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How does equitable distribution work?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Divorce |

Those who are getting a divorce likely know that the property division portion of the divorce proceeding is often one of the most difficult legal matters. Not only do the parties to the divorce need to organize all assets, but they also need to figure out how to split the assets.

This process is guided by state law. In Georgia, the law calls for equitable distribution, or the fair split of the marital assets.

What are “marital assets” for the purposes of divorce?

Marital assets are those the couple has acquired during the marriage. Common examples can include real estate, retirement accounts, and income. The courts consider property from outside the marriage as separate property. If this individual kept the property separate from marital assets, this can include inheritance and gifts during the marriage as well as property acquired before the marriage.

How do the courts separate the marital property?

Once the courts have determined if the property is marital or separate, they can move forward with division of the marital assets. The courts have discretion and can choose a split and state law encourages a fair division.

Any parent knows that “fair” does not always translate to “equal,” and this holds true during divorce. Since the judge has discretion, they can consider various factors when trying to make the split. This can include the presence of separate property, the financial status, and future needs of each spouse as well as any misconduct during the marriage or divorce process.

It is also important to note that some assets are more difficult to split than others. Business interests, retirement accounts, and real estate can require additional efforts. It is often wise to seek legal counsel to better understand the impact of divorce on these assets and better ensure you receive your fair share of assets during the divorce.


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