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How do courts distribute property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2019 | divorce, property & debt division

If you and your spouse contemplate getting a Georgia divorce, you need to be aware of some marital property division rules and procedures unique to Georgia. You probably already know that Georgia is not one of the community property states in which all property and assets acquired during the marriage is, by law, jointly owned by the couple and must be divided 50/50 should they divorce. But did you know that Georgia case law rather than statute(s) governs the distribution of property in a divorce?

FindLaw explains that such is indeed the case. In other words, the court has complete discretion when it comes to dividing up your marital property when you and your spouse decide to divorce.

Marital versus separate property

As you might expect, your marital property in general consists of everything you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage, including the following:

  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Personal property such as cars, boats, antiques, etc.
  • Earned income, regardless of which of you earned it

Your separate property, on the other hand, consists in general of whatever you owned prior to your marriage, plus the gifts, inheritances, etc. you received during it.

Property division considerations

Courts usually take numerous factors into consideration, including the following ones, before signing off on any property settlement agreement you and your spouse arrive at:

  • Whether or not either of you engaged in misconduct during your marriage
  • The current financial status of each of you
  • How each of you behaves during your divorce process
  • How much separate property each of you owns
  • How much each of you likely will need in the future

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.