While many people expect to keep half of their property in a divorce, this is not the law in Georgia. As an alternative to equal shares, parties often receive an equitable portion of their property based on what is judged to be fair.
If you are in the process of negotiating a divorce, consulting with an Atlanta property division lawyer might help you to protect your property. By working with a well-versed attorney, you could have an advocate for your rights by your side at each step.
In legal terms, assets or property can refer to anything that makes up a person’s financial worth. These might include, but are not limited to:
Barring certain exceptions, virtually any type of personal property or belongings may be considered. Furthermore, most anything that a couple acquired during their marriage belongs to both of them—these assets are known as marital property. However, because certain items are considered to be marital property, while others are known as separate property, consulting with an Atlanta lawyer who is familiar with how the assets are divided could prove useful.
During the divorce proceedings, both parties are required to compile a list of every asset they own. However, each person must first understand what is considered within a marital estate before they can categorize their separate property.
If the parties cannot agree on what constitutes separate property, they might petition the court to decide for them. Once established, these shared assets must be evaluated and appraised to determine their value.
While certain assets—such as a bank account—are relatively easy to value. Other types of assets, however, such as business interests or real estate, may be more difficult to calculate. An experienced property division lawyer could help to explain how assets may be divided in Atlanta.
Once the parties know which assets comprise their marital estate and how much any property is worth, they may then attempt to agree upon on to split their belongings. For example, each spouse might agree that they should keep their respective vehicles. Unfortunately, the division of certain assets is often a contentious process.
When a couple cannot decide how these assets should be divided, a judge can instead make a decision based on several factors. While there is no set formula for determining what is fair, a judge may consider the length of the marriage, each person’s contributions to the family unit, and additional factors. The judge might also look at the needs of each spouse, as well as the financial resources of both parties.
The painstaking process of dividing property can be complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, some people may not have managed their family finances and may not know where accounts are located or where to even start looking.
If you are in the process of negotiating a divorce, an Atlanta property division lawyer could help. By advising you on the steps to take to protect yourself, a seasoned attorney might prove to be a valuable ally during this contentious time. To schedule an appoint, call today.