There are many different types of property in Atlanta which may come up during a divorce case. For example, real property includes land and immovable property such as buildings and their contents, and any other assets would be considered personal property. Automobiles, furniture, furnishings, jewelry, and pets are all examples of personal property. Anything which is not a real property owned by the parties or by one party is personal property.
Marital property is that which is acquired during the marriage. Additionally, assets may be gifted or transferred from a spouse’s personal ownership into their partner’s name or both names to become marital property. Alternatively, separate property is anything owned by a party prior to their marriage that remains fully titled in their name. This may include inherited or gifted assets from another person outside of the marriage. As long as it stays separately titled, it remains a separate property of one party. For more information, contact a seasoned property division lawyer today.
A hybrid property has a separate component as well as a marital element. For example, a retirement account or a 401K which was started prior to a marriage and continued afterwards could be considered hybrid property. This kind of asset my also come from a spouse who continues contributing to their 401K with wages earned during their marriage.
Jointly titled property is anything that has a title in both parties’ names including real estate, real property, a marital home, or a vacation home. If the parties buy an automobile and both names are on the title, it is jointly owned property. Items such as furniture are not jointly owned because no title is needed.
A marital home is where a couple primarily resides during their marriage. Several things can happen to a marital home when dividing assets. For instance, when parties agree on who gets to keep the home, it may be offset by another asset to buy the other party out of their interest, depending on whether there is equity in it. For those who cannot agree on what to do with their marital property, a judge could order that it be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties in an equitable manner.
In a divorce context, there are no regulations concerning property titled in one name only. The status of a property depends on whether it is separate, gifted, inherited, or acquired during a marriage. If a married person uses their income to purchase an asset titled solely in their name, it does not mean that it cannot be equitably divided by the court in a divorce, and it may still be considered marital property.
When a bank account is solely titled in a spouse’s name, their partner may not take money out of the account during their marriage. In the event of a divorce, an estranged spouse could ask for an equitable division of the account titled in their former partner’s name, and the court may grant it.
A privately held business can play a large role when dividing assets. A business which is very profitable typically holds a lot of value. The evaluation of the business depends on whether it is marketable. Owners’ wishes and the ownership interest that a spouse has in a business can also affect the outcome of divorce litigation. Service industry businesses must be evaluated for goodwill value.
A spouse involved in a business would want the value to be relatively low so it does not create difficulty in dividing assets. However, the party who does not have any ownership interest would want the value higher to offset other assets or receive a larger payout at the conclusion of a divorce.
Without a marital agreement which addresses ownership of a business, it may not be held by both parties, but there is a marital component. If a spouse has an ownership interest in a company, the other would have an equitable interest in it. The governing documents for a company dictate who actually owns the business. If one party has a minority ownership interest in a company, the courts would be bound by the bylaws of the company. If the ownership interest is non-transferable to a spouse, a judge cannot transfer it to the other party. The courts cannot force a company which is not a party to litigation to do something against their bylaws. Call today to learn more about the different types of property in Atlanta.