Divorce can cause tempers to flare and anxiety to set in. After years of working and saving for retirement, you worry that the split will leave you with little foundation.
Georgia is an equitable distribution divorce state, but it does not guarantee that everything from the marriage splits evenly. When considering divorce, especially with more substantial assets, it is a good idea to understand what equitable distribution may mean for your situation.
The meaning of equitable distribution
Equitable distribution may lead you to believe that it means equal sharing. While this is true in some respects, it may not result in equal disbursement. Several factors go into determining how the money split goes between divorcing spouses.
- Current income of each spouse
- Potential future earnings
- Contribution to the marriage
The last prong does not only mean financial contribution. It is in place to protect those who leave the workforce to rear children so the other can work and advance his or her career.
Equitable distribution includes division of debt
In most marriages, an accumulation of money comes along with debt. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Auto loans
- Credit cards
- IRS payments
Debt division uses the same ratio as the assets and property. However, if one person charges $5,000 on a single credit card, that person will get that debt wholly.
The matter becomes civil if violated
The divorce decree sets forth the division of assets and debts. Sometimes, one party may not fulfill the terms of the agreement. For example, if a wife is responsible for paying a debt and does not, the creditor may come after the husband. The husband may take the wife to civil court to enforce the breach.
Equitable division of assets and debts may not appear fair to all, especially if one person gets more of the debt. This provision is a great starting point for negotiations during divorce proceedings. It is a good idea to mediate a split that works best for both parties before the court decides.