Georgia Divorce Property Division
In Georgia, the process by which property is divided in a divorce is called equitable division. It is important to understand that equitable does not mean equal—in other words, the property will not simply be split into equal halves, but rather divided between the parties based upon fairness.
Two Types of Property
When determining property division, a judge will first split all property into one of two categories: separate property and marital property.
- Separate property is property that belonged solely to one spouse prior to the marriage. This property will not be subject to division.
- Marital property is any property that was acquired during the marriage.
It should be noted that these are general guidelines. Property that was acquired during the marriage may not necessarily be deemed marital property, and separate property sometimes becomes marital property during the course of the marriage. The judge will make a determination based on all facts and circumstances of the case.
Once all property has been divided into “separate” and “marital” categories, the judge will begin the process of equitable division. Only property that is deemed “marital” will be divided.
When determining equitable division, the judge will consider many factors, such as:
- Length of the marriage
- Financial needs/states of both parties
- Prenuptial/postnuptial agreements (if applicable)
- Marketable skills of both parties
- Contributions and maintenance of property by both parties during the marriage
There are many complex legal arguments that may be made during the equitable division process, and it is important to have legal counsel on your side to ensure fairness in the proceedings.