What does “grounds for divorce” mean?
The grounds for divorce is simply the reason or reasons given to the court for the divorce in the official divorce documents. Whether you will have an uncontested divorce in Georgia or a contested one, the potential legal grounds are the same. Similarly, the potential grounds available for a military uncontested divorce in Georgia are the same as for a civilian divorce.
The actual Georgia Law that Provides the Grounds for a Divorce:
OCGA (Official Code of Georgia Annotated) Section 19-5-3 is the statute spelling out the actual grounds for a divorce in Georgia. Below is what that law actually says:
(1) Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity (parties too closely related);
(2) Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage;
(3) Impotency at the time of the marriage;
(4) Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage;
(5) Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband;
(6) Adultery in either of the parties after marriage;
(7) Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year;
(8) The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, under which he is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer;
(9) Habitual intoxication;
(10) Cruel treatment, which shall consist of the willful infliction of pain, bodily or mental, upon the complaining party, such as reasonably justifies apprehension of danger to life, limb, or health;
(11) Incurable mental illness. No divorce shall be granted upon this ground unless the mentally ill party has been adjudged mentally ill by a court of competent jurisdiction or has been certified to be mentally ill by two physicians who have personally examined the party; and he has been confined in an institution for the mentally ill or has been under continuous treatment for mental illness for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action … [other details omitted];
(12) Habitual drug addiction, which shall consist of addiction to any controlled substance as defined in Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16;
(13) The marriage is irretrievably broken. Under no circumstances shall the court grant a divorce on this ground until not less than 30 days from the date of service on the respondent.
How this Applies to an Uncontested Divorce:
The first twelve grounds for divorce are legal reasons why a divorce should be granted because someone has done something to cause the divorce. They are used almost exclusively in contested matters. But, Georgia law also recognizes that sometimes marriages simply fail or were a mistake to begin with. That is why the thirteenth reason for divorce was added – “no fault.”
Almost always in the uncontested divorce cases that we handle, the grounds for divorce is no fault – the marriage is irretrievably broken. Certainly, there may be other grounds for an uncontested divorce that apply too. But it is important to realize that divorce documents that are filed with the court are public records forever. That means that anyone at all at any time can look up and read the documents for your divorce. Why would you want your great-great grandchild to see that great-great grandmother/grandfather was a drug addict, adulterer or alcoholic? Why air the dirty laundry in public?
In keeping with our tips for having a successful, affordable, uncontested divorce, we recommend that you leave fault and blame aside so that you can save money and time and get on with your life. Sure, you can fight about why the divorce is happening. But, do that privately, not publicly.
If our client insists (and the other party agrees to sign the divorce documents), we can add any of the other applicable grounds for divorce in addition to no fault. But, in our experience, that is very rare in uncontested divorce cases that we handle.
How We Can Help You with Your Divorce:
Whether you are a civilian, a member of the military services or a spouse of a military service member, even an uncontested divorce presents many complex legal issues that often require careful discussion and decision. We provide practical advice and quality legal representation to guide you through this very difficult time. We strive to provide every client with a fast, affordable uncontested divorce. Using the no fault grounds simply makes it easier, faster and less expensive to get though the divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree on the distribution of property, allocation of debt, child custody and parenting and child support before any divorce documents are filed with the court. We can help you get started and through that entire process of the uncontested divorce when you call us at (770) 794-3220 or (912) 215-7677. Or, you can just fill out the Client Inquiry Form and we will contact you instead.