A women recently asked us:

Am I entitiled to a portion of the home, we purchased as common law partners and later married 3 years later

The answer:

There are three distinct questions here, first were you common law married, two are you entitled to an equitable division of the marital home, three, are you entitled to alimony.

First, Georgia did not abolish common law marriage until 1997, so if you were common law married before that date it would still be enforceable. That would be a question of fact for the judge to decide but it would be possible.

The second question is concerning the home. In Georgia we divide marital property equitably, meaning fairly. there are two theories that could be used to say that at least some portion of the marital residence is marital property. First, if you were common law married at the time of purchase then it would all be marital. Second, if you were married in 2008 then a Thomas calculation could be done to determine what portion of the home is marital and certainly some portion of it would be assuming there is equity in the house, if there is no equity there is nothing to divide.  

The third question is concerning alimony and that would be determined by his ability to pay and your financial needs. You have not provided enough information for any of us to speculate on this issue.

For more information on this topic please visit our websites at:

Property Division