Crystal Wright | April 7, 2023 | Divorce
Georgia is one of several states that still have “fault” grounds for a divorce and a provision for a no-fault divorce. When you file for divorce on the grounds of fault, you must prove that your spouse is guilty of the following:
- Cruelty and abuse
- Abandonment and desertion
- Substance abuse
- Imprisonment for more than two years
- Pregnant by another man
- Fraud or coerced marriage
- Impotence at the time of the marriage
However, Georgia divorce laws also allow parties to divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Neither spouse needs to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong for a no-fault divorce. Instead, at least one spouse must claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce.
What Are Considered Irreconcilable Differences in a Georgia Marriage?
Ultimately, only the spouses in a marriage can decide when there are irreconcilable differences requiring a divorce.
The term “irreconcilable difference” is intentionally vague and broad to include all issues that a couple might have which could lead to the permanent breakdown of a marriage. Examples of irreconcilable differences include, but are not limited to:
- Disagreements about how to raise children or whether to have children
- Personality conflicts and differences
- Disagreements related to finances, careers, or relocation
- Having a physically intimate or emotional relationship with another person
- Excessive arguing and disagreements
- Lack of communication
- The loss of trust and/or safety
- Inability to agree on a balance between work and home life
- Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
- Lack of sexual and/or emotional intimacy
- Differences of opinion regarding politics or religion
- Different ideas regarding lifestyle and values
A misconception about no-fault divorces is that there is no fault for the break up of the marriage. There can be fault by one or both parties.
However, the parties choose a no-fault divorce to save money, time, and stress. In some cases, they might not have sufficient evidence to prove fault grounds, even though they firmly believe or know their spouse is guilty.
Can My Spouse Stop Me From Getting a Divorce in Georgia?
It only takes one spouse to claim that a marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. Therefore, your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
However, your spouse can contest the divorce terms, which could require a trial if your spouse refuses to reach a marital settlement agreement.
Is There a Benefit To Filing for Divorce on Fault Grounds Instead of Irreconcilable Differences?
In many cases, seeking a divorce on fault grounds does not make a difference in the outcome of the divorce proceedings. However, a spouse might need to inform the court of wrongdoing for the judge to make a decision regarding child custody and domestic support that is in the best interest of the spouse and children.
For example, if a spouse is guilty of domestic violence, you would want to advise the court so that the judge could consider the abuse when awarding custody. The custody arrangement could impact alimony and child support payments.
Working with an experienced Lawrenceville divorce lawyer helps protect your best interests throughout the divorce process. Your attorney analyzes all aspects of your situation. Then, your lawyer advises you of your legal options and which options give you the best chance of receiving your desired outcome.
How Long Does It Take To Get a No-Fault Divorce in Lawrenceville, GA?
You or your spouse must be a resident of Georgia for at least six months before you file for divorce. However, if your spouse does not respond to the divorce papers, you only need to wait 31 days to request a default hearing for an uncontested divorce. The court schedules and hearing, and you can receive a divorce, provided you meet all other requirements.
If your spouse responds to the divorce papers and takes issue with some of the terms, it could take longer to obtain a divorce. Nonetheless, the process can still move quickly if you and your spouse promptly work through the issues.
Issues that complicate a divorce include:
- Disagreements about property division
- Disputes regarding how to divide debts
- Child custody and visitation disputes
- Allegations of child abuse or neglect
- Disputes regarding child support
- Disagreements regarding prenuptial-postnuptial agreements
- Disputes related to alimony or spousal support
Many parties can agree to resolve their disputes through negotiations and mediation. However, contested divorces can take much longer to finalize. Depending on the issues involved and the complexity of the case, it could take more than a year to resolve a contested divorce matter.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 368 W Pike St STE 201, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.