A divorce is a legal action that ends a marriage. Georgia, like most states, is a "no fault" state which means that a divorce may be granted without any reason or cause.  However, parties can also file for divorce for fault, for a specific reason, such as an unfaithful spouse’s conduct.  To file for divorce, at least one of the parties must have been a resident in the state continuously for at least six months prior to filing. A petition for dissolution of marriage, or a "Complaint for Divorce," must be filed with the court in the county where one of the spouses lives. A Court can award temporary relief between the time a divorce is filed and a Divorce Judgment is entered. A divorce judgment, known as a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce, is the final document that contains all the terms of the divorce such as support, custody, insurance, parenting time and property division.

In a divorce, the court can decide custody, visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), division of assets and debts, and responsibility for attorney’s fees, etc. Other specific relief that can be granted includes:

  • Parenting time for non-custodial parents
  • Spousal support such as transitional support, maintenance support or compensatory support
  • Delivery of personal property or requiring sales of property
  • Division of real property including requiring the sale of a home and how to handle deficiencies or short sales of a home
  • Creation of trusts to manage property for the support of children or to manage property for the support of a party
  • Name changes to maiden or premarital name
  • Money awards

Georgia's current divorce statutes can be found at www.legis.state.ga.us