If I Run Away From My Marriage, Will I Automatically Be Divorced?

Sometimes, people just want to run away. They might be living a life that just does not seem right. Of course, the right, proper thing to do would be to explain your feelings to your spouse and tell them that you want a divorce. But for whatever reason, this might seem unthinkable. One of the hardest things to do in life is to admit that your relationship just is not working. But what happens if you never actually voice these feelings? What happens if you simply get up one day, pack your bags, and run away from your past life without looking back? Is it true that this action will result in an “automatic” divorce? Let’s find out:

Abandonment is a Grounds for Divorce in Georgia

In Georgia, you can pursue an “at-fault” divorce in some situations. This is when you file for divorce for a specific reason – usually some form of fault on the part of your ex. One of the accepted reasons (grounds) for an at-fault divorce is “abandonment.” Georgia defines this as “willful desertion of one spouse for at least one year.” Desertion occurs when one spouse leaves with no intention of ever coming back. They may refuse to communicate and cut off all ties. 

If you decide to pack your bags and leave, you are “deserting” your spouse. If you remain apart for at least one year, your spouse can file for divorce without consulting you in any way. But why wouldn’t your spouse just file for a “no-fault” divorce in Georgia if this is the case? Well, they could – and it would probably be easier. However, there may be certain advantages associated with a no-fault divorce. For example, you may be barred from alimony, and the court may generally take the side of the spouse who has been deserted on a range of matters. 

They Still Need to Serve You with the Divorce Documents

Whether your spouse chooses an at-fault divorce or a no-fault divorce, they still need to serve you with divorce papers in order to move forward with the legal process. If they fail to do this, they cannot move forward. If there’s no other option, they can publish the divorce papers in a newspaper or something similar – but this is typically seen as a last resort. At the end of the day, a divorce is not “automatic” if you run away and never come back. There are still many legal processes that need to take place. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced 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 pursue positive outcomes. The truth is that it might be easier to divorce your spouse than you think – and there’s no need to simply run away. And if your spouse has deserted or abandoned you, we can help you dissolve your marriage in a confident manner. 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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