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Splitting your assets? Get to know the state laws

In Georgia, you’ll find that the laws require the equitable distribution of your marital property. This is an important fact to know, because it shows that you are not guaranteed an equal split of your assets.

When you get married in Georgia, anything you bring into the marriage usually stays separate, while the items you buy during your marriage become marital property. However, remember that mingling assets could make it so that once-separate assets are now marital property.

Can separate property become marital property?

Yes, it can. For example, if you receive an inheritance before you get married and then place that into a shared account, doing so will likely turn it into marital property and mean that it’s subject to an equitable division upon divorce.

Similarly, if you own a house before you get married and then refinance it while adding your spouse’s name to the mortgage, then it is likely that they will now be entitled to at least a portion of the home’s value.

What should you do if you’re divorcing and aren’t sure which property is shared or marital?

The general rule is that property acquired before marriage is separate, while property acquired during marriage is shared. However, there will be exceptions in some cases, so it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney if you have questions about specific assets you’re not sure about. You and your spouse have the opportunity to negotiate an equitable distribution of your assets on your own, but if you cannot, then you will want to be certain of which property is separate or shared if you go to court.