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What is Equitable Division of Marital Property

What Does Equitable Division Mean in a Divorce?

Upon divorce, Georgia law calls for equitable division of marital property. Equitable division does not necessarily mean equal. Equitable means fair.

A Georgia judge will order division of marital property, so long as it is fair. This may, but does not necessarily mean each spouse will receive an equal portion of the marital property.

How Does Georgia Determine Equitable Distribution

While equitable division does generally result in equal division of marital property (50/50), a number of factors could result in one spouse receiving a greater portion of marital property. When determining how to equitably divide marital property, the court will consider:

1. The conduct of the parties,

2. The length of the marriage,

3. Each spouse's contributions toward the acquisition and maintenance of the marital property,

4. Each spouse's contributions toward the family unit,

5. The parties' intent concerning ownership of the property, and

6. Any separate property each spouse may have.

Asset Division is Not Modifiable

While alimony, child support and child custody are modifiable after a divorce, equitable division of marital property is not modifiable. Once a determination is made by a Georgia judge or jury regarding the distribution of marital property, and an Order has been entered, the property is no longer modifiable.

If a party wishes to modify the distribution of marital property in their divorce, there are only a few exceptions to the general rule that property division is not modifiable. A party may request that the presiding judge revoke or modify his or her decision, file a motion to set aside the divorce decree, or seek an appeal of the final judgment.

The moving party's best chances for modifying a court's Final Order on equitable division of property are to prove a claim based on fraud or duress. The moving party must showthat the opposing party fraudulently deceived them on a significant matter, or that they were forced into an agreement by extreme, unfair pressure from the other party.

Written by: Rebekah Ann James


Asset Division
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