How Is Marital Property Typically Divided in a Divorce in Georgia?

marital property
divorce contract ring

Recent reports note that the divorce rate in Georgia is higher than the current US average. While that’s unfortunate, we’re here to help you navigate the process. After all, tackling a divorce can feel like a daunting prospect.

The division of marital property is one of the more overwhelming aspects, and it’s often difficult to figure out how it all works. If you’re getting divorced in Georgia, understanding the state laws governing the division of your shared assets during divorce is critical.

This quick guide explains everything you need to know about property division in divorces filed in the Peach State.

What Is Marital Property?

What do we mean by the term “marital property?” It refers to any asset or debt collected during a legally married couple’s union. This could be anything from real estate and stock investments to cars, furniture, appliances, bank accounts, and even credit card debt.

As marital property typically belongs to both parties, couples must decide how to split assets or find a compromise regarding any marital debts incurred.

Let’s provide you with a real-world example. Let’s say you bought a truck a few years before you met your spouse. However, when you were married, you purchased another truck and gave the older one to your spouse. Regardless of who uses which car, the one you purchased before you got married is yours; the truck you purchased together is marital property.

What Is Separate Property?

Based on the example above, the truck you purchased before you married is separate property. However, it doesn’t just refer to things you bought or acquired before marriage. Separate property includes any asset acquired before the marriage or gifted by independent third parties during the marriage. Yep, that includes inheritance.

Basically, if you bring it into the union, it’s yours to keep separate. You can also draw up a premarital agreement to designate separate property rightfully belonging to a spouse and ensure it stays separate, even if accrued during the marriage. Just make sure your prenup is properly worded so it’ll hold up in court.

How Is Marital Property Divided in Georgia?

First, it’s important to consider that Georgia isn’t a community property state. This is an important distinction compared to community property states in the US. Those states will automatically give each spouse half of all community property.

In Georgia, when couples decide to split up, the assets are instead divided under what’s known as equitable distribution. Equitable distribution considers factors such as the following:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Income of both parties
  • Any alimony awarded to either party
  • Assets accrued before marriage
  • Future needs of each person
  • Each person’s debts

The bottom line? Georgia courts take an individualized approach during the divorce proceedings when determining an equitable arrangement for the two people involved. Let’s further explain how a few of the most common assets are divided.


We often receive questions about dividing property during a divorce. The marital house is usually considered joint property and must be divided equally and fairly under Georgia divorce laws.

If couples can’t agree on who gets the house, it’s up to the judge to decide based on various factors. This includes the factors mentioned above, including the stability needed for children or the economic circumstances of either spouse.

In many cases, the custodial parent is at an advantage due to their primary residence with children and can receive the marital home as part of a divorce award. Overall, a judge will consider all relevant factors when dividing marital property during a divorce in Georgia.


When it comes to retirement benefits, divorce in the state of Georgia can be tricky. Retirement benefits like 401(k)s, IRAs, and pension plans are all considered marital property. This (often unfortunately) means that if you get divorced, you must decide how it should be divided equitably.

However, there’s a silver lining here. If retirement benefits predate the marriage, they might be excluded from the division. Overall, anything earned during the marriage (such as deposits to retirement accounts or interest) must be divided equitably between both spouses during a divorce.

How Can a Divorce Attorney Help?

Does this all sound confusing? You’re not alone. Complex Georgia divorce laws and issues arising from dividing marital property are why so many people seek the help of an experienced divorce attorney.

How can a divorce lawyer help in situations like these, though? They can help make the divorce process smoother and faster by guiding you through information such as asset division, alimony, child custody, child support, and more.

Divorce attorneys have specialized knowledge of family law in Georgia and can help ensure all legal requirements are met while helping both parties reach a successful divorce agreement.

Our expert advice? Having a divorce attorney on your side can reduce the stress associated with the divorce process and give you an experienced advocate during this difficult transition. If you have a lot of assets to divide, it’s usually well worth the investment.

Hire an Augusta Divorce Lawyer

Are you having issues dividing marital property? Perhaps you’re considering getting a divorce but aren’t sure how complicated the process might be. When divorce law brings you to a crossroads, Blake and Detchemendy Law Firm is here to help.

From divorce negotiation and mediation to divorce litigation, we know this can be an overwhelming and stressful time. That’s why our experienced attorneys take the time to understand the law and your unique situation.

Contact us for the support and guidance needed to make the best decisions for everyone involved.