Divorce is a notoriously unpredictable process. You don’t know what your spouse may say or do during mediation or in court. You also don’t know how a judge might rule on various issues between you and your ex.
Some couples already have an outline for their divorce firmly in place. If you signed a prenuptial agreement before you got married or drafted a postnuptial agreement because of marital issues, then you already know what to expect in your divorce because you have agreed to specific terms with your spouse.
Otherwise, you have to find a way to settle things between the two of you or go to court and ask for a judge’s help. What does the property division process involve if the courts control the outcome?
Georgia is an equitable distribution state
State laws guide the most complex processes in divorce, including how you split parenting time and what you do with your personal property. The law makes your income and your belongings, as well as your debts, marital property if you obtained them during the marriage.
You and your spouse will eat have a claim to your shared marital property, although you can protect some belongings as our separate property. Gifts, inherited assets and what you owned before marriage may not be subject to division in your divorce. Everything else may be marital property. Even credit cards or retirement accounts held in one spouse’s name can be part of the marital estate.
Under equitable distribution rules, a judge has to look at your family situation to decide what is just and fair. How long you stayed married, paid and unpaid contributions to the household, your health and even your custody arrangements can play a role in what a judge decides is fair when they split up your property.
You may have to split or sell some assets
Sometimes, property division is a clean process, and other times it requires a lot of extra work. You may need to sell your house to split the proceeds with your ex or negotiate the closure and liquidation of multiple shared credit cards. If you take the time to figure out what property or terms are the most important to you, you can then develop a divorce strategy based on securing your optimal outcome.
Familiarizing yourself with Georgia divorce laws will make it easier for you to prepare for family court proceedings.