Georgia Marital Property Laws
You’re just concerned with planning the perfect wedding. You’re probably not thinking about what will happen to your perfect coffee table if get divorced. But if you’re in one of the many states without marital or community property laws, a judge could decide who gets that coffee table, along with any property gained during your marriage. So how do courts decide who gets what if you live in a state without marital property laws? Here’s a quick rundown of marital property laws in Georgia.
Marital Property Law
State laws govern how property is to be assessed and divided when a married couple gets divorced. Like most states, Georgia marital property laws do not recognize "community property," in which everything acquired during the marriage is split right down the middle. Instead, Georgia law recognizes that some property clearly belongs to one or the other (usually through title or deed).
Marital Property Laws in Georgia
Some states have their own specific marital property laws. The following table provides information about Georgia's marital property laws.
Community Property Recognized?
Dower and Curtesy
Dower and curtesy abolished (§53-1-3)
Georgia courts will generally distinguish what is marital property and what is property is “separate.” Marital property is defined as those assets acquired during the marriage, like real estate, stocks and bonds, automobiles, income, and some insurance policies. Assets defined as separate property will normally include property acquired before marriage, gifts, inheritances, and items you and your spouse agree are separate property.
While Georgia courts have complete discretion when distributing marital property, they will normally consider the following factors:
- The financial status of you and your spouse;
- What the separate property entails;
- Evidence of misconduct, by either you or your spouse, resulting in waste of assets;
- The behavior of you and your spouse during the divorce process; and
- The future needs of you and your spouse.
Courts will generally distribute property in what they believe is fair based on the case. But keep in mind a judge may consider who is at fault for divorce when dividing marital property. For example, in a case of adultery, it is possible that the innocent spouse receives more from the settlement if they can prove the cheating occurred.
Get A Free Case Assessment
The decisions made by the court when dividing marital property can impact your financial life for years to come. The seriousness of these decisions and the complexity of Georgia's marital property laws mean that legal assistance can be very helpful. Contact an experienced local attorney for a free case review to discuss the issues in your case.