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What does 50/50 mean in a divorce in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | divorce and family law |

In marriage, the notion of everything being 50/50 often symbolizes a sense of equality and balance. However, during divorce in Georgia, this concept takes on a different meaning due to equitable distribution laws.

Therefore, anyone preparing for a split should understand how these rules affect assets and liabilities. Understanding typical considerations could prevent any unwanted surprises.

Equitable distribution does not mean an equal division

In community property states, the courts split assets 50/50 in a mathematical sense. In contrast, equitable distribution states like Georgia aim to divide property fairly but not necessarily equally. Therefore, “50/50” is more of a principle than a formula.

Judges consider various factors when making the split. These elements include:

  • The financial and nonfinancial contributions of each spouse during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity and financial needs after the divorce
  • Any misconduct that may have led to the breakdown of the marriage

Of course, a 50/50 division may be appropriate in some situations. However, it is not often the outcome because a divorce usually involves multiple financial considerations.

Separate property is not part of the split

The court only splits marital property. This generally includes assets the couple acquired during the marriage. Separate property refers to items and income that either individual had before the marriage began. It also includes anything a person acquired through inheritance or gift during the union.

Proving that something is separate property requires clear evidence. Prenuptial agreements, deeds, wills or gift receipts will be necessary. Keeping detailed financial records and maintaining separate accounts can also help differentiate between marital and separate assets. Separate property can become marital if the owner commingles it with marital assets.

The fact that a divorce in Georgia does not require an equal split can be a good thing. Those who prepare well can protect their assets and prevent unnecessary financial struggles after divorce.