Residency and Filing Needs
Divorce in Georgia include one simple requirement:
There is only one requirement before a divorce process can occur:
• Petitioner must be a bona fide resident of the state of Georgia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
Reasons for Divorce in Georgia
The court considers divorce as part of one out of two categories….
• No-Fault Divorce
• Fault Divorce
“No-Fault” basically can mean one thing –
1) The Marriage Has to Be “Irretrievably Broken”
“Fault” divorce in Georgia, however, is an entirely different situation.
Grounds for that divorce can include one or more of these as determined by a court of law:
• Mental Capacity or Lack Thereof From One Party
• Force, Fraud, Duress, or Menace While Obtaining the Marriage
• The Wife Becomes Pregnant by Another Man Other Than the Husband
• Willful Abandonment of the Marriage by Either Party For at Least a Year
• An Criminal Offense Involving Moral Turpitude Punishable by Imprisonment of at Least Two Years
• Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse
• Intolerable Cruelty
• Incurable Mental Illness
Both “No-Fault” and “Fault” divorce have separate stipulations that can affect custody, child support, and spousal support.
The Definition of “Legal Separation” Versus “Divorce”
Legal separation is simply the road a husband and wife take to lead separate lives without dissolving the marriage. This doesn’t necessarily mean the husband and wife want to stay married, though. Generally speaking a legal separation almost always leads to a petition for divorce. But the reason behind a legal separation can be tax issues, or even health insurance.
The Primary Documents For a Divorce in Georgia
They are listed as follows:
• Disclosure Statement
• Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit
• Marital Settlement Agreement
• Affidavit Regarding Custody
• Domestic Relations Case Filing Information Form
• Petition for Divorce
• And Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce
Divorce in Georgia : Property Distribution
Divorce in Georgia follows what is commonly called all over the States as an “equitable distribution” standard. That simply states that all assets and pieces of property must be divided equally without regard to monetary value. The issue with this standard stresses fairness more than value.
However, both parties can in fact agree on a mutual distribution strategy. Additionally, at this time a former wife may then be awarded her former or maiden name.
Divorce in Georgia : On the Subject of Spousal Support
While the subject of alimony can vary from case to case, one particular stipulation is the fact that alimony can be denied for any party subject to proof of willful desertion and/or adultery; likewise, alimony can be awarded to the other party as a result of desertion and/or adultery.
Divorce in Georgia : Dealing With Child Custody
Generally speaking, parents can come to an agreement on this matter regarding divorce in Georgia in several ways:
• Joint Physical Custody
• Sole Physical Custody
• Joint Legal Custody
• Sole Legal Custody
“Joint Physical Custody” is when both parents share custody of the child(ren) in terms of residency, food, clothing, and transportation. Everything involving the ‘physical’ aspects is addressed in this form of custody.
“Sole Physical Custody” then awards just one party those rights while the other holds “Visitation Rights” of the child(ren). Typically, this type of custody would also involve child support on the non-custodial party.
“Joint Legal Custody” is quite different, in that the responsibilities falling on both parties specifically involve aspects like religion, education, and lifestyle. They involve the more long-term, inner workings of parenting.
“Sole Legal Custody” then takes those legal responsibilities and awards it to only one parent. The other has no rights at all to the decisions made for the child(ren).
Divorce in Georgia : How to Determine Child Support If Necessary
Child support in the state of Georgia is determined by what is known as the Percentage of Income Formula, a basis by which all income of the non-custodial parent is combined and then a percentage of it is imposed to determine the amount of child support per month must be paid.
Of course, both the parents can come to an agreement about the child support amount without regard for the Formula.