Even if the house is in your name, a wife will get half of it should several conditions exist and if the court allows it. Let’s outline those conditions by first looking at how property division is handled in a Georgia divorce. The key question to keep in mind is not, "Whose name is the property in?" but rather, "Is it a marital or separate property?"
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that all property accrued during the marriage, even if in one name, is open to division during a divorce. Any separate property (properties held previous to marriage or received as a personal gift or inheritance) will be protected from partition and will be retained.
All marital property acquired during the marriage is likely to be divided in an equitable distribution state such as Georgia. Property acquired before the marriage is not subject to distribution in the event of a divorce.
Property categories have been formed in order to split property in a divorce process.
When deciding how to divide property in a divorce, the court will first establish whether the property is seen as a marital or a separate asset.
Marital or community property includes all assets acquired by either partner during the marriage, wages earned during the marriage, and separate property that has become indistinguishable from marital property. It makes no difference under what name the property is registered. Due to credit considerations, for example, a couple may opt to put a second property purchased with their wages in only the wife's name. Despite the fact that property is in her name, the spouse is entitled to 50% of the interest.
Any assets owned by a party previous to marriage, as well as inheritances and gifts given only to one spouse, are regarded as separate. For example, if a spouse owns a car registered in his name prior to marriage, the automobile will be deemed a separate asset. That is, unless he later changes the title to include his wife, in which case she will have a claim to it.
Marital property covers any assets or debts obtained by you and your spouse during the time you were married. This includes any real estate you acquire, even if your ex's name is not on the deed. The property is subject to equitable division in this situation.
During the divorce process, every asset you or your spouse hold (or debt you incur) that does not fulfill the criteria of separate property will be subject to division. This includes the following:
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement by yourself, Georgia courts will attempt to distribute property in a fair, but not necessarily equal, manner. While the name on the title has no bearing on the court's judgment during equitable distribution, a number of criteria will be taken into account during the final hearing, including:
Based on these facts, the court may theoretically rule that one spouse deserved more property than the other. For example, if one spouse earns much less than the other, he or she may be entitled to more marital property to compensate for a lower quality of living.
We can assist you with every step of your divorce, from the initial filing to the final ruling. Having a committed counsel on your side who is competent at both negotiating and litigation can help alleviate many of the difficulties and annoyances of divorce - and ensure you obtain the best possible result.
Attorney Sharon Jackson can answer all of your questions and explain how Georgia law handles equitable distribution of a marital estate. If you need to hire a divorce lawyer in Gwinnett County, call Georgia Divorce and Family Law Attorney Sharon Jackson, LLC at (678) 909-4100 for a consultation.