The state of Georgia recognizes that each marriage partner has an equitable interest in all marital property acquired during the course of the marriage. Unlike states with community property laws, however, this equitable interest does not appear until a divorce is filed. The existence of this potential claim does not impair the transfer of property during marriage by either party.
The first step is to determine what property held by the parties is actually marital property. There are several forms of property owned by the parties to a divorce:
- Separate property of one spouse owned before the marriage
- Separate property of one spouse acquired during the marriage
- Separate property of one spouse, which is a replacement, or substitute for property owned before the marriage.
- Appreciation in value of the separate property
- Increased value of separate property which is caused by active involvement of either spouse during the marriage, and subject to marital property claims
- Jointly owned marital property
- Marital property titled in only one spouse’s name, but subject to marital property claims