2020 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 5 - Divorce
§ 19-5-15. Effect of Divorce

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-5-15 (2020)

A total divorce annuls a marriage from the time of the rendition of the decree, unless the divorce is granted for a cause rendering the marriage void originally, in which case the divorce serves to annul the marriage from its inception. However, the issue of the marriage shall not be rendered born out of wedlock by a divorce, except in cases of pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband.

(Laws 1806, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 225; Ga. L. 1861, p. 62, § 1; Code 1863, § 1682; Code 1868, § 1725; Code 1873, § 1726; Code 1882, § 1726; Civil Code 1895, § 2444; Civil Code 1910, § 2963; Code 1933, § 30-119; Ga. L. 1988, p. 1720, § 2.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "Annulment of Marriage in Georgia," see 5 Ga. B.J. 22 (1942).


Wife ceases to be member of husband's family.

- Upon dissolution of marriage by total divorce, the wife ceases to be a member of the husband's family effectually as if she were dead. Burns v. Lewis, 86 Ga. 591, 13 S.E. 123 (1891).

Upon a divorce vinculo obtained by wife, defendant ceases to be her husband and accordingly his marital rights terminate. Barclay v. Warning, 58 Ga. 86 (1877).

Final verdict of total divorce shows jury intent to dissolve marriage.

- Final verdict being in favor of a total divorce for the plaintiff admits of no construction but that the jury intended the marriage should be dissolved. Chance v. Chance, 60 Ga. App. 889, 5 S.E.2d 399 (1939).

Common-law marriage.

- When a former wife did not consistently claim or engage in conduct consistent with the existence of a common-law marriage, saying she was divorced or single when it was convenient for her to do so, there was insufficient proof of a common-law marriage. In re Estate of Dunn, 236 Ga. App. 211, 511 S.E.2d 575 (1999).


Previous divorce not bar to remarriage of same parties.

- Previously dissolved marriage neither bars the subsequent creation of a marital relationship between the same parties nor does it serve in any way as evidence of a latter state of marriage between these parties. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-69.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 24 Am. Jur. 2d, Divorce and Separation, §§ 1, 4.


- 27A C.J.S., Divorce, § 1 et seq.


- Death or divorce as affecting relationship by affinity as regards insurance, 99 A.L.R. 593.

Action under declaratory judgment act to test validity or effect of a decree of divorce, 124 A.L.R. 1336.

Divorce decree as res judicata or estoppel as to previous marital status, against or in favor of third person, 20 A.L.R.2d 1163.

Effect of divorce, separation, desertion, unfaithfulness, and the like upon right to administer upon estate of spouse, 34 A.L.R.2d 876.

Cohabitation under marriage contracted after divorce decree as adultery, where decree is later reversed or set aside, 63 A.L.R.2d 816.

Determination of paternity, legitimacy, or legitimation in action for divorce, separation, or annulment, 65 A.L.R.2d 1381.

Effect, in subsequent proceedings, of paternity findings or implications in divorce or annulment decree or in support or custody order made incidental thereto, 78 A.L.R.3d 846.

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