What is the Difference Between Separate and Marital Property in Georgia?

If you are going through a divorce in Georgia, you may be concerned about losing a significant portion of your property. This is an understandable concern, especially if you are an individual with a considerable net worth. Perhaps you have spent years building up a business, making smart investments, and accumulating a range of assets. Dividing this property with your spouse might seem unthinkable, especially if your marriage has not ended amicably. If you want to get a sense of how your property will be divided, one of the first things you need to understand is the difference between separate and marital property. 

While internet research is always a positive first step, you will need to consult with a legal professional in order to establish a more detailed understanding of the property division process in Georgia. During your initial consultation with our family law attorneys, you can go over the unique factors that surround your divorce. We can then help you develop a targeted, effective action plan based on these unique factors, allowing you to keep hold of as much property as possible after your divorce is finalized. We can also help you with virtually every other aspect of your divorce, from child custody to spousal support. 

Understanding Equitable Distribution

Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that property is not simply divided in a 50/50 manner. Instead, judges use their own discretion and consider a number of factors when dividing property among spouses. The overall goal is to provide a more fair solution. There are a number of things that might affect the property division process in an equitable distribution state. For example, a property that is inherently more useful to one spouse may be given to them. In addition, spouses can “trade” property to create a fair solution. For example, one spouse might keep the family home, while another spouse keeps the family business. There is no need to divide either piece of property in this scenario. 

Separate and Marital Property

Before you even begin the equitable distribution process, you will need to determine which pieces of property are actually eligible to be distributed in the first place. Only marital property can be distributed. This includes all property that spouses have accumulated during the marriage, with the exception of gifts and inheritance. 

All pieces of property accumulated by either spouse before or after the marriage are considered separate. This means that they are not eligible to be distributed during the property division process. For example, if you purchased a home outright before the marriage, you will never have to divide that piece of property with your former spouse. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Georgia area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses approach the property division process in a confident, efficient manner. We understand that this situation can be daunting, especially if you stand to lose millions of dollars in property. However, the situation may be more encouraging than you think.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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