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How property is divided in a Georgia divorce

When a Georgia couple gets a divorce, one of the decisions that must be made is how property will be divided. The first step is deciding what is marital property and what is separate property that belongs to individuals. Marital property will tend to be assets that are acquired during the marriage such as income, real estate, some insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and vehicles. Separate property may include assets that each person brought into the marriage, inheritances, gifts and any items that the two people divorcing agree count as separate property.

A Georgia court has the discretion to distribute property as it sees fit. However, it will also take several factors into consideration. Among these are whether either spouse wasted assets, how each spouse behaves during the process, the anticipated future needs of each person, the financial status of each person, and who has what kind of separate property.

If one person is at fault in the divorce, this might also be taken into account. For example, if one person committed adultery, the other spouse might get more assets if the adultery can be proved in court.

However, an adversarial approach to a divorce may not always be in a person's best interest. A couple has a choice of either negotiating an agreement for property division and child custody, which a court will then approve, or they might let the case go to litigation. In some cases, litigation is necessary. One partner might be abusive or hiding assets or might simply be uncooperative. However, if none of these are the case, the couple might want to try to negotiate an agreement with their help of their separate attorneys. If a judge makes a decision that the couple is unhappy about, they may have no recourse, and they may be more satisfied with a decision they reach together.

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Hecht Family Law
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