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Do you have to prove fault to get divorced?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Divorce |

It used to be that you had to prove fault in order to get a divorce. You had to show that there was a reason for the divorce and that your spouse was responsible in some way. For instance, perhaps you discovered that your spouse was having an extramarital affair. As a result, the disillusion of your marriage is their fault.

But you no longer have to do this. Georgia is now a no-fault divorce state, just like most other states in the country. All you have to do is claim that the relationship is irreversibly damaged or that you have irreconcilable differences that can’t be overcome. You do not have to demonstrate exactly what those differences are or claim that they are anyone’s fault. As long as you want to get a divorce, you have the right to get one.

Does fault play a role?

Fault can sometimes play a role, especially when considering the legal ramifications of the divorce.

For example, maybe you and your spouse have children, but you claim that the reason you’re seeking a divorce is because your spouse is abusive or dangerous. This could have a big impact on their parental rights, as the court will not want to give custody to someone who would put the children in harm’s way.

Or, perhaps your spouse was spending the family’s money on this extramarital affair. This could impact property division because the court may take it into account when determining what percentage of the family’s wealth goes to each individual. 

There are many complex details to consider when a couple gets divorced. If you find yourself in this position, no-fault divorce laws do make things easier, but it’s still very important to understand all of your legal options.