Cumming Fault-Based Divorce Lawyer

When most couples seek a divorce they do so on the grounds that their marriage is irretrievably broken. This reason does not require placing blame on either spouse and usually results in a faster, less expensive, and more amicable divorce.

However, there are excellent reasons to cite a fault-based ground in some cases. When a divorce attorney can prove a fault-based ground it can create a financial advantage for the filing spouse. Citing a fault-based ground also might be necessary to protect you and your children if your spouse is violent or abusive.

Even when you have clear proof of your spouse’s misconduct, a fault-based divorce is not always the best choice. Speak with a Cumming fault-based divorce lawyer about the advantages and disadvantages in your specific case.

Choosing the Grounds for Divorce

The Official Code of Georgia §19-5-3 lists 13 legal reasons for seeking a divorce. One is a no-fault reason, the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The others are fault-based grounds.

Incurable mental illness, untreated active drug addiction, and habitual drunkenness are all grounds for divorce. If the couple is closely related by blood, one spouse was mentally incapacitated when the marriage occurred, or one spouse married because of fraud, duress, or coercion, the couple also has legal grounds to divorce. Other grounds include:

  • Adultery;
  • Cruelty, which means intentional infliction of physical or mental harm;
  • Desertion, which means a spouse has left the marital home for at least one year;
  • Impotency;
  • Imprisonment for at least two years after conviction for a crime of moral turpitude;
  • Pregnancy at the time of marriage by a man other than the husband and not known to the husband when the marriage occurred.

A Cumming family law attorney representing a spouse alleging a fault-based reason for divorce must present proof of the misconduct. Obtaining proof of fault can be expensive, intrusive, and increase animosity between the spouses. Additionally, court proceedings are public, so divorcing on fault-based grounds can lead to embarrassment for you, your spouse, and your children. However, citing fault in a divorce petition can have significant advantages in some cases.

Financial Advantages to Seeking a Fault-Based Divorce

Seeking a divorce on fault-based grounds can give you a tactical advantage in negotiations. Your spouse might want to avoid public disclosure of their wrongdoing or need to settle a divorce quickly. The threat of a divorce trial might be enough to persuade them to agree to a favorable settlement.

When a trial occurs and a judge must decide on relevant issues, a spouse who is proven to have committed misconduct could be at a disadvantage. The innocent spouse could receive a larger share of the marital property, especially if it is clear that the other spouse spent marital assets on an affair or similar misconduct. Alimony is not mandatory in Georgia but a judge might award it when the other spouse’s misconduct interferes with the innocent spouse’s ability to support themselves after the divorce.

Even when there are clear financial advantages to a fault-based divorce, the delays and additional expenses might wipe out any benefits. You and your Cumming fault-based divorce attorney should discuss whether the potential advantages outweigh the disadvantages in your specific case.

Safety Concerns Might Prompt a Fault-Based Divorce

A fault-based divorce filing is appropriate when you have a credible fear that your spouse might harm or harass you or endanger your children. When you can show that your spouse’s past behavior demonstrates a legitimate threat to your physical and emotional safety, the court can take measures to protect you and your children. These can include:

  • Redacting your address from court documents;
  • Allowing you to participate in court proceedings remotely or at least in separate locations in the courthouse;
  • Issuing a protective order barring your spouse from contacting or approaching you;
  • Temporarily denying your spouse access to your children;
  • Requiring that the spouse’s visits with your children be supervised by a third party.

You could gain an advantage in custody matters when your spouse has a history of violence within the family or conduct that could endanger others in the home. If you want to limit the other parent’s time with or influence over the children, proving that their behavior is unstable or their home is unsafe can help you accomplish it.

However, any parent who falsely alleges misconduct or exaggerates the threat their spouse poses to gain an advantage in custody decisions faces potentially severe consequences. Speak frankly with one of our Cumming fault-based divorce attorneys about whether you have sufficient proof to back up an allegation that a spouse poses a danger to the children.

Work With a Cumming Attorney to Evaluate Whether Fault-Based Divorce Is Right for You

Most people want their divorces to be over as quickly and as peacefully as possible. When speed and minimal drama are your priorities, a no-fault divorce is the right choice.

However, there are situations when proving your spouse’s marital misconduct offers substantial and important benefits. Talk over your situation with one of our firm’s Cumming fault-based divorce lawyers. Make an appointment as soon as you begin considering divorce.

Recent Blog Posts
Navigating Divorce as the Breadwinner
If you are getting divorced and you are the primary breadwinner for your family, you are probably worried about...
How Long After Filing for Divorce Is the Spouse Served?
Once you have decided to get a divorce, you might be anxious to get it over with. It can...
Does Georgia Recognize Common Law Marriage?
Couples sometimes decide to make a life together but never formalize it with a marriage. In the past, long-term...
View All Posts
N/A

Atlanta Divorce Law Group

Sara Khaki
Our Locations