Property division can be one of the biggest challenges in a divorce. In Georgia, how the court divides your assets between you and your ex-spouse depends on several different factors. If you have a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, the court will usually abide by it, as long as it is valid.
In the state of Georgia, the principle of equitable distribution typically applies to property division during a divorce. This is a precedent that case law has established. There is no provision requiring an equitable distribution of your property in the Georgia Code.
How does equitable distribution work?
Equitable distribution is different from the 50-50 split of marital assets required in community property states. In deciding how to distribute assets between you and your ex, the court considers factors such as the following:
- Sources of income
- Vocational skills
- Duration of the marriage
The court also takes into consideration whether either you or your spouse have requested alimony or should receive it according to a prenuptial agreement. It may apportion property to you in lieu of alimony.
What assets are subject to division?
Only marital property, which consists of assets or debts that you and your spouse acquired together during your marriage, is subject to equitable distribution. Separate property is exempt. Anything that either you or your spouse owned prior to the marriage is separate property. Sometimes property acquired during the marriage also falls under the separate property exemption if it very clearly belonged to only one spouse.
While these rules may seem straightforward, property division can be more complex than you anticipate. It may simplify matters if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place.