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Determining horse ownership in a Georgia divorce

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | divorce and family law |

When a couple decides to divorce, dividing property can become a complex issue, particularly when it comes to unique assets like horses. In Georgia, horses are not just considered pets but assets, and their division during a divorce can become a contentious issue.

This article delves into how Georgia courts typically handle horse ownership in a divorce.

Marital versus separate property

In Georgia, the law typically categorizes property as either marital or separate. Marital property includes all assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of who holds the title. Separate property consists of assets one party owned before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. The court divides only the marital property during a divorce.

Classifying horses as marital or separate property

If one party owned a horse before marriage, the horse typically remains separate property, and the original owner retains it after divorce. However, if the couple purchased a horse during their marriage, the court will likely consider it marital property, subject to division. But exceptions exist. For instance, if one spouse received the horse as a gift or an inheritance during the marriage, it may remain separate property.

Value of the horse

Another factor to consider is the horse’s value, which can vary widely. A showhorse, racehorse or breeding stallion might have a significant monetary value, while a family pet might have more sentimental than monetary value. The court might consider both aspects when determining who gets ownership.

Consideration of children

If you have children who have a bond with the horses, the court might consider this when making a decision. Judges aim to cause minimal disruption to children’s lives, and if maintaining their relationship with the horse is in their best interest, it may influence the decision.

Remember, every case is unique. It is essential to approach the process of dividing out horses or other assets with a clear understanding of the factors that influence potential outcomes.