In Georgia, property and assets are usually not divided evenly during a divorce. Instead, Georgia law focuses on the idea of equitable, or fair, distribution of property and assets.
There are various factors that a judge uses to fairly distribute property and assets during a divorce.
The ability to provide for oneself
During a divorce, a judge considers whether or not individuals can adequately provide for themselves when determining the distribution of assets and property. If one spouse is not capable of working full time and his or her soon-to-be ex-spouse is capable of working full time, then the spouse who cannot work full time may receive a greater amount of assets.
For a judge to accurately determine the fairest way to distribute property and assets, individuals must provide documents such as receipts and bank statements that show the average costs of living.
The use of a prenuptial agreement
If a couple has signed a prenuptial agreement prior to or at the start of their marriage, this can affect the division of property after a divorce. Often, a prenuptial agreement prevents the split of certain assets, such an inheritance, a home or a business.
Without a prenuptial agreement, a couple must either come to an agreement about the division of their property and assets or take their case to a judge.
The cause of the divorce
In Georgia, there are 13 grounds, or reasons, for a couple to divorce. Grounds for divorce range from adultery to cruelty. If an individual can prove that his or her spouse was primarily responsible for the breakdown of the marriage, then a judge can take this into consideration when distributing assets and property. In this case, a judge may allocate a greater amount of assets to the wronged spouse.
However, if neither party is primarily responsible for the deterioration of the marriage, a couple may choose a no-fault ground. In this case, an equal distribution of assets is more likely to occur.