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How is marital property divided in Georgia?

Property Division Issues

Dividing marital property is potentially one of the most complicated and emotional topics to discuss in a divorce dispute. You may have become attached to items you accumulated during your marriage, and may have trouble parting with them once you separate.

Whether you choose to divide marital property through mediation or through courtroom litigation, it is helpful to know how community property is divided in a Georgia divorce.

What is equitable division of property?

Georgia is one of many states in the nation that follow the equitable division of property model when separating property in a divorce. Not all marital items are divided equally in half, but rather separated according to what is ‘fair and equitable.’

During the divorce proceedings, the judge may look at several factors when determining who receives what in the final settlement. These include the following:

  • Length of marriage
  • Occupation of each party
  • Financial status of each party
  • Children that may be involved
  • Reason for divorce

If one party stayed home to take care of the children while the other party pursued a career or education, the judge may take that into consideration as well.

What is considered marital property?

Marital property involves more than the family home, bank account contents and car. There are other less-common items that may be divided in the divorce settlement, such as lottery ticket winnings, travel rewards points, income tax returns, 401k plans, retirement plans, stocks and term life insurance policies. It also includes expensive collections, including antiques, classic cars, coins, wine and art.

Separate property, such as inheritance money and property owned prior to the marriage, may be kept by the original owner and not divided in the final decree.

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