could backfire. Let’s say you cited adultery as the reason for the divorce. If it emerges that your spouse was unfaithful before but you reconciled, the court may argue that you condoned their behavior. You may not be able to use adultery as grounds for divorce. That’s why it’s so important to get competent legal advice before you decide to allege fault. When you consult with an Albany divorce lawyer, they will advise you of the best steps to take.

Call Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to Discuss Your Case Today!

It’s always best to hire an Albany divorce lawyer instead of trying to represent yourself.

Family law is complicated and there are usually several conflicting emotions involved. Also, each divorce is different so you should never assume you know how your case will go. With things like property division, alimony, and child custody to be decided, you don’t want to take chances. Whether you’re considering divorcing your spouse or you’ve been served with divorce papers, contact us today for a discreet consultation. Our lawyers are here to assist you!