According to state law, a divorce can either be “no-fault” or “fault-based.” A fault-based divorce involves one spouse placing the blame on the other for the breakdown of the marriage. These divorce cases can be contentious, and the grounds that lead to the dissolution of the marriage could impact the outcome of the case.

When you face the prospect of divorce, now is the time to speak to a trusted attorney. There are challenges that can result in significant conflict in fault-based divorce cases. Let an Alpharetta fault-based divorce lawyer advise you on how to move forward.

Fault vs. No-Fault in Divorce Terms

Fault and no-fault approaches to divorce are significantly different. A no-fault divorce allows a couple to split up by alleging that they have irreconcilable differences. There is no need to prove who was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage in those cases. In a fault-based divorce, the party seeking the dissolution must provide evidence that their spouse was responsible for the breakup. There are also differing waiting periods for each type of divorce. A couple seeking a no-fault or uncontested dissolution must wait 31 days before the family court will finalize their decree. Couples seeking a fault-based divorce must wait 46 days to finalize.

No-fault divorces might be simpler, but there are reasons why a fault-based approach might benefit a spouse. For example, the judge can consider the grounds for dissolution when entering the divorce decree. That means a finding of adultery or cruelty could be held against a spouse when the court determines alimony or the distribution of marital property. Marriages that involve abuse may also benefit from a fault-based divorce as it could allow a parent to better protect their safety and that of their children.

Whether or not a fault-based divorce is the best option will vary in each circumstance. Thankfully, you do not have to make that determination on your own. An Alpharetta fault-based divorce attorney could help you understand your options and choose what is most appropriate for your situation.

Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce in Georgia

There are several different fault-based grounds for divorce according to state law. Some are more commonly used than others. Examples of less frequently cited grounds include incurable mental illness, habitual drug addiction, and impotence. The three most common include:


Adultery occurs when a spouse has sexual relations with someone outside of their marriage. This can be a ground for divorce even among married couples who have separated.

Cruel Treatment

Cruel treatment is a broad category that covers a wide range of abusive or harmful behavior. It can include physical abuse, but it also covers emotional and mental pain as well. What matters is if one spouse willfully inflicts this pain on another. A court will look to see if the treatment is outrageous or inhuman when deciding if these grounds are present.


Desertion involves willfully leaving the marriage for at least a year. This conduct must not be justifiable or otherwise have the consent of the other spouse. It must not only last at least a year but be continuous for that entire period.

A knowledgeable Alpharetta attorney can help individuals who are considering a fault-based divorce determine what grounds would best suit their circumstances.

Reach out to an Alpharetta Fault-Based Divorce Attorney Today

There are times when a fault-based divorce is the best option. In these cases, it is vital to have legal counsel you can rely on.

Let an Alpharetta fault-based divorce lawyer serve as your advocate. Reach out today to learn how an attorney from our team can help you navigate this challenging process.

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