As you prepare for your divorce, you may worry about how the process will divide your assets. After years of marriage, you and your spouse may have built up ownership in a home, cars, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts and more.
If you go before a Georgia divorce court, the judge will decide the fairest way to split your marital property. The division will depend on factors unique to you and your marriage.
The way a court divides property depends on the situation
In Georgia, courts follow equitable distribution laws. Instead of each spouse receiving exactly half of the marital property, the court decides on how to split the assets. Since there are no specific laws for how to divide possessions, the judge will rule on each case based on the individual circumstances.
When deciding how to divide your property, the judge may consider:
- If you and your spouse both have separate financial means
- How the division will affect each of you after the divorce
- The property that needs to be divided
- How each of you has acted during the divorce proceedings
- If there is any evidence that one spouse’s misconduct caused the divorce
Separate versus marital property
When you go through property division, you may want some of your assets to stay out of division. You may have brought things like real estate or a business into marriage. Or a family member may have given you a gift or left you an inheritance. You consider these possessions yours alone.
If you can prove that you owned these things before marriage, a court may consider it separate property. Since a judge only splits marital possessions, you can keep separate property after divorce. And gifts or inheritance received during your marriage can stay separate as well.
However, proving that the property is yours alone can be complicated. If your spouse is listed as an owner or you commingled separate funds with marital property, a court may rule that your spouse can receive a share.
Multiple factors contribute to how the court divides assets
When you go through a divorce in Georgia, the judge can split most assets you gained in marriage. The court will try to find a fair way to divide them. But they consider many factors related to your marriage and divorce before deciding.