Getting a Contested Divorce in Georgia

What is a Contested Divorce?

Filing for a divorce in Georgia that is contested by the non-filing spouse is usually the beginning of a long and very frustrating experience. There are 12 fault grounds for filing a divorce in Georgia where the court can apply legal justification for filing for divorce. The attitude of the non-filing spouse, and their willingness to negotiate fairly, will then determine the aggravation level of the process.

An contested divorce is far more difficult financially and emotionally than an uncontested divorce.

The first thing to expect in a divorce is a wide range of strong emotions. As your divorce attorney, part of our job is to help you to make logical decisions at a time when you may not be thinking clearly. People going through a divorce can make a lot of bad choices due to anger, misplaced trust or even a desire to "just get it over with."

Grounds for a Contested Divorce

In Georgia, there are defined grounds for filing for a contested divorce. The established grounds for filing uncontested divorce in Georgia are:

  • Marriage between close blood relatives
  • Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
  • Impotency at the time of marriage
  • Adultery occuring during the marriage
  • Habitual intoxication
  • Willful and continued desertion
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Cruel treatment including willful infliction of pain which reasonably justifies concerns of danger to life, limb or health.
  • Criminal conviction requiring incarceration of two years or longer.
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband.

Legal Separation

In Georgia, when spouses are living separately, either spouse may petition the court for child support or spousal support without having filed for divorce. The other party will be notified of such a petition, and the judge can grant a support order, which is legally enforceable, and subject to contempt charges if disobeyed.

A Warning to You

From the moment your fights started including the word "divorce" your actions and words may be recorded or otherwise documented. You need to restrain yourself from displays of anger, inappropriate behaviors and certainly any acts of aggression or violence. This is a time when you need to be on your absolute best behavior. One seemingly simple mistake can cost you a lot.