In Georgia, you are legally separated if you are no longer engaging in marital relations and you consider yourself to be in an actual state of separation. You can be separated even if you are living in the same household as your spouse. To file a case for divorce, you must be in such a state of separation. The court will not grant you a “legal separation”. Rather, you must swear that you are in an actual state of separation and then the court can grant a divorce or an Order for “Separate Maintenance”.
“Separate Maintenance” is a lawsuit which may be filed in Georgia to address all issues which could be addressed in a divorce case except for the granting of a divorce. Oftentimes people file a case for Separate Maintenance instead of a Divorce for differing reasons. Some of those reasons include religious or moral opposition to divorce or a desire to remain married for a legal benefit (to maintain insurance, social security, etc.) or other various reasons a lawyer can discuss with you in detail.
Randall Kessler is a Family Lawyer and a founding partner of Kessler, Schwarz & Solomiany, P.C., an Atlanta, Georgia family-law firm. Randy has over 20 years of experience in Domestic Relations and Family Law matters including divorce, custody, paternity, prenuptial agreements and child support. He can be reached at 404.688.8810. Visit the firm’s website at http://kssfamilylaw.com.