Georgia Divorce Guide: Division of Property in Georgia Divorce
This guide provides a general overview of how property is divided pursuant to divorce in the state of Georgia. For information relating to how specific types of property are divided in Georgia, please see my other legal guides or reach out to a Georgia attorney specializing in divorce law.
How is property divided in a Georgia divorce?Georgia is an "equitable division" state (not a "community property" state). This means that marital property in Georgia is divided based upon fairness (which may or may not mean the property is divided 50/50). The parties' debts and liabilities are also equitably divided.
There is no set formula used to divide marital property in Georgia. Judges rely on certain factors and factual determinations, such as:
(1) each parties contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of the marital property;
(2) the intent of the parties regarding the ownership of the property;
(3) the separate estate or non-marital property of each of the parties;
(4) the length of the marriage; and
(5) the service contributed by each spouse to the family unit.
What property is divisible in a Georgia divorce?Only marital property is divisible in a Georgia divorce. Marital property generally includes all real and personal property acquired as a result of the efforts of one or both parties during the marriage or gifted to the marital estate.
Common examples of marital property include:
(1) the marital residence;
(2) retirement/investment account;
(3) stock options;
(4) insurance policies;
(5) bank accounts & cash;
(7) compensation for loss of consortium; and
(8) appreciation in value of property caused by effort of either party during marriage.
What property is not divisible in a Georgia divorce?Since only marital property is divisible in a Georgia divorce, property that is NOT divisible generally includes all real and personal property NOT acquired as a result of the efforts of one or both parties during the marriage. Property that is NOT divisible also generally includes gifts made to one party only (as opposed to gifts made to both parties).
Common examples of property NOT divisible in a Georgia divorce include:
(1) property acquired prior to the marriage;
(3) gifts to one party;
(4) appreciation in value of non-marital property not due to efforts of parties during marriage (e.g. market forces);
(5) compensation for pain and suffering, disability, or disfigurement; and
(6) compensation for lost wages, lost earning capacity, and medical expenses.