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How is property divided in a Georgia divorce?

Dividing your property can be the most challenging aspect of divorce. Physically dividing everything you accumulated during your marriage can be overwhelming and, for many people, far more complicated than they expect.

That said, the process can be a little easier when you know what to expect. Below, we will explain a few basic elements of property division in Georgia.

Equitable distribution

Courts divide marital property (and debts) in a manner deemed fair, or equitable. Generally, the courts start with an equal balance. They can adjust this after considering numerous factors, including: 

  • Each person's financial standing and resources upon divorce
  • The length of the marriage
  • Age and health of both people
  • Contributions to the marriage, both direct and indirect
  • Behaviors during marriage or during the divorce process, including wasting assets or marital misconduct, in some cases

Property eligible for division

In general, all marital property will be eligible for division in a divorce. Property that may not be eligible is separate property. This includes property a party owned before the marriage, separate assets protected in a prenuptial agreement and certain gifts or inheritances.

Disputes can arise regarding the categorization of these assets, and there can be confusion if separate property becomes marital property.

Maintaining control over the process

Many people would prefer to maintain some control over the property division process rather than leave the decision in the hands of the court. This is possible with alternatives to litigation, including mediation.

In mediation, parties work together to negotiate property division. This can make it easier to reach mutually-agreeable decisions and secure any specific property you want to retain. You can also make some of these decisions in a prenuptial agreement, if you have a valid one in place.

Having legal guidance

This information can make the property division process a little easier to understand, but it can still be challenging to navigate. Thankfully, you do not have to go through this or any other step of the divorce process alone. You can work with a family law attorney who can work on your behalf to pursue a satisfactory, fair outcome.

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