When you get divorced in Georgia, how do you split your property and debts?
Georgia is a state with “equitable distribution.” This indicates that all marital assets gained during the marriage should be equally split. Unless the court determines that an equal distribution would be unfair, “marital” property, which includes any additional property obtained by either spouse during the marriage, will be shared equally. Unless it can be demonstrated that the property is genuinely separate property, any property owned by either spouse during the marriage is deemed to be marital property. The rights of spouses in any pension or retirement plan, as well as their rights under any insurance policy, may be determined by a court.
Case law originating from Stokes v. Stokes, 246 Ga. 765m 273 S.E.2d 169 established an equitable allocation of marital property (1981). Separate property was defined as property obtained before marriage, property gained by gift, and property acquired by inheritance under a dual categorization system. In Thomas v. Thomas, 259 Ga. 73, 377 S.E.2d 666, the source of funds rule was established (1989).
When a couple divorces, how is property divided?
It is normal for a divorced spouse to determine on their own how to divide their property and debts rather than relying on a court. If a couple cannot agree, they may take their property issue to court, which will split the property according to state law.
Property division may not always imply physical division. Rather, the court divides the whole worth of the property between the two spouses. (It is against the law for either spouse to conceal assets in order to avoid property division.) Each spouse receives products with a value equal to his or her proportion.
Equitable distribution or communal property are the two methods used by courts to distribute property.
Distribution that is fair. Assets and incomes amassed throughout the marriage are equally split (fairly). In reality, the higher-earning spouse often receives two-thirds of the assets, while the other spouse receives one-third. Except for the communal property states mentioned below, equitable distribution principles are implemented everywhere.
Property that belongs to the whole community. All property held by a married individual in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin is classed as either community property, owned equally by both spouses, or separate property, owned only by one spouse. Community property is usually shared equally between the couples in the event of divorce, but each spouse retains his or her own property.
How can we tell the difference between marital and non-marital property?
The following are the basic guidelines for deciding what is and is not marital property:
All earnings made during the marriage, as well as everything bought with those earnings, are considered marital property. Unless the creditor was particularly asking for payment from one spouse’s separate property, all debts accumulated during marriage are marital property debts.
Gifts and inheritances granted only to that spouse, personal injury awards won by that spouse, and the profits of a pension that vested (that is, the pensioner became legally eligible to collect it) before marriage are all examples of non-marital property. Property acquired with a spouse’s own finances remains his or her separate property. During the marriage, a business held by one spouse before the marriage remains his or her independent property, albeit a part of it may be deemed Marital property if the company gained in value during the marriage or both spouses worked at it.
So long as a spouse can establish that some separate money was spent, property bought with a mix of separate and marital monies is part marital and part non-marital property. When non-marital property is combined with marital property, the result is usually marital property.
During the divorce, who gets to reside in the house?
If there are children, the parent who spends the most time with them or provides the majority of their care normally stays in the marital home with them. If you don’t have children and the residence is solely owned by one spouse, that spouse has the legal right to request that the other depart.
If you don’t have children but own the home jointly, the situation becomes more complicated. Neither of you have the legal authority to evict the other. You may ask the other individual to leave, but he or she is not obligated to do so. You may contact the cops if your spouse changes the locks or otherwise prohibits you from entering the house. The cops will most likely tell your spouse to open the door. When you both own the house, the only way to persuade your husband to leave is if domestic violence has occurred and a restraining order has been issued by a court.
Separate property vs. marital property is a distinction made by the courts.
If you acquire a home when you’re married, it’s almost certainly marital property. Separate property might be a residence you owned outright before you married or received from your parents. Because Georgia courts will normally only try to split your marital property, proving that some assets are your separate property might prevent them from being divided during your divorce.
The judge presiding over your divorce must take your position into account.
In Georgia, there is no standard formula for dividing property. To determine what is fair and reasonable, the judge must consider a variety of issues. Your current income, what you contributed throughout the marriage, and even child custody may all affect how the courts divide your assets and obligations.
You are not required to hand up authority to the courts.
A surprising percentage of individuals are unaware that in a Georgia divorce, litigation is not the only choice. You don’t need a judge’s permission to divide your property. You and your spouse have the right to reach an out-of-court agreement for property distribution and even child custody arrangements if you have small children.