When filing for a divorce in Georgia, you should be aware of the various laws about details like property distribution, child custody, alimony, etc. Knowing how Georgia’s divorce laws work can mean the difference between getting what you want and getting whatever the court decides to award you with.
LawInfo’s Georgia Divorce Law articles can help relieve some of the stress of the process. You’ll learn about the state’s divorce prerequisites, how property is divided and many other divorce topics. Whether you need assistance in Savannah, Augusta or Atlanta, LawInfo can help connect you with a Georgia divorce attorney.
Georgia is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that when you get divorced, you may not get half of the assets and debts from the marriage. The point of equitable distribution is a fair division of marital property based on each spouse’s needs. This means that the distribution may be split evenly for some cases, but most of the time it’s an uneven but fair division.
The court determines the distribution of property by weighing certain factors that affect each spouse’s eligibility for a larger share of the distribution. These factors typically include:
Only marital property will be included in a property distribution order. This includes all assets and debts acquired by either party during the marriage except for gifts to individual spouses and other separate property. Separate property isn’t usually included in the distribution as it’s solely owned by each individual. This includes assets and debts acquired before the marriage, inheritances, insurance benefits and personal injury compensation.
When one spouse petitions for divorce in Georgia, they are required to prove one of 13 grounds as the reason for the marriage’s failure. (See Georgia Code § 19-5-3.) Those grounds include:
To be granted a divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for six months or longer prior to filing the divorce complaint. If you’re a nonresident filing for divorce in Georgia, your spouse must have been a Georgia resident for six months or longer. If either party was a member of the U.S. armed forces in Georgia, you must have resided in the state for one or more years before you’re allowed to file for divorce in a county adjacent to the location of your installation. (See Georgia Code § 19-5-2.)
While divorce may be common, when you go through it yourself, you still deserve dedicated, personal focus on your rights and unique situation. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you figure out the best way forward, explain the law, and represent you in court if it is ever necessary. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your divorce.