Every state has its property division laws. In Georgia’s case, it is an equitable division state. This has significant implications for the way your marital property gets divided.
According to Maritallaws.com, Georgia only considers property acquired during the marriage eligible for property division. However, like any law, there are exceptions.
What is marital property?
Before the division process can start, each party’s property needs classification. Each spouse must create a comprehensive list of any property they obtained during the marriage. Exceptions to marital property include gifts and inheritance. If one spouse gifted property to another, this still falls under marital property.
How does a judge decide equitable division?
The goal of equitable division is to create a fair arrangement. This does not mean equal. The court considers several factors before coming to a decision. Factors may include:
- the financial situation of each spouse
- their individual earning potential
- the separate property they obtained before the marriage
- conduct during the marriage
- financial responsibility and behavior that caused a waste of assets
- future financial needs of each spouse
- debts and each spouse’s ability to pay them
If you suspect your spouse has hidden assets, you can hire a forensic accountant. They will do a thorough investigation of your spouse’s spending patterns and tax returns. However, if you do not expect to receive a significant asset return, a forensic accountant is an unnecessary expense during your divorce.
Asset division during divorce is a complex and subjective process. The courts rely on precedent for most cases. However, each case is different, and you cannot rely on other people’s testimonies. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney and follow their advice carefully.