A common consideration for divorcing couples is what will happen to their assets during proceedings.
Georgia court aims to divide and distribute property as fairly as possible in a contested divorce.
Equitable distribution state
Georgia follows an equitable distribution approach to the division of assets. This means the court determines which assets are marital and separate property and divides the marital property fairly, which does not always result in an equal distribution.
Marital and separate property
The first step in the process is to determine what constitutes marital property. Put simply, marital property is anything acquired during the course of the marriage. Examples may include:
- Real estate purchased together, such as the marital home
- Gifts to each other
- Shared bank accounts
- Shared debts
Sometimes there are exceptions. For example, an asset inherited by one spouse during the marriage may qualify as separate property. Separate property generally includes anything acquired before the marriage.
Factors considered during the division of property
When deciding how to distribute property, the court considers every case based on the unique details of that case. However, some common factors considered include:
- Debts belonging to each spouse
- Each spouse’s separate financial status
- Each spouse’s future financial needs
- Whether either spouse has an alimony award
- How the spouses treated one another during the marriage
- Current income of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income earning capability
- Whether either spouse participated in any wrongful conduct to waste assets
Should a couple have a prenuptial agreement, the court will follow the division of assets as specified by the agreement.