What Is Spousal Abandonment In Georgia?

Patrick Swanson / March 19,2022

What Is Spousal Abandonment In Georgia?​

Spousal abandonment in Georgia is grounds for divorce. 

If your spouse abandoned you, you’re wondering what your rights are. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • what is abandonment in Georgia
  • how do you prove spousal abandonment
  • what are your abandoned spouse rights
  • what to do when your spouse abandons you

Let’s dig in.

Custody can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.

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Spousal Abandonment In Georgia

Spousal abandonment in Georgia means that one spouse leaves the house and relationship without communication.

Abandonment is one of the grounds for divorce in Georgia.

In Georgia, the spouse has to have been gone for 1+ years to use it as a fault for the divorce.

What Is Abandonment?

Abandonment is when one spouse severs ties with the family. 

And they abandon their responsibilities and duties to the family. 

It’s one spouse leaving without any intention of coming back.

Abandonment means that the person leaves with the intention of ending the relationship. 

This could mean that the spouse who leaves:

  • leaves children behind
  • intends to end the marriage
  • leaves the remaining spouse with the marital bills
  • does not provide financial support

For the spouse that leaves, abandonment in Georgia may cause a judge to order:

  • an increase in the spousal support they pay
  • a decrease in child custody they get

A spouse who doesn’t follow their spouse due to work relocation cannot claim abandonment in Georgia.

Constructive abandonment is when spouses leave because the other made it impossible to stay.

Consequences Of Marriage Abandonment In Georgia

Some consequences of marriage abandonment are that:

  • abandonment can get used as a fault when filing for divorce in Georgia
  • the remaining parent can petition for full or sole custody of the children
  • the abandoning parent can lose custody and visitation rights
  • the abandoning spouse may have to pay more child and spousal support

How Do You Prove Spousal Abandonment

If you are using abandonment in Georgia as a fault for the divorce, how do you prove spousal abandonment? 

Proving spousal abandonment means more than “they just left.”

You have to prove that the spouse:

  • left the home 1+ years ago
  • did not resume cohabitation at any point
  • refuses to come back and cohabitate
  • left without your consent
  • left with the intent to end the marriage
  • did not have a reason to leave (deployment or job relocation)
  • failed to pay support to you after they left
  • did not leave because of you

Note that when a spouse comes back only to abandon again, this resets the clock. 

And you can prove spousal abandonment with messages, emails, or social media. 

Related: Who Gets The House In A Divorce In Georgia

What To Do Legally When Your Wife Leaves You

What can you do legally when your wife leaves you? 

(Or your husband.)

The courts cannot force you or your spouse to remain in the marriage. 

The only thing you can do when your spouse leaves is file for divorce.

The abandoning spouse will receive a court order, making them financially responsible for:

  • child support
  • spousal support
  • division of property

To file for divorce, file a Petition for Divorce at your local Superior Clerk’s Office. 

Abandoned Spouse Rights

What are an abandoned spouse’s rights? 

The abandoned spouse most likely:

  • won’t have to pay alimony
  • won’t have to pay child support
  • will be able to get full or sole child custody
  • will get extra spousal support
  • won’t have to give their spouse visitation rights to the kids

Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement

Dealing With Spousal Abandonment In Georgia

If you want the best divorce attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

We also make sure that your divorce judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.


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