What is No-Fault Divorce?

While there is always a reason why marriage falls apart, you can file a no-fault divorce in Georgia. This type of divorce allows you to end your marriage without focusing on blaming yourself or your spouse for the marital breakdown. No-fault divorce is the simplest path to divorce in Georgia.

Family law attorneys in Alpharetta explain that you only need to state that there have been irrevocable differences, irretrievable breakdowns, or incompatibility to be granted divorce. Courts don’t require you to show that the marriage can’t be repaired; no testimony is necessary to show what went wrong or what one person did to the other.

Defining Irreconcilable Differences or Irretrievably Broken Marriage

The Supreme Court of Georgia defines an irretrievably broken marriage as one where both parties refuse or are unable to cohabit without prospects of reconciliation. Fault is not the primary issue in these divorce cases, but the possibility of reconciliation. You must show that the marital differences are beyond repair or resolution.

In addition, you must claim you no longer wish to live with your spouse. If you reconcile or continue cohabiting with your spouse, that will terminate your action for no-fault divorce. The new evidence refutes the lack of possibility of reconciliation between you and your spouse.

However, your spouse may contest the no-fault grounds for divorce. In your favor, this simple act of disagreeing with you about wanting a divorce shows the marriage is broken. Consult skilled divorce lawyers in Metro Atlanta to evaluate how this can work favorably to help you quickly navigate the situation while achieving the most desirable outcome.

Is a No-Fault Divorce the Same as an Uncontested Divorce?

A no-fault divorce isn’t the same as an uncontested divorce. Fault implies the reason the marriage ended, while a contested divorce is about whether your spouse agrees with everything you’re asking for in the petition, including the reason for the divorce.

If your divorce is uncontested, your ex-spouse does not answer the papers or appear in court. They may sign off the papers, indicating they agree with the reason for the divorce and everything you have requested in the petition, such as marital property division, spousal support, and child custody and support.

An uncontested divorce can be a no-fault or fault-based. Such divorces move on very fast as there is nothing to dispute by either spouse. A trial is not necessary like in a contested divorce, which may proceed to trial if the parties cannot settle matters outside court. Consult skilled divorce attorneys in Metro Atlanta before filing for divorce.

What Is Fault-Based Divorce?

Fault-based divorce occurs when one spouse accuses the other of doing something that strained the marriage union, causing it to end. Metro Atlanta divorce attorneys Georgia recognizes 12 grounds for divorce:

  • Irreconcilable differences if you both agree to a divorce without citing any specific issues
  • Adultery if either spouse has had sexual relations outside the marriage, but this reason must meet specific requirements
  • Mental incapacity if your spouse has been incoherent or mentally incapable at any time of the marriage. That includes severe intoxication, being under the influence of drugs, or having known mental disorders at the time of the marriage.
  • Habitual intoxication if your spouse is an alcoholic or persistent drug or substance abuser who refuses to take action to resolve the addiction.
  • Pregnancy of the wife by another man, unknown to the husband before getting married
  • Impotence of the husband at the time of the marriage, and the wife was unaware of the condition
  • Conviction of any moral turpitude crime that attracts sentencing for two or more years
  • Willful desertion if one spouse leaves the marriage for one year or longer with no intention of returning
  • Incurable mental illness with a history of institutionalization, accompanied by testimony from at least two professional psychiatrists or physicians
  • Cruel treatment, including mental or physical abuse
  • Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of affinity or consanguinity
  • Fraud, force, duress, or menace in obtaining the marriage.

Most spouses pursuing fault-based divorce cite adultery, desertion, and cruel treatment as the reason for divorce. The other grounds are allowable but not commonly claimed in Georgia divorce cases. Ensure you’re well-guided by experienced family law attorneys when citing the above grounds for your divorce.

Is Fault Difficult to Prove in a Divorce?

A fault-based divorce comes with a burden of proof, with the spouse seeking divorce having to show that the other party committed at least one of the grounds stated above. You must provide compelling evidence before the court and must be ready to be cross-examined by your spouse’s legal representative.

The process can be lengthy and can create higher stress levels, given that the specific grounds for divorce become a public record. It would help to retain skilled divorce attorneys in Georgia to help you navigate the complexities.

A Skilled Divorce Lawyer Helping You Navigate Fault-Based vs. No-Fault Divorce in Georgia

Understanding the differences between fault-based and no-fault divorce in Georgia is crucial in helping you choose the right legal strategies based on your circumstances. No-fault divorce can be favorable if it is uncontested. In contrast, fault-based divorce can be more appropriate if you need to litigate crucial matters like property division, child custody, alimony, and visitation.

Working with skilled family law attorneys from Hecht Family Law can enhance the chances of a favorable outcome. They can evaluate your case circumstances and provide legal counsel on the most appropriate legal process to follow in filing for a divorce. They can also represent you in court if the case goes to trial to protect your rights, future, and interests. Call us at 470-291-5342 for a FREE consultation.