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Counterclaims

What are counterclaims?

A counterclaim is a claim made by a defendant, normally in an answer, in response to a plaintiff’s complaint.

What may be alleged?

In divorce or other domestic relations matters, the particular counterclaims that are most appropriate depend upon the action. For example, in a divorce action wherein a plaintiff seeks a divorce based on the ground that the marriage is irretrievably broken, requests alimony and sole custody of the minor child, the defendant may counterclaim for divorce based upon the ground of adultery and request alimony and joint custody of the minor child. Essentially, counterclaims are tools that the defendant uses to protect their interest by seeking the relief of the court system regarding certain issues.  For information regarding which counterclaims may be the most appropriate in your case, speak with a divorce attorney.

When may they be made?

Counterclaims are generally allowable in response to any action. However, there are some situations where a counterclaim is not allowed to be filed.  For example, a counterclaim may not be filed in response to an application for contempt. McNeal v. McNeal, 233 Ga. 836 (1975); O.C.G.A. 19-9-23.