Understanding Georgia Divorce Laws
Divorce Requirements for Georgia Residents
The divorce petitioner or respondent must have lived in the State of Georgia for the last six months prior to the filing of the Georgia divorce petition. There’s a waiting period of 60 days before the divorce is decided. A divorce action in Georgia may be heard and decided by a 12-person jury if so requested by either party.
Georgia Grounds For Divorce
The State of Georgia lists one ground for no-fault divorce and several grounds for fault-based divorce.
Irretrievably broken marriage
- Adultery committed by either party at the time of the marriage
- Imprisonment of either party for two years or more
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Incurable mental illness at the time of the marriage, as certified by at least two physicians; confinement in a mental institution for at least two years within the time of the marriage
- Cruel or inhuman treatment of one party to the other, whether physical or mental
- Abandonment or willful desertion for a period of one year or more
- Pregnancy of the wife by another man at the time of the marriage
Child Custody Law in Georgia
To fight for child custody in Georgia, each parent must submit a parenting plan or both parents may agree to submit a joint parenting plan. The date of submission will be at the discretion of the judge. The judge may grant a sole, custody, joint custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody, in accordance to the best interests of the child.
For a parent seeking urgent child custody due to child abuse or any form of domestic violence, a parenting plan may not be required.
Georgia Child Custody law consider factors including, but not limited to:
- Age and gender of the child;
- Interpersonal relationship with each parent;
- Capacity, willingness, and well-being of each parent to care for and nurture the child.
Guidelines for Georgia Child Support
Child support computation in Georgia is based on a Flat Percentage of Income Model. This formula is generally based on a percentage of the gross income of the paying parent and the number of children involved. It may be adjusted by other underlying costs such as healthcare and/or insurance for minor children and in some instances for both parents, as the judge deem necessary.
The children continue to get child support throughout their secondary school, but are younger than 20 years old or until they reach the age of majority, dies, marries, or becomes emancipated.
Where to file for a divorce?
Georgia Divorce Forms may be filed in the county where either the respondent or the petitioner or both last resided in Georgia.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Georgia online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Georgia Residents” above and also review the top online divorce sites.
Divorce can cause disputes including child custody, division of property and debts, parenting time, spousal support, among others. Instead of all this being decided by the courts, divorcing parties may choose to request for mediation when filing Georgia divorce papers.
A mediator cannot decide for the parties involved on how they are going to settle their contested agenda. Mediation settlement is decided by the parties involved, facilitated by a mediator, in a more private environment. Mediation is deemed as less stressful and confrontational than a court hearing. In many Georgia counties, mediation for divorce petitions is required.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Georgia Courts for more information