Unlike some other states, Georgia does not recognize legal separations. However, Georgia law does provide for Separate Maintenance actions. These Separate Maintenance actions are very similar to a divorce case in that the issues regarding equitable division of property and assets, division of debts, child custody, child support and alimony / spousal support are made a part of the final decree/order. However, as opposed to a divorce action, the parties will remain legally married.

Reasons that parties may choose a legal separation over a divorce may be for religious purposes or to maintain health insurance coverage for a covered spouse. Also, if the party filing a case has not resided in the state of Georgia for six (6) months yet, then the filing party does not yet meet all the requirements for filing divorce in Georgia. However, they can file for separate maintenance and then separately re-assert / file a divorce case when the Georgia divorce residency requirements are met.

Separate Maintenance actions can be filed as an uncontested or contested matter. However, it is important to note that if the opposing party would rather be divorced rather than be separated, the opposing party merely has to file a counter claim for divorce and pursue the divorce in court.