What’s the difference between marital and separate property in Georgia?

Couples who divorce can expect that a court will divide their property and assets. But, from the family home to your antique dining room table, you’re probably wondering exactly how a judge will carry out the division.

Under the equitable distribution laws that all Georgia courts follow, a judge will divide property in way that is fair, but not necessarily equal. There are many factors that contribute to how to fairly divide the property, including the financial responsibility of each spouse and financial needs each spouse will have after divorce.

Equitable distribution states differ from community property states. Specifically, in community property states, the assets spouses acquire both jointly and independently are subject to division. This does not ring true in Georgia, because courts recognize separate and marital property.

Marital property

Marital property includes property, assets and debts that you’ve shared with your ex during your marriage. For example, if both you and soon-to-be ex have your name on the title of your family home, then it is marital property. Or, if you have vehicles with both your names on the loans, then those debts are also marital property.

Through your divorce settlement, you will list any marital property you own. Then, a judge can divvy it all up in way they see is just.

Separate property

Any property you received before you married your spouse or gifts or inheritance you received throughout your marriage is known as separate property. Separate property is not subject to division. This means that if your parents gave you all the antique furniture in the house you share with your spouse, then you will be able to keep every piece after the divorce is final.

But, if you sold the antique furniture you inherited and put the money you made from the sale in a joint savings account, then you will not be able to keep all the earnings after your divorce. This is because when you commingle separate funds into a joint account, they become marital property.

To reduce the mystery behind who gets to keep what, a divorce attorney can help you track all your assets and work toward a favorable outcome for both parties.

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