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Q: Georgia Divorce - Adultery ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Georgia Divorce - Adultery
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: thistle0106-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2003 07:04 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2003 07:04 PDT
Question ID: 246825
I filed for divorce after finding out my husband had affairs.  I did
try to resolve the situation and upon moving back in with my husband -
postponed the divorce and became intimate with him again.  I am now
ready to proceed with the divorce and want to know if I can still file
adultery charges if I was intimate with him after knowing of these
Subject: Re: Georgia Divorce - Adultery
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 20 Aug 2003 07:50 PDT
Your decision to resume sexual relations with your husband does alter
the legal status of things, but it shouldn't prevent you from getting
a divorce.  Although you probably no longer will be able to get a
divorce granted on the grounds of adultery, you still have the option
of getting a "no-fault" divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable

Here is the relevant portion of the Georgia divorce law:

Georgia General Assembly Unannotated Code 19-5-3 
"The following grounds shall be sufficient to authorize the granting
of a total divorce:
...(6) Adultery in either of the parties after marriage; ..."

Complicating matters for you, however, is the following section of

Georgia General Assembly Unannotated Code 19-5-4
"(a) No divorce shall be granted under the following circumstances: 
"...(4) There has been a voluntary condonation and cohabitation
subsequent to the acts complained of, with notice thereof.
"(b) In all such cases, the respondent may plead in defense the
conduct of the party bringing the action and the jury may, on
examination of the whole case, refuse a divorce."

In other words, the court would not have to grant you the divorce on
the basis of adultery, since you have consented to cohabitate since
then. The cohabitation doesn't make the adultery "right," but it does
remove it as grounds for a divorce.

Considering this part of the law and your circumstances, the best way
to proceed if you wish to be divorced would probably be to file for a
divorce on the grounds that the marriage is broken.  In Georgia (as in
most states), this is by far the most common grounds for a divorce. 
The advantage to the no-fault divorce is that you don't have to prove
any party is at fault (even if one was).  Here is the relevant portion
of law:

Georgia General Assembly Unannotated Code 19-5-3 
"The following grounds shall be sufficient to authorize the granting
of a total divorce:
"(13) The marriage is irretrievably broken. Under no circumstances
shall the court grant a divorce on this ground until not less than 30
days from the date of service on the respondent."

The following material may also be useful:

State Bar of Georgia: Divorce

I hope this fully answers your question.



Search strategy:

I went to and followed menus to find Georgia
law, then used "divorce" and "adultery" as search terms.
Subject: Re: Georgia Divorce - Adultery
From: expertlaw-ga on 23 Aug 2003 12:15 PDT
Dear thistle0106,

mvguy's conclusions are consistent with the common law, so I am not
surprised by what he stated. Traditionally, the period of cohabitation
"as man and wife" after the discovery of a ground for divorce (or, in
those unusual cases where it is available, annulment) will eliminate
that ground as a basis for divorce or annulment. Georgia seems to have
codified the common law.

From what I have read, the argument I would try to advance under the
"catch-all" provision that mvguy cited is that you made a bona fide
effort to overcome some serious problems in the marriage following
your discovery of the adultery, but that they proved fruitless and the
marriage is irretrievably broken. That is, while the subsequent
attempt at reconciliation may have removed the adultery itself as a
basis for divorce, that failed effort may nonetheless stand as
evidence that the marriage cannot be saved.

When I am looking for family lawyers in a state, but don't have any
first-hand knowledge of the local bar, I often start with the
directory on the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers website,

While AAML membership of itself is not a guarantee of quality, and
AAML lawyers tend to be above average in cost, their membership rules
mean that their members must focus primarily on family law, and must
have considerable experience. Also, even if you cannot find an AAML
fellow that you wish to hire or who is close enough to the county in
which you are litigating, they usually are familiar with the other
family law attorneys in the area and thus are a good source for

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