As you get ready for your divorce, you likely have concerns about the share of marital property you will receive. You may hope that you and your spouse will divide it as equitably as possible. Yet, you may have no clue which assets you two will split and which will remain indivisible. Georgia’s property division laws make a clear distinction between these.
How Georgia defines marital property
Under Georgia law, any assets that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage qualify as marital property. This designation applies to assets you two acquired together, such as your home and vehicles. It also applies to assets you acquired or funded individually, such as 401(k) accounts, IRAs and pension plans.
Any assets that you or your spouse acquired before your marriage qualify as separate property. These assets are indivisible in your divorce, unless you commingled them with marital property. If they were, the court may treat them as divisible.
If you received an inheritance or gifts during your marriage, these will count as separate property as well. The exception to this rule is if you or your spouse purchased gifts for the other using marital funds. These gifts, then, are marital property.
Georgia’s property division guidelines
Like most states, Georgia’s property division guidelines are based on the equitable distribution method. Following this method, your marital property will be divided in a manner considered fair to both you and your spouse. You two may not receive equal shares of it. Yet, the court will make sure your distributions reflect your individual circumstances.
When dividing your marital property, the court will consider:
- You and your spouse’s respective financial positions
- You and your spouse’s future financial needs
- The value of you and your spouse’s separate property
- Whether you or your spouse engaged in conduct that dissipated assets
- Whether you or your spouse were at fault for your divorce
In most cases, Georgia courts divide marital property in a manner that makes sense for both parties in a divorce. You do not, however, want to leave this outcome to chance. A family law attorney can help you make sure the share of property you receive reflects your needs.