Georgia Domestic Violence Divorce
Under Georgia law, domestic violence is criminal intimidation or abuse that occurs between spouses, unmarried parents or two people who simply live together. Georgia also recognizes spousal abuse as one of 13 grounds for divorce.
If you have experienced abuse at the hands of your spouse, you may seek immediate relief by petitioning for a protective order from the court.
How to File for a Protective Order
A petition for a protective order must be filed in superior court. If the victim can provide evidence of recent abuse or violence, the judge may grant an “ex parte” protective order, which prohibits any contact between the named parties.
The ex parte order is temporary and only good for 30 days; however, the judge will set a hearing date at the time the ex parte order is granted. At that hearing, the judge will determine whether the order should be permanent.
Beginning the Divorce Proceedings
Once you have obtained an ex parte protective order, you may begin the proceedings to initiate a divorce. If you file for divorce based on spousal abuse, it will be considered a divorce “for cause,” and you and your attorney will need to provide evidence and documentation of the abuse.