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If you have divorce questions

Can I be legally separated from my spouse in Georgia?

Additional Resources Related to Legal Separation

Is there Legal Separation in Georgia?

No. While some states, such as California, allow spouses to be legally separated from one another, unfortunately Georgia does not recognize legal separations. If you and your spouse, however, wish to be separated, but do not wish to file for divorce, there is another option.

Georgia Case Law Update - McLendon v. McLendon

What About Separate Maintenance Actions in Georgia?

According to O.C.G.A. § 19-6-10, you can file what is called a separate maintenance action when there is no divorce action pending between spouses. A separate maintenance action is very similar to a divorce in that you and your spouse will enter into an agreement resolving all issues from who will have custody and visitation rights for minor children to how debts will be paid and the amount of alimony and child support that may be appropriate in a case. In short, all issues that could be addressed in a divorce can generally be addressed in a separate maintenance action with the obvious exception of a formal divorce decree being entered into between the parties.

The advantage of a separate maintenance action and agreement is for when the parties really want to keep working on their marriage (or don't want to get divorced at this time for some reason). It can provide financial and emotional security and clarity to the parties as to what a post-divorce world would look like while enabling the parties to attempt to reconnect and work on their relationship. In the event that the parties are unsuccessful, the separate maintenance agreement can even be incorporated into a divorce settlement agreement to avoid additional costs in the event of a party electing to pursue a final divorce.

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