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. Only that property existing at the time of the filing of divorce is considered for equitable division. This property may consist of all assets acquired by either party, whether jointly titled or held alone, and even includes retirement benefits, and other accounts acquired by either party through employment. It also may include additions to premarital property which were made during the marriage.
The Final Decree of Divorce will not be granted until the parties have resolved all legal issues between them, either by settlement or trial. A divorce could be pending for months until all these issues are resolved. This could be further complicated if one party insists on a trial by jury. In Georgia, either party can demand that a jury decide all financial issues of a divorce, including the equitable division of property.