You must be a resident of Georgia for six months and a county resident to file for divorce. If you live out of state, you may file for a divorce against a spouse who has lived in Georgia for six months in the county where the spouse resides.

Either spouse can get a divorce simply by stating in divorce papers that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," without any need for showing any wrongdoing or fault.

If the spouses are not in agreement that a divorce should occur, the spouse wanting the divorce must prove one of the following grounds for divorce:

  • Mental incapacity or impotency at the time of the marriage
  • Adultery
  • Desertion for one year
  • Conviction of either spouse of a offense involving moral turpitude
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction
  • Cruel treatment that endangers the life or safety of the spouse
  • Incurable mental illness
  • Force, menace, duress or fraud in obtaining the marriage
  • The wife was pregnant by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage, and the husband didn’t know
  • Incest

The legal divorce process begins when one of the spouses files a "Petition for Divorce" with the Superior Court. The other spouse is then served with the paperwork and given time to respond. The court will not grant a divorce based upon the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage until at least 30 days after the other spouse is served. If the parties are in agreement about property and debt division, the divorce can be finalized without a trial. If the parties can’t come to an agreement, the court will set a time for a hearing, usually some time in the future.

After the Petition for Divorce has been filed, either party can request temporary assistance from the court in the form of temporary custody and child support orders, and orders to determine who pays community debts on a temporary basis.