A person who is considering a divorce typically has the choice of claiming fault or no fault. No fault divorces are common since they do not require either party to prove that the divorce was the fault of the other spouse. Typically, the reason given for a no fault divorce is some variation of “irreconcilable differences,” meaning that the couple no longer gets along and do not believe they can fix their relationship. Alternatively, a spouse can pursue a fault divorce, which places the blame for the divorce on the other spouse. The state of Georgia does allow adults to file for a fault divorce that proves the other spouse was responsible for the divorce. Understanding the grounds for a fault divorce can help you decide if the option is the right choice for your situation.
In Georgia, a person who abandons his or her spouse for at least one year can be accused of abandonment. Leaving or otherwise deserting a spouse creates significant emotional and financial strain for the spouse left behind. When making this claim, a person must be prepared to prove that the spouse willingly left and has no intention of returning or reconciling the relationship, ultimately causing the divorce. The testimony of witnesses and documentation of attempts to contact the spouse may be needed to help show that the accusation has merit.
Abuse in marriage is a topic that was once taboo or dismissed under the belief that it was impossible for one spouse to abuse the other. Now it is understood that abuse can occur during a marriage and mental or physical abuse is not the same as normal marital conflict. Both men and women can become victims of abuse during a marriage. Warning signs that indicate abuse include:
- Fear of your partner leading to avoiding certain actions or subjects that could create conflict;
- A belief that you are mentally imbalanced or deserve to be mistreated;
- Embarrassment at the thought of seeing friends or relatives because they will see how you are treated;
- A spouse who threatens to hurt you physically, financially, or emotionally.
Abuse does not always require physical violence and many adults report being abused financially (having money taken or their access to money restricted) throughout their marriage. If you are being abused and are able to prove the abuse (records, police reports, protective orders, etc.), you could have grounds for a fault based divorce.
Contact an Attorney
Imprisonment, habitual drug abuse or addiction, and fraud in obtaining the marriage are all potential grounds for a fault based divorce. Unfortunately, proving fault during a divorce is not always easy, especially if you are not familiar with court procedures and local laws. Having an experienced divorce attorney is vital when you are hoping to prove fault during your divorce proceedings. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to discuss your situation and help you decide if a fault based divorced is the right choice for you. Our team will work on your behalf to secure the settlement you desire while protecting your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation in one of our Atlanta, Georgia offices so that we can begin providing you with the assistance you need.