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What if spouses cannot agree on property division in divorce?

Dividing property can make the challenging process of divorce even more difficult. When you and your spouse cannot agree, the court steps in to make the decision.

However, you do not have to simply sit back and wait for a ruling. By understanding the process, you may be able to get the court to decide in line with at least some of your requests.

The discovery process

Before the trial, you and your spouse must go through the discovery process. This is when both sides gather information about all property and debts.

Each of you must share details about what you own and what you owe. This includes bank accounts, houses, cars and credit card debts. The goal is to make sure everyone knows everything about the full financial situation before the court makes any decisions.

How the court decides what is marital property and what is separate property

In Georgia, the court divides property into two types: marital and separate property. Marital property is anything that either of you earned or bought during the marriage. Separate property is what each person had before the marriage or received as a personal gift or inheritance during the marriage.

The court only divides marital property. Separate property stays with the person who owns it. However, the line between what is marital and what is separate property can be unclear. For example, if one of you owned a house before getting married but both of you paid for the mortgage after getting married, the court has to decide how to handle that.

Principles of equitable division

Georgia uses the equitable division for splitting property instead of apportioning things 50/50. This means the court tries to divide property in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal.

To do this, the court considers how long the marriage lasted, what each person’s financial situation will be after the divorce, how much each person contributed to earnings and what each person did to take care of shared property.

Factors that affect the court’s decision

To influence the court’s decision, you need strong evidence and arguments. You can show bank statements, bills and receipts to prove whether something is marital or separate property. You can also explain how you contributed to increasing the value of certain properties. The more clear and convincing your evidence is, the better chance you have of the court seeing things your way.

Dealing with property division is rarely easy. The more you understand the process and your options, the easier it can be to navigate the situation.



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