Is There Legal Separation in GA?

Is legal separation in GA an option for me instead of divorce?

Technically, Georgia does not recognize a legal separation. However, you can file for a separate maintenance action, defined as a judicial determination to separate spouses and provide support without a judicial termination of the marriage.

With a separate maintenance order:

  1. The court makes the same decisions about child support, child custody, and alimony as in a divorce.
  2. You and your spouse are legally separated but each spouse remains legally married.
  3. You and your spouse are still technically married but not responsible for one another.

Why would you request a separate maintenance action?

  • Jurisdictional Limitations – For instance, if you have not been a resident of the state of Georgia for 6 months (minimum residency requirement) then you cannot file a divorce action, but you may still need court intervention to provide support.
  • Personal choice – You may not be ready for a divorce but need financial support or would like to retain benefits such as health insurance.
  • Religious reasons – Your religious beliefs may prevent you from requesting a divorce yet you are in need of financial support or a judicial determination of custody and visitation issues.

Filing for a separate maintenance action in Georgia is similar to the process of filing for a regular divorce. If you think a separate maintenance action may be right for you, and especially if you have minor children, schedule a free 10 minute phone consultation with Sandy Springs divorce lawyer Nancy Ghertner.