Understanding the Division of Property in a Georgia Divorce
Divorce lawyer in Marietta manages complex marital estates
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court divides marital assets and debts fairly, though not necessarily equally. The equitable distribution process is often the most crucial element of a divorce, because it has such a great impact on your financial security and because, unlike other issues, it is not open to modification in the future, except by proof of fraud. The Law Offices of Daryl L. Kidd, P.C. is determined to get your property division right. For more than three decades we’ve helped Georgians navigate each step in the process. Our detailed discovery strategies lead to full disclosure, so the court can make a fully informed decision. Your financial future is in the balance, so trust an attorney with the skill and experience to manage complex marital estates.
What to expect from Georgia’s equitable distribution process
Equitable distribution in a Georgia divorce follows these main stages:
- Discovery — Both parties reveal the full extent of their assets and debts. It is important to compel a full disclosure, because spouses who control the family’s finances often attempt to hide assets. Attorney Daryl L. Kidd knows the tricks and the warning signs, and how to go after these hidden assets.
- Categorization — Only marital property is subject to distribution; separate property remains with the spouse who claims title. It is vital to have all assets and debts assigned to the proper category. This often depends on in-depth investigation into the origin of the property (or debt) and whether it crossed categories at some point due to the way it was used. This stage also tests the validity of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
- Distribution — The court applies its criteria for deciding who gets what and how much. Your attorney’s knowledge of case law and its application is very important, because Georgia has not codified the factors the courts should consider.
What factors do Georgia courts consider when dividing marital property?
The Georgia Code empowers judges to divide property equitably. The specific factors, derived from case law, may include:
- The earning capacities of the parties
- The education and vocational skills of the parties
- The current income of the parties
- The age and health of the parties
- The assets, debts and liabilities of the parties
- The needs of the parties
- The provisions for the custody of the minor children
- Each party’s contribution to the acquisition and enhancement of marital assets
- Each party’s contribution to the family unit through uncompensated services
As with alimony, the court may consider a spouse’s wrongful conduct, but only to the extent that the behavior dissipated or diminished the value of the martial assets.
Contact a skilled equitable distribution attorney in Marietta, GA
The Law Offices of Daryl L. Kidd, P.C. has the experience to manage your equitable distribution no matter the size or complexity of your marital estate. Help ensure your financial security by retaining capable counsel. Call 888-532-8543 or contact our Marietta office online.