As we have discussed on previous blogs, Georgia is an equitable distribution state which means that a division of marital assets does not have to be equal, but merely a fair division of property.While there are a number of factors to consider as part of equitable distribution, one of the most difficult ones is how to measure each party’s contributions to a marriage. While financial income generated is obviously easy to objectively measure, it is the non-financial contributions that are particularly challenging to consider.
So what are judges and lawyers looking at when measuring non-financial contributions? Generally speaking, these contributions cover two particular areas: household duties and parental tasks.Household duties range greatly from family to family but generally cover items such as: who does the cleaning, washes clothes, cooks meals, yard work and landscaping, grocery shopping, household and car repairs, financial management and record keeping, pet care, and purchases (from groceries, clothes, household items to larger personal property items such furniture, cars, and property).
Parental tasks, on the other hand, include everything from waking up a child in the morning to putting them to bed at night. This would include taking a child to school and other extracurricular activities, feeding a child, helping a child with homework, attending teacher conferences, and taking a child to a doctor. Obviously, these lists are not meant to be fully comprehensive of the contributions but are intended just to give you a start on thinking about what are each parties non-financial contributions to a marriage. With a little work developing a detailed list of these various non-financial contributions and the contributions made by both parties, appropriate consideration can be given to these non-financial factors when evaluating whether a particular divorce should deviate from an even fifty-fifty split of assets.