When you face divorce after a long marriage, the division of your assets and liabilities can be confusing. You likely have questions regarding how the courts divide property.
Georgia divorce laws work to give each spouse an equitable share of marital property. A judge examines the details of your case to determine a fair settlement. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal.
What Does Marital Property Include?
In Georgia, anything you and your spouse acquired during the marriage is marital property. These assets include real estate, automobiles, stocks and bonds, retirement benefits and bank accounts. Any income you or your partner earned during the marriage is subject to equitable division, including any earnings deposited into a joint or individual bank account. However, if your assets predate the marriage, they may be exempt from division.
Is Your Bank Account Separate Property?
Separate property refers to assets not subject to distribution in your divorce. The property you obtained before your marriage falls under this category, typically including gifts, physical property, inheritance and individual bank accounts.
However, the issue of separate bank accounts can be complex. If your spouse deposited their funds into your account during the marriage, it can become marital property. This commingling makes it subject to division. You must prove that you funded your account entirely with pre-marital or inheritance money. This process can be particularly tricky when married for many years.
Understanding the laws to protect your legal rights and preserve your individual property is essential when working toward a fair settlement.