Wrapping up our blog series Georgia’s thirteen statutory grounds for divorce according to O.C.G.A. § 19-5-3, here is ground number thirteen.
Reason #13: Your marriage is irretrievably broken.
By far, the reason most commonly relied upon by spouses seeking divorce in Georgia is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. O.C.G.A. § 19-5-3 (13). This is so, because unlike with the other 12 reasons to divorce in Georgia, couples divorcing for this reason need not allege fault, wrongdoing or incapacity on the part of the other spouse.
An irretrievably broken marriage is defined by Georgia law as a marriage where “either or both parties are unable or refuse to cohabit, and there are no prospects for a reconciliation.” Harwell v. Harwell, 233 Ga. 89 (1974). Put another way, a marriage may be found by a court to be irretrievably broken where the parties are separated, or no longer living together, and there is no hope that the parties will resolve their marital difficulties and reunite. In many cases, both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the divorce proceeds based on this grounds. However, it is possible for one party to oppose a divorce based on this thirteenth reason to seek divorce by alleging that there is hope for reconciliation by the parties. In fact, it is possible for a spouse to contest a divorce based on this grounds by alleging that the parties have resumed cohabitation or engaged in romantic or intimate relations post-separation.
Although seeking a no fault divorce, or a divorce based on a marriage being irretrievably broken, is relatively common in Georgia, as briefly discussed above, there are certain legal nuances concerning this reason to seek divorce in Georgia that require the skill and expertise of a Georgia divorce attorney. Thus, if you are seeking divorce due to your marriage being irretrievably broken, contact your Atlanta divorce team for more information on how you should proceed.