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How can divorcing couples in Georgia divide their property?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2024 | Family Law

People contemplating divorce in Georgia often have a lot of questions. How can they explain to their children and other family members about the divorce? How much will the process cost, and how long will it take? These answers can be very different from one case to another.

Those thinking about divorce may also worry about what might happen to their personal resources. Property division proceedings are a standard part of the average Georgia divorce. Unless couples already have written arrangements in the form of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, they have to divide their property. Couples either settle their own property division matters or litigate economic issues in family court.

What does the property division process in Georgia typically involve?

The disclosure of marital and separate property

Property division negotiations often begin with the spouses providing each other with inventories of their assets and debts. Divorcing couples need to know both what comprises the marital estate and what separate property each spouse may have. If the case goes to court, disclosures to the family courts are also necessary.

Negotiations or litigation

Some spouses can negotiate with one another or through their attorneys to set their own property division terms. They have their own priorities and find a way to compromise so that both spouses feel satisfied with the outcome of the process. Some spouses even attend mediation to try to work through their disagreements about property division.

In Georgia, state statutes require equitable asset and debt distribution. The word equitable actually means fair, not equal. Therefore, a 50/50 split of assets is unlikely. Instead, judges look at factors ranging from the health and separate property of the spouses to their earning potential and the length of the marriage to decide what would be reasonable. Marital misconduct very rarely has any impact unless one spouse has evidence of the other engaging in conduct that unfairly diminishes the marital estate.

Many people dislike how unpredictable litigated property division can be, and that could motivate them to employ a more cooperative approach. Learning more about the Georgia approach to property division during divorce may benefit those planning for the future. Spouses who understand state rules may feel better prepared for negotiation sessions or court.

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