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How does the equitable division of marital property work?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | Property Division |

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience, and financial matters can add further complexity to the process. Dividing the assets and debts acquired during the marriage is often contentious, especially when the divorcing couple disagrees on the way forward.

Without a valid and legally binding agreement on how you will divide the marital estate, the court will step in and determine how things will proceed. Georgia follows an equitable distribution approach when dividing marital assets and debts. Here is what this means.

Equitable distribution of marital property explained

The court aims to divide marital assets and debts fairly, though not necessarily equally. Therefore, you may end up with unequal shares of the marital estate depending on the unique circumstances of your situation. Some factors that may shape the property division process include: 

  • The financial status of each spouse (their income, separate assets and debts)
  • The future needs of each spouse
  • Evidence of bad faith action by either spouse resulting in the wastage or misappropriation of marital assets

It is worth noting that Georgia courts have utter discretion in the property division process. Other factors not listed above may come into play as the court seeks to achieve a fair outcome.

Protect your financial interests during a divorce

Taking proactive steps can help safeguard your interests during this crucial phase of the divorce process. First, gather all financial records, such as bank statements, tax returns and property records. It will help you get a complete picture of the marital estate and understand what assets and debts need to be divided.

Remember to close joint accounts and establish individual credit to prevent future financial entanglements. Most importantly, Seeking qualified legal guidance can help protect your rights, avoid costly mistakes and navigate the legal procedures involved in the property division process.