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:
- The court makes the same decisions about child support, child custody, and alimony as in a divorce.
- You and your spouse are legally separated but each spouse remains legally married.
- 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.