Is a Sexless Marriage Grounds for a Divorce in Georgia?

By Wayne Thomas

For most couples, the marriage relationship includes some physical intimacy. However, in Georgia, sexual intercourse is not required for a marriage to be considered valid. Further, the state does not allow you to divorce your spouse on the basis of a sexless marriage. Understanding what alternative divorce grounds you may pursue in Georgia will help you choose the best course of action for your marriage.

Recognized Divorce Grounds

Although having a sexless marriage is not a recognized ground for divorce in Georgia, you may still obtain a divorce based on the marriage being irretrievably broken. This is considered a no-fault ground, which means that you do not need to prove that your spouse caused the divorce. Georgia also recognizes traditional fault grounds for divorce, including impotency at the time of marriage. While not the same as a sexless marriage, it does allow you to get a divorce if you were induced to marry based on the assumption that you would have children.

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South Carolina Annulment Laws

Certain marriages are prohibited by law in South Carolina. Couples that enter into these illegal relationships can petition the court at any time for an annulment to declare the marriage void. Unlike divorce, annulments do not involve the resolution of often complex and contested spousal support and property matters. Instead, the marriage is erased and the parties are restored to a legal and financial position as if the relationship never existed.

Is the Absence of Sexual Relations Grounds for Divorce?

Sexual behavior outside the marriage and the lack of sexual relations within the marriage can serve as grounds for divorce in states that continue to allow "fault" divorces. But all fifty states now authorize no-fault divorces, allowing either spouse to dissolve a marriage citing irreconcilable differences. However, you still have the option of filing for divorce on "fault" grounds in many states.

Is Counseling Required to Divorce in Georgia?

Marriage counseling can be helpful to some couples attempting to reconcile and avoid divorce. In Georgia, while a couple may choose to voluntarily attend counseling, state law does not require it as a prerequisite to divorce. However, once a divorce has been filed, the court can order the couple to work with a mediator in an attempt to come to an agreement on the major issues related to their divorce.

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