2022 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 5 - Divorce
§ 19-5-1. Total Divorces Authorized; Trial; Referral for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-5-1 (2022)
  1. Total divorces may be granted in proper cases by the superior court. Unless an issuable defense is filed as provided by law and a jury trial is demanded in writing by either party on or before the call of the case for trial, in all petitions for divorce and permanent alimony the judge shall hear and determine all issues of law and of fact and any other issues raised in the pleadings.
  2. In any county in which there has been established an alternative dispute resolution program pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 15, known as the “Georgia Court-annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Act,” the judge may, prior to trial, refer all contested petitions for divorce or permanent alimony to the appropriate alternative dispute resolution method. In counties in which an alternative dispute resolution program has not been established, a judge may nonetheless refer any disputed divorce case to an appropriate alternative dispute resolution method if a method is reasonably available without additional cost to the parties.

History. Orig. Code 1863, § 1669; Ga. L. 1866, p. 21, § 1; Code 1868, § 1710; Code 1873, § 1711; Ga. L. 1880-81, p. 65, § 2; Code 1882, § 1711; Civil Code 1895, § 2425; Civil Code 1910, § 2944; Code 1933, § 30-101; Ga. L. 1946, p. 90, § 1; Ga. L. 1956, p. 405, § 1; Ga. L. 1960, p. 1023, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1292, § 13; Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 7/HB 369; Ga. L. 2016, p. 864, § 19/HB 737.

The 2016 amendment, effective May 3, 2016, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted “; provided, however, that the parties shall comply with Code Section 19-5-1.1 if it is applicable” at the end of the first sentence of subsection (a).

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 1/HB 369, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: “The General Assembly of Georgia declares that it is the policy of this state to assure that minor children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interests of their children and to encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of rearing their children after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage or relationship.”

Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 8/HB 369, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the 2007 amendment to subsection (a) shall apply to all child custody proceedings and modifications of child custody filed on or after January 1, 2008.

Law reviews.

For article, “The Divorce Act of 1946,” see 9 Ga. B.J. 287 (1947).

For article advocating the adoption of a Uniform Divorce Bill, see 16 Ga. B.J. 41 (1953).

For note discussing problems with venue in Georgia, and proposing statutory revisions to improve the resolution of venue questions, see 9 Ga. St. B.J. 254 (1972).

For note, “The Economics of Divorce of Georgia: Toward a Partnership Model of Marriage,” see 12 Ga. L. Rev. 640 (1978).

For annual survey of domestic relations law, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 221 (2004).

For article, “Conflict of Laws Structure and Vision: Updating a Venerable Discipline,” see 31 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 231 (2015).

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