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Understanding divorce and property division in Georgia

When a couple decides to divorce, they must divide their marital property. Marital property consists of all the assets and debts the couple acquired during their marriage. It includes real estate, bank accounts, cars, retirement assets, investments and other items.

Divorce process

First, it is helpful to understand the divorce process in Georgia. The spouse who is requesting the divorce will file a petition with the court. Then, they must serve a copy of the petition to the other spouse. The spouse who is served must file an answer to the petition and the spouses will exchange financial documents.

If the spouses have children in common, they may request a temporary order from the court for child support, child custody or spousal support. If the parties can agree on a settlement for division of property and other family law issues, it can be submitted to the court. If they cannot reach a settlement, they can go to court where a judge will decide those matters.

Property division

The parties may disagree over how to divide the property. Georgia follows equitable property division, which means that the court divides property in a way that is fair to each party, but not always in equal amounts. There are several factors the court may consider.

It may review the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the value of each spouse’s separate property, each spouse’s economic circumstances, and any other factors it finds relevant. The court will also review the parties’ debts and determine which spouse is responsible for the payments.

Property division can be complicated, but there is support available to ensure it is completed correctly.