The Basics: Determining Who Gets What In A Georgia Divorce

Going through a divorce in Georgia can be an arduous process. In some cases, there are heated emotions involved, which can make it even more difficult to settle key details of the divorce, including property division. During a marriage, couples can amass property, assets and belongings that must be separated once the couple decides to dissolve the union. Determining who gets what in property division can be extremely challenging.

Equitable Distribution

Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that all marital property will be separated in a fair manner according to the discretion of the judge presiding over the case. This marital property includes homes, vehicles, possessions, furniture, retirement plans, 401K plans and insurance plans, as well as any other assets and property that have been accumulated during the marriage.

When separating marital property, the judge may base his or her decision on certain factors. These factors include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The health and age of each spouse.
  • Whether or not each spouse is employed and the ability of each spouse to find employment based on his or her education level and skill set.

For example, if a spouse becomes a stay-at-home parent and puts their career on hold in order to benefit the family, the judge may take that into consideration.

Separate Property

Not all property is marital property. Separate property includes gifts given to a spouse during the marriage, or property and assets that a spouse has acquired prior to the marriage. Any separate property or assets that become mixed in with marital property loses its separate status and becomes eligible for distribution.

Full Disclosure

In order for all marital property to be split fairly, both parties are required to disclose all of their property and assets. In some situations, however, spouses may hide assets in an attempt to get more than their fair share of the marital property. Spouses may use certain tactics in order to conceal marital assets and property, such as stating that they have more debt or higher expenses than they actually do. An aggressive divorce attorney can help people determine whether or not their spouses are hiding funds, and ensure that all marital property is divided fairly.