Property division takes center stage in virtually every divorce. The accumulation of marital property and assets over time may result in heated property division discussions, especially when both parties cannot agree on how to best divide what they have. In that case, it is up to the Courts to decide who gets what.
Marital versus separate property
The initial step of dividing property is distinguishing between separate and marital property. Almost all assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, except for gifts from third parties or an inheritance. These are the assets that are subsequently divided between the ex-spouses following a divorce.
On the other hand, separate property also includes all assets owned by either spouse before the marriage. These include gifts and inheritance. Notably, gifts exchanged between spouses are not considered separate property. Following a divorce, everyone gets to keep their separate property.
Georgia is an equitable distribution state
Marital property gets divided on an equitable basis here in Georgia. The court tries to be as fair as possible when dividing the property, but it does not mean that each party receives an equal share. There are several factors that the court takes into account when determining whether a property division settlement meets the equitable division standards, including:
- The financial status of each spouse taking into account separate assets
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- Any outstanding marital debts
- If any spouse was wasteful of marital property during the divorce
The financial implications of a divorce can be dire, and it is very important to be aware of the legal environment around it all. Protect your rights and finances by making the right calls on how to go about your divorce proceedings. It might save you a lot, now and in the future.