Division of Property in Georgia Divorce
One of the most important issues central to many divorce cases is how a couple’s property will be divided. If the divorcing spouses cannot agree on who gets what, the court can step in and will use a process called equitable division to determine how the property will be divvied up.
What is Equitable Division?
Although the word “equitable” is in the name, equitable division does not mean that the marital property will be divided equally—or in half—between the divorcing spouses. Rather, it means that the court will determine fairness, based on several factors.
Types of Property
First, the court will determine the type of property in question. Everything will fall into one of two categories:
- Marital property: Property that was obtained during the course of the marriage that belongs to both spouses
- Separate property: Property that belonged to one spouse prior to the marriage.
Only marital property is subject to being divided in a divorce proceeding.
Dividing Marital Property
After establishing which property is marital, the court will then begin the process of equitable division. In making this final determination, the judge will consider:
- The length of the marriage
- Any pre- or postnuptial agreement
- Maintenance of and contributions to the property made by each party during the marriage
- The financial state and needs of each party
- Marketable skills of both parties
Moving through this process can be extremely complicated. Having an experienced attorney who can serve as your advocate each step of the way is the best way to protect your interests.