No, Georgia is not a 50 50 divorce state. While the result may end up being 50 50, Georgia law does not provide that a divorce division of marital property is automatically equal. Georgia is not a community property state, but instead the state of Georgia is an equitable division state. This means that in a Georgia divorce marital property is divided equitably or fairly upon divorce. Keep in mind that marital property includes both assets and debts (or obligations) when equitably dividing marital property.
Of course, before equitably dividing property in a divorce, one must first determine whether the property is marital or non-marital. And generally speaking, if an asset or debt is deemed marital it is subject to division regardless of whose name the property is listed in. Separate property, on the other hand, is not subject to equitable division. While separate property (such as an inheritance or property owned before the marriage) is not subject to equitable division, it can be converted to marital property which is divisible in a divorce.
While there is no calculator or formula on how to determine equitable division, there are certain factors and facts that Georgia courts rely upon if the issue of equitable division must be ruled upon by a judge or jury. If spouses cannot agree on how to divide their marital property, a judge or jury mayrely on considerations including the following:
- The duration of the marriage
- Contributions to the marital unit and/or acquisition of marital property
- The debts and liabilities of each spouse
- The current and potential income of each spouse
- The conduct of the spouses (i.e. has someone behaved badly – drugs, gambling, cheating, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, improper dissipation of marital funds)
- The value of each spouse’s separate property
- The age and health of each spouse
- The parental responsibilities and expenses of each spouse
- If a spouse has prior marriages
- Each party’s skills and ability to find employment
- The intent / purpose of the spouses regarding the ownership of the property
If you have questions about equitable division or divorce, please feel free to reach out to the Atlanta Divorce Lawyers at Naggiar & Sarif Family Law where we will be happy to answer questions as they pertain to your particular situation.