Examples of Marital Misconduct in a Georgia Divorce

Marital misconduct can take many forms in Georgia. Although couples have the opportunity to file for a “no-fault” divorce based on irreconcilable differences, misconduct may still play a role in numerous divorces. This is especially true when it comes to alimony, as a spouse guilty of misconduct may lose access to spousal support. But what exactly constitutes misconduct? When might it be beneficial to point the finger at your spouse, and how might specific forms of misconduct affect your divorce?

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is becoming increasingly common in the average American family, and it can certainly affect marriages. When addictions spiral out of control, marriages can easily end in divorce. Substance abuse may even put family members in danger, especially if hard drugs are left out in the open when children live in the home. For this reason, substance abuse may have a serious effect on how child custody is decided by the courts. Parents with serious substance abuse problems (including the abuse of alcohol) may struggle to see their children frequently after their divorce. 


Violence is another obvious form of marital misconduct. When family members become violent towards one another, it is a clear sign that the marriage is on thin ice. The best thing to do is end these marriages, with victimized family members seeking safer environments as soon as possible. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to accomplish with protective orders in Georgia. Documented instances of violence can also affect child custody, as abusive parents are unlikely to win custody or unsupervised visits. 


Adultery can easily end marriages. According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 40% of divorces occur because of adultery. Men are apparently more likely to cheat compared to women, and this often leads wives to petition for divorce against their husbands. If you earn less than your spouse, adultery may prevent you from receiving alimony after the divorce. This is why adultery is one of the most important forms of misconduct to be aware of – particularly if you stand to receive spousal support. 


Abandonment – also known as “willful and continued desertion,” is one of the lesser-known forms of marital misconduct. If your spouse simply walks out of the house and never returns for at least a year, this constitutes abandonment. You can then file for a fault-based divorce if you wish. 

Criminal Conviction

If your spouse is convicted of a serious crime – such as murder or manslaughter – you also have the chance to pursue a fault-based divorce. However, this only applies if your spouse was sentenced to at least two years in prison. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in Georgia?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses in Georgia, including those dealing with misconduct. Whether you’re accusing your spouse of misconduct or you are facing these allegations yourself, we can help you strive for the best possible outcomes. Time is of the essence, so book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan. 


I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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