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No Fault Divorce in Georgia: The Pros and Cons

In Georgia, there are thirteen grounds for divorce. The thirteenth reason a couple may seek divorce in Georgia is that their marriage is “irretrievably broken.” What this means, basically, is that the couple is no longer able to continue in a marital relationship, and there is no hope the couple will reconcile. This thirteenth ground is Georgia’s “no-fault” ground for divorce. This means that if a couple seeks a divorce on this basis, neither party has to allege any wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse, but must simply show the court the marriage is broken beyond repair.

Many argue that because no fault must be alleged, no fault divorce allows for individuals to seek divorce too readily. Alternatively, others argue that no fault divorce allows for the expedient resolution of divorce matters, which is in the best interest of all involved, including any minor children. Below are some pros and cons of no fault divorce that any person seeking a divorce on this basis should consider before beginning the divorce process.

The Upside of No-Fault Divorce.

  • No-fault divorce allows for a shorter and more concise divorce process. This benefits parties because a shorter process means (hopefully) less contention between the parties, and less attorney’s fees and other related court costs parties will accrue.
  • There is no incentive for either party to fabricate, manufacture, or search for wrongdoing on the part of either spouse.
  • No-fault divorce allows for a more streamlined process, which saves judicial economy. What this means practically for litigants is that divorce cases do not have to linger on a court docket for years awaiting trial or evidentiary hearing.
  • Even if adultery the reason, or one of the reasons for the separation, both parties may maintain their privacy by seeking a no-fault divorce, instead of disclosing details of affair in open court.

The Downside of No-Fault Divorce.

  • Sometimes, advising the court of a party’s misbehavior can help the court come to the best conclusion regarding child custody and financial support obligations. If a no-fault divorce is sought, this information may not be brought to the court’s attention.
  • Allowing one or both parties to “have their day in court,” or inform the court of the circumstances surrounding their separation.
  • There is also an argument that no-fault divorce undermines the institution of marriage, because, it is believed by some, that no-fault divorces are too simple to obtain.

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