Effect of Domestic Violence on Divorce Settlement

Unlike some other areas, Georgia is not a ‘no fault’ divorce state. There are 13 grounds for divorce listed under the state statutes, and domestic violence is one of those grounds. If you are the victim of spousal abuse, it could impact important elements of your case, including property division and alimony.   

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Domestic Violence as Grounds for Divorce

Domestic assault and abuse are grounds for divorce in Georgia. Under Section 19-5-3 of the Georgia Code , there are two potential ways in which domestic violence could play a role in your case:

  • If you entered the marriage under threat, force, or duress;
  • If your spouse exhibited cruel treatment towards you, in which they willfully inflicted physical or emotional pain during your marriage.

While domestic violence during your marriage is likely to influence property settlements, alimony, and child custody proceedings, under Georgia divorce laws you could be disqualified from it as grounds if you remained in the marriage after it occurred, or if your spouse claims you engaged in any type of abusive behavior in response.   

Dealing with Domestic Violence in Your Divorce

Domestic violence laws work to defend the rights of victims. Anytime spousal abuse or any kind of domestic violence occurs, you are entitled to protection under the Family Violence Act . Even if you remained in your marriage after spousal abuse became a factor, you may be able to present evidence justifying why you remained, in addition to obtaining property rights and alimony through a protective order.