Every state has its own laws governing how property is to be divided during a divorce. In Georgia, the law is written very sparsely and leaves a lot of room for the court’s interpretation.
To understand if you will be able to keep the house during a divorce, you need to know what Georgia courts look at in deciding the division of property.
The children first rule
While many other states have a complex set of rules and procedures, the legislature as stated by the Georgia House of Representatives only identifies a “children first rule.” This means that any division of property will be made primarily on the basis of what is in the best interest of any minor children you have had during your marriage. The children first rule also extends to alimony, child support and child custody.
How can you keep your house?
The children first rule does not mean that the court will not consider other factors. For example, if you owned your home before getting married, and then you and your spouse had your child while you were both living in that home, the court may decide to let you keep your house.
Before making decisions on the basis of property and ownership, however, the court will look at what is best for your child. For instance, if the court has determined that you should not have custody of your child, it may award your house to your spouse who has custody if it finds that this home is a safe and secure place to raise the child. If there are no children in your marriage, the court will look at other factors when it comes to property division.