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Marital Property

What is Marital Property?

Marital property is defined as any real or personal property, assets, and income acquired by the spouses during the marriage. Moore v. Moore, 249 Ga. 27 (1982). Thus, any income earned by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property. Additionally, the marital home, furniture, vehicles, and any other property purchased by the spouses during the marriage may be considered marital property.

Title is NOT controlling

An often confusing concept about marital property is that how a piece of property is titled does NOT make it separate property. The question is whether it was acquired during the marriage, not how it was titled.

For example, assume that the parties have separate checking accounts. The fact that they each only have their name on their respective accounts does not mean that they are separate property. The question is whether the accounts, including the funds in them, were acquired during the marriage.

Who Earned the Asset is NOT Controlling

Who Earned the Asset is NOT Controlling

The party that earns a particular asset during a marriage does not have a separate property claim to the funds. The question is whether it was earned during the marriage. If it was, then it is marital and subject to equitable division by the court.

For example, if one party works forty years for one company and earns a pension from that company for their years of service, that pension is still considered a marital asset. This is true regardless of whether both spouses worked during those years.

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