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Two A’s of Divorce in Georgia: Adultery and Alimony

| Jenni Brown |

There are two forms of divorce you can file for in Georgia, no fault and fault divorce. No fault divorce is when the filing spouse asks the court for a divorce because the couple no longer gets along or because they’ve become incompatible. Fault divorce means that a spouse’s marital misconduct caused the breakup, and the filing spouse must prove the allegations before the court will grant the divorce. Adultery is a common reason for fault divorce.

Adultery is a criminal act according to Georgia law. The law defines adultery as one spouse having sexual intercourse with a person other than a spouse while married. Adultery is one of the grounds for divorce and can significantly affect several aspects of the divorce.

In Georgia, to prove adultery you need more than just one spouse’s testimony, you need evidence. This evidence includes photos, recordings, phone records, bank/credit card statements, witnesses, and private investigators. Proving adultery in court can get very complex, which is why having an attorney present is vital. They will know the legal rules of evidence and the trial procedure.

When a spouse files for divorce, alimony can be brought into question. Alimony is financial support paid from one spouse, typically the higher earning spouse, to the other spouse during and possibly after the divorce proceeding. Alimony can be temporary, a time period, or be permanent until the supported spouse remarries or dies. The court takes into consideration a few factors when it comes to alimony:

  • Spouse requesting must prove a need for financial support and show the other spouse can pay
  • Spouses’ standard of living during marriage
  • Length of marriage
  • Age and physical condition of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s financial resources
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Time it will take for supported spouse to get back to work
  • Each spouse’s contributions for the marriage, financial, etc.

So how does adultery impact your alimony chances?

In Georgia, when adultery is the cause of a divorce, the law bars the unfaithful spouse from receiving alimony. However, you need to prove that the infidelity is the reason for the divorce. The court will also not prohibit alimony due to adultery if you forgave your spouse and continued living together as a married couple.

As you can see, adultery and alimony can get complicated. This is why we suggest getting an experienced attorney on your team to help you through the process. Brown, Dutton & Crider has experienced attorneys that will fight for your best interests. You can contact us at 770-422-4241 or email us at