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How are Marital Assets Divided?

Georgia is an equitable distribution state. Upon divorce, spouses are not guaranteed an equal split of their marital property. Equitable means fair; and, according to Georgia law, fair does not always mean equal. Goldstein v. Goldstein, 262 Ga. 136 (1992). Fuller v. Fuller, 621 S.E.2d 419 (Ga. 2005). Generally, equitable distribution does result in the division of the estate 50/50 unless there is a reason to give one spouse a greater portion of the marital property.

Key Takeaways for Asset Division

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Equitable does NOT mean equal

Georgia is an equitable division state, not a community property state. As such, Georgia law provides that assets are to be divided equitable (or fairly), but not necessarily...
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Title is NOT Controlling

Just because a particular marital asset is titled in one parties name does NOT mean that property item automatically goes to that spouse.

There is NOT a formula for division

There is no set formula or calculation used to divide marital property in Georgia. Thus, Georgia judges and juries rely on certain factors and factual determinations in order to determine how...

Factors for Asset Division

Conduct of the Parties

Perhaps the largest factor considered by courts in regards to most cases involving a dispute about equitable division of property is what was the cause of the couple's separation as well as...

Length of the Marriage

When it comes to equitable division of marital estate, the length of the marriage can play a role. A long term marriage where one party took care of the household while the other party...

Contributions to the Marital Property

One factor the court can evaluate is each parties contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of the marital property.

Contributions to the Family Unit

Equitable division in law provides that the service contributed by each spouse to the family unit is a factor to be considered when deciding how to divide marital property.

Intent

Georgia law provides that you can look at the purpose and intent of the parties regarding the ownership of the property in order to determine equitable division of property.

Separate Property

Although Georgia law provides that each party gets to keep its separate property, when it comes down to dividing the remaining marital property, Georgia law does allow the court to look at...

Do you Really Want the House?

In many divorces, a highly fought over issue is who will get to keep the marital home. In Georgia, the marital home is subject to equitable division. This means that it is included in the split of all marital property/assets. For this reason, if one spouse keeps the home, the other spouse will usually get other marital assets to make the split equitable. But while many divorcing spouses are quick to say they want to stay in the home, there are many things to consider before asking for it as part of equitable division...

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