How Are Marital Assets Divided in Georgia?

Divorce is generally a difficult process that requires a great deal of patience to deal with the many legal matters that are involved. Throughout the proceedings, spouses must settle their marital issues in order to determine a future post-split. When couples are together for a long time, they often intertwine their lives in numerous ways. It is because of this that it often becomes complicated to separate them during a divorce.

Part of divorce proceedings is the division of assets between the two spouses. Sometimes, the two are able to handle this matter on their own without the assistance of the court. Other times, they may not be prepared and disagree about where they believe the assets should reside. These situations often call for the couple to divide their assets in court with the guidance of a judge.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

When spouses go to court to divide their assets, a judge decides where their assets end up. In order to determine how this is done, the judge considers which assets are marital property and which are separate property.

  • Marital Property: Any assets and debts acquired during the couple’s marriage. This includes any properties from before the marriage that were converted into marital property during the marriage.
  • Separate Property: All assets and debts acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay separate throughout the marriage. This can also include properties, gifts, and inheritance.

Distributing Property

Many spouses going through a divorce believe that their property will be distributed equally between them and their partner. However, this is not always the case. The state of Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that a judge separates a couple’s assets based upon what is fair and just for the situation at hand. In order to make this decision, the judge takes several different factors into consideration. This can include the following:

  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Economic circumstances
  • Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
  • Any tax consequence that may apply

Throughout the proceedings, it is important to note that a judge may consider fault when dividing marital assets. This means that factors such as adultery within the relationship could influence their decisions. In addition to this, if there was an economic fault, the judge may lean in favor of the more fiscally responsible spouse. 

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