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What to expect from equitable distribution

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Divorce |

One of the most significant parts of any divorce process is the division of assets and debts. In Georgia, the courts typically follow the principle of equitable distribution to fairly divide marital property.

Equitable distribution is not necessarily a 50/50 split, and it is important to understand what to expect of the process.

What is your marital property?

Your marital property encompasses all of the assets and debts acquired during the marriage regardless of which spouse’s name is on the account or title. This includes things such as real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and investments. Separate property, such as an inheritance or assets owned before the marriage, typically will not qualify.

What factors apply in equitable distribution?

When determining an equitable distribution of marital property, the court considers several factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of marital property
  • The age, health and financial status of each spouse
  • Future earning potential and financial needs of each spouse
  • Any misconduct that led to the breakdown of the marriage, such as infidelity or abuse

Property gets divided in what the court considers a fair manner based on these elements and any other details presented in the case.

Can you reach an agreement yourselves?

In many cases, divorcing couples can reach an agreement on property division through mediation or negotiation. This allows for more control over the outcome and can save time and money compared to a court battle. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, the court will step in and make a determination.

Many people go into divorce settlements expecting property division to be a 50/50 split, but equitable distribution allows for more nuanced, detailed determinations. Understanding the fundamentals of the process helps you better prepare for your case.


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