What Impact Does Adultery During Separation Have on Divorce in Georgia?

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

Georgia law allows you to file for divorce on fault or no-fault grounds. One of the available fault grounds is the adulterous activity of your spouse during the marriage. The impact of adultery by your spouse during periods of separation, however, depends on a number of other factors. Regardless of whether your spouse commits adultery, you always have the option of expediting the process by filing on a no-fault ground.

No Fault

Filing for a divorce in Georgia on no-fault grounds doesn’t require you to prove to the court that your spouse is guilty of adultery in order to legally dissolve the marriage. You only need to show that your marriage is irretrievably broken. Provided you inform the court that there is no hope for reconciliation, Georgia judges will make no further inquiry into the reasons. Moreover, Georgia courts allow either spouse to file a divorce petition on no-fault grounds, even if the party filing the petition is the spouse who commits adultery during the separation.

Adultery Grounds

Most couples in Georgia who file for a divorce use the no-fault ground since it minimizes the duration of the divorce proceedings and eliminates the emotional efforts involved when publicizing the intimacies of your marriage and the resulting adultery to the court. However, there are benefits to filing your petition on fault grounds if you can prove adultery, as Georgia courts can rule in your favor on issues like alimony and the distribution of marital assets. Since Georgia continues to recognize your legal marriage during periods of pre-divorce separation, the fact that your spouse commits the adultery during this separation period doesn’t preclude you from filing for divorce on adultery grounds.

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

Proof

In reality, proving that the post-separation adultery was predominantly responsible for the breakdown of your marriage is difficult. When the adultery doesn’t occur prior to the separation, the court will assume there are other reasons that caused you and your spouse to separate initially. Moreover, despite the fact that Georgia courts rely on circumstantial evidence in cases of adultery, it’s still extremely challenging to prove your spouse's infidelity. Proof of adultery prior to separation will be much more relevant to the court.

Alimony & Marital Assets

In the event you do convince the court that your spouse's adultery caused the breakdown of your marriage, Georgia judges have the authority to stray from the typical 50/50 split of marital assets and award you a larger percentage. The court can also prohibit your spouse, solely as a result of her adultery, from obtaining an alimony award, regardless of your relative financial positions after the divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Georgia Law on Custody If Adultery Is Committed

References

Related articles

Adultery Laws and Alimony

Your spouse’s adulterous relationship may bring an end to your marriage, but it is not always a significant factor in the legal process of divorce. Though many states recognize adultery as grounds for divorce, state laws vary, and when it comes to alimony, your spouse’s adultery may or may not be significant to the divorce court.

What Happens in Cases of Divorce Where Adultery Is Proven?

If your spouse cheated on you, you might assume that his adultery will have a significant effect on your divorce proceedings. However, depending on your state’s laws, the adultery may impact your case at varying levels. In fact, your judge may not be able to consider your spouse's adulterous actions at all.

Illinois Divorce on the Grounds of Abandonment

Although Illinois law no longer punishes spouses for abandonment, the state does allow divorce on the grounds of desertion. However, even when one spouse deserted the other, many couples still file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, meaning that neither spouse is at fault. Apart from child custody, the grounds for divorce typically do not have much impact on the final divorce decree, which includes spousal maintenance, property division and child support.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Does Committing Adultery Make Any Difference in Divorce Court in Pennsylvania?

Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful is often the end to a marriage. In Pennsylvania, when a spouse files ...

Florida Divorce Laws on Infidelity

No-fault divorce states, such as Florida, grant divorces on the premise that sometimes marriages just don’t work out. ...

The Disadvantages of Pleading No Contest to Adultery

In the context of divorce law, you can "plead no contest" by abstaining from defending yourself against the allegations ...

Is Adultery Illegal in Texas?

Adultery isn’t a crime in Texas; a spouse won’t go to jail, earn a criminal record or pay a fine if she strays. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED