Is Being a Habitual Drug Addict Grounds for Divorce Cases in Georgia?

By Heather Frances J.D.

There may be many reasons a marriage doesn’t work out, but a court must have at least one reason to end the marriage through a divorce. In addition to several other reasons for divorce, Georgia law allows a couple to divorce because one spouse is a habitual drug addict as defined in Georgia law.


Grounds for a divorce are the reasons or basis for that divorce, and every divorce requires some type of grounds. Exact grounds vary between states with some states offering only one option and other states offering many. Georgia offers 13 grounds, and a divorcing couple can use any ground that fits their situation. No-fault grounds do not require either spouse to prove the other was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Fault grounds, available in many states, require one spouse to prove the other committed some kind of marital misconduct, such as adultery.

Georgia Grounds

Georgia has a longer list of grounds than many states. Georgia’s no-fault ground is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Habitual drug addiction is one of Georgia’s fault grounds, along with other grounds like desertion, cruel treatment, habitual intoxication and adultery. If a spouse wishes to divorce in Georgia based on his spouse’s habitual drug addiction, he must be able to prove the addiction to the divorce court.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Habitual Drug Addiction

Habitual drug addiction has a very specific definition in Georgia. It means the addicted spouse must be addicted to one of the controlled substances listed in Georgia law. These substances include a long list of chemical names for opiates and hallucinogenic substances, such as morphine and amphetamines. If a spouse is addicted to a drug that is not on this list, the addiction cannot be grounds for a divorce, but the spouses could file for divorce based on Georgia’s no-fault grounds. The filing spouse must be able to prove that the other spouse has a habitual drug addiction. This proof may include evidence, such as an arrest record for drug-related crimes, a record of treatment for drug-related illnesses or testimony from witnesses who have seen the addicted spouse doing drugs or on drugs. At the filing spouse's request, the divorce court could even order the addicted spouse to undergo drug testing.

Impact of Misconduct

Marital fault or misconduct, such as drug addiction, can affect a Georgia court’s decisions regarding the terms of a divorce such as property division, alimony and custody. If spouses do not settle their differences and divorce by agreement, the case must go to trial. At trial, the court will consider spousal misconduct, and the misbehaving spouse may receive less property or time with the children than he otherwise would have received.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Texas Family Law Code Proof of Cruelty


Related articles

In Georgia, What Determines Alimony?

Alimony in Georgia is also referred to as spousal support. Georgia courts do not automatically award spousal support -- even in the case of a long-term marriage. Instead, a Georgia court considers several factors to determine whether or not to award alimony, as well as the type and amount of alimony that is appropriate.

Wills in Georgia

In Georgia, you can make a legal will at a younger age than anywhere else in the country -- the state’s statutes require that you only be 14 years of age or older. However, if a will is prepared not according to law, it is not accepted as valid and the estate is treated as though the testator, or the person who left it, did not have a will at all.

Abandonment Laws in a Florida Divorce

Florida law provides that a court may grant a divorce request if the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Whether the circumstances of a particular case rise to the level of an irretrievably broken marriage depends on the facts of the case. One circumstance under which a Florida court may make such a finding is when one spouse abandons the other. Abandonment, sometimes referred to as “desertion,” may be actual or implied under the circumstances.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Divorce in New York City Based on Adultery

In New York state, adultery – which is defined as one spouse having sex with someone else while married, without the ...

Divorce Laws in Tennessee Regarding Willful Desertion

If your motivation for seeking a divorce in Tennessee is because your husband or wife deserts you, the state’s family ...

Is a Sexless Marriage Grounds for a Divorce in Georgia?

For most couples, the marriage relationship includes some physical intimacy. However, in Georgia, sexual intercourse is ...

Georgia Law on Custody If Adultery Is Committed

When spouses get divorced in Georgia, one spouse's infidelity usually doesn't influence the court's decision when it ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED