Georgia is an “equitable distribution” state, which means rather than splitting property 50/50, the courts will split property equitably. Equitably is simply another word forfairly. When deciding how to equitably divide marital property, courts will consider a number of different factors, including whether the property to be divided is marital or separate property, the length of the marriage, the contributions of each party to the marriage, the value of their property, and various other factors.
Property acquired during a marriage, regardless of how it is titled (with the exceptions of gifts or inheritances), is generally considered to be marital property, whereas property acquired prior to marriage is generally considered separate property. However, problems arise when separate property (such as an inheritance) is kept in ajoint bank account, or if one spouse contributes to the increase in value of separate property while married. In these cases, property which was once classified as separate property can become marital property which is subject to equitable distribution by the courts.
In short, the analysis of what is marital property versus what is separate property can be complex, and requires an experienced attorney who is well versed in these matters. Lisa Sowers has extensive experience in all issues surrounding distribution of marital versus non-marital property, and will help you develop an effective strategy to minimize your losses, and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.