In the state of Georgia, property division during a divorce adheres to an “equitable distribution” model, as opposed to community property. This means that marital assets are not automatically split 50-50 between the spouses. Instead, the courts strive for a division that is fair, or equitable, taking into account a variety of factors. These can include each spouse’s income and financial status, their contribution to acquiring the property, and their future needs among others. It’s important to note that equitable does not always mean equal.
Georgia is not a community property state. Instead, it follows the “equitable division” principle in divorce cases. This means that during a divorce, the court will divide marital assets fairly between the spouses, taking into consideration factors such as each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and their individual financial circumstances.
Community Property vs Equitable Division
A community property state follows the legal principle determining the ownership of property acquired during a marriage. According to this principle, any assets or debts accrued during the marriage are considered the equal property of both spouses. This means that in the event of a divorce, all assets and debts are typically divided equally between the spouses, regardless of who initially acquired them. It’s important to note that the specifics can vary from one community property state to another, as they each may have unique laws and regulations in place.
Community property and equitable division are two different legal principles used to divide assets during a divorce. As mentioned before, community property states consider all assets and debts accrued during the marriage to be equally owned by both spouses. Therefore, these are typically split 50/50 in a divorce.
In contrast, nine states in the United States follow the community property law. These include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Alaska allows couples to opt into a community property agreement.
On the other hand, in states following equitable division laws, assets and debts are divided in a manner deemed fair by the court, but not necessarily equally. The court considers several factors such as each spouse’s earning potential, the duration of the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage. Therefore, the division of assets in these states may result in a less than equal distribution, depending on the specifics of the situation.
Georgia’s Property Division Laws
Georgia adopted its current laws regarding equitable division in divorce cases in 1981. Under Georgia law, marital assets are divided fairly between spouses based on various factors, including the contributions of each spouse to the marriage and their individual financial situations. Specific laws that outline the equitable division principle in Georgia include Section 19-3-9 of the Georgia Code, which provides guidance on property division in divorce cases.
Like most other states, Georgia recognizes separate property and marital property. Separate property includes assets that were acquired before the marriage, inheritances received during the marriage, and gifts given to one spouse by a third party. On the other hand, marital property consists of assets and debts accumulated during the course of the marriage.
In Georgia, separate property is not subject to division in a divorce. However, it is important to note that this can change if the non-owner spouse contributes to the appreciation of separate property or if it is commingled with marital assets. In such cases, a portion of the separate property may be considered as marital property and subject to division between spouses.
Factors Considered in Property Division
In addition to the contributions of each spouse and their individual financial situations, Georgia courts also consider several other factors when determining property division in divorce cases. These factors include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, their earning capacity and potential for future income, and any prenuptial agreements that may have been signed.
Another factor that is taken into account is the standard of living established during the marriage. The court will consider this when determining spousal support or alimony, as well as the division of assets and debts. Additionally, the court may also consider any fault in the breakdown of the marriage, such as infidelity or domestic violence.
Related Resources: Property Division in Georgia Divorces/h3>
At Petrelli Previtera, we offer detailed resources on property division in Georgia to help you navigate this complex aspect of divorce. Our goal is to provide clarity and understanding about how assets are divided in Georgia.
- Understanding Separate Property Definitions in Georgia.
- Insights into Marital Property in Georgia.
- Guidance on Who Keeps the House in a Georgia Divorce.
- Identifying Commonly Overlooked Assets in a Georgia Divorce.
- Information about the Divorce Filing Process in Georgia and Duration of a Georgia Divorce.
This information serves as a general guide and should not be taken as legal advice. For specific advice regarding your situation, contact Petrelli Previtera for personalized assistance and expert legal advice on property division in your Georgia divorce.
Why Choose Us
If you have property division questions related to a divorce in Georgia, don’t hesitate to reach out to our award-winning Covington divorce attorneys. At Petrelli Previtera, we’re dedicated to providing personalized and effective legal representation during these challenging times.
Our Covington, Georgia, divorce lawyers have a track record of aiding numerous individuals navigate the complex divorce process, particularly in matters concerning property division. Our commitment to excellence has garnered us recognition as one of the top divorce firms in the nation. As an Inc. 5000 company, we pride ourselves on our reputation for effective, compassionate representation. We offer unwavering support to our clients and guide them assertively through challenging divorce matters.
We understand that every client’s situation is unique, and we genuinely care about resolving your legal matters. We aim to listen, guide, and provide support through every step of your journey. We’re ready to start helping you today. Give us a call to discuss your case. Whether over the phone, in person, or through a video call, our family lawyer in Covington, Georgia, is committed to being there for you. Let’s work together to create a better future for you and your family.