Georgia is an equitable distribution state. That means that you and your spouse will be expected to divide your assets fairly if you decide to divorce.
Separate property is normally retained by the person who owned it before marriage. Marital property, which usually includes all property purchased during the marriage (with exceptions), is subject to division.
How do you divide your property equitably?
For the most part, most people start out with the basic idea of 50-50 property division. Then, from there, they may make adjustments to determine how to divide their assets fairly.
For example, if you and your spouse both worked and contributed to your marriage’s finances and feel that you shared your responsibilities relatively equally, you may both agree to divide the value of the property equally.
If you feel that you contributed more while your spouse did not work or went to school to earn a degree, you may ask to receive a larger portion of your assets. That might be in exchange for the financial support you’d provided or other efforts you made.
Whether you have vehicles, boats, stocks, a home or other property, the way you will divide it will depend on your specific circumstances. Since this is not a community property state, you do have the option of dividing your assets 50-50, 40-60, 80-20 or in some other manner.
Before dividing your marital property, focus on your separate assets
Before you start dividing your marital assets, make sure you separate assets that don’t belong to both of you. By taking steps to separate your own assets, you’ll have a better chance to protect more of your own investments.
For example, if you have stocks, the growth prior to the marriage may stay your own, and the growth following your marriage might be something you need to divide the value of with your spouse.
Property division can be complex, and it isn’t always easy to know how to divide what you possess. Go over your legal options and discuss with your spouse which assets each of you believes are separate. Then, start getting appraisals and working out the value of your marital estate, so you can divide it equitably.