Family Law Insights

Separation of Marital Assets in Georgia

Posted on: May 24th, 2013

One of the most important questions in a Georgia divorce is “who gets what?” Splitting property can be just as traumatic as splitting the relationship. Because so much is at stake, below you will find important information, but if you are dealing with the separation of marital assets during a divorce we strongly recommend you contact a divorce lawyer who can help you navigate your divorce and property settlement.

According to Georgia’s family law rules, the courts are to “equitably distribute” marital property. This begs two questions. What is equitable, and what is marital property? Neither question is what it first appears.

Equitable distribution is best described as what is fair, rather than what is equal. So if the court decides that a 60-40 split is more fair than a 50-50 split of the property, than that is what the court will do. The court can base its reasoning on any number of factors, including how much each spouse contributed to the purchase of the property, each spouse’s occupation, if the divorce was “for cause,” if there are children, who has primary custody of the children, etc. In short, the court can consider almost any factor which would help it arrive at a fair or equitable distribution of the Georgia marital property.

Georgia marital property is, in layman’s terms, property acquired during and as a part of the marriage. The most common example is a house jointly bought by a husband and wife. Property owned individually before the marriage, such as bank accounts, is not considered marital property. Further, property acquired individually during the marriage is often not considered marital property. For example, if the husband receives a gift of golf clubs from a friend as a birthday present, or the wife inherits some family heirlooms from her parents while they are married, the property is often considered to be separate. Individual property can become marital property, however, if one is not careful. For example, if the husband buys himself a car with his own money, but allows his wife to use the car for family errands, it might be “converted” into marital property by the court.

As you can see, the division of property upon divorce can become very complicated, very quickly. The facts of each case often make or break the separation of marital assets settlement, and we recommend that you have one of our GA divorce attorneys on your side to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of.

Taking The First Step

As can be seen above, issues regarding the separation of marital property can be confusing and sometimes murky, and the help of an experienced attorney to help ensure that your interests are well protected will be invaluable. If you are dealing with a GA divorce, we advise you to speak with one of our divorce lawyers sooner rather than later. Please note that for a typical divorce, our law firm retainer begins at $2,500.00. If you would like to talk with one of our family law attorneys about representing you, either fill out the brief form to your left or give us a call.

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