Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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What you should know about property division laws in Georgia

There is no doubt that divorce can be one of the most difficult events in a person's life due to the extreme emotions that can come with the end of a marriage. However, another reason it can be so difficult is that most people are going through it for the first time.

A divorce may be the first time someone has experience with the family court system -- or any legal system for that matter -- and it can be easy to feel scared and intimidated. But having the help of an attorney and general information can help alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling. For example, if you are getting divorced, you should understand how property division laws work in Georgia.

Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that when you get divorced, your marital assets will be divided between you and your spouse in a way that is deemed fair by the courts.

There are a couple important reminders to keep in mind, though. First, equitable does not mean equal. Your assets will likely not just be split in half. They will be divided based on a number of factors including the length of the marriage, the contributions each spouse made to the marriage and the financial stability and earning potential of each spouse after the divorce.

Another thing to understand is that you don't necessarily have to leave the decision up to a judge. You and your soon-to-be ex can work toward an agreement you both find fair through mediation or collaboration. A judge will need to sign off on any arrangement you reach, but this can allow you to have greater control over what you keep and what you do not.

Finally, it is crucial to understand that only marital assets are eligible for distribution. You or your ex may have assets that are considered to be separate because they were owned or purchased before you got married, were gifts to just one of you or were bought and maintained using separate money. Generally speaking, these assets will not be divided; they will stay with the person to whom they belong.

These are just a few general notes about property division in Georgia. For more specific information and guidance, it can be wise to speak with an attorney.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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