Sep 28, 2021

Dividing Property & Wealth in a Divorce

Divorces are emotionally complex, surrounded by questions of custody, self-identity, and what is best for the family. However, there are also complicated financial decisions at play, and even couples going through an amicable divorce often have to grapple with challenging divisions.

Georgia is an equitable division of property, meaning marital property must be divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. Separate property, such as property each individual came into the marriage with, remains separate.

Typically, couples try to reach an agreement before heading to court. Those with a complex financial situation, high net worth, or contentious background often work with their divorce lawyers and a divorce mediator to keep conversations productive and fair as they move toward signing a property settlement agreement. If they can’t come to a solution, the court will decide how to distribute assets and debts.

Dividing property in Georgia divorces

Under Georgia’s system, property is split into two categories.

Separate property may include:

  • Money, investments, and real estate one spouse owned before the marriage;
  • Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse before or during the marriage;
  • Personal injury settlements awarded to one spouse before or during the marriage; and
  • A business owned before the marriage (though in some cases, a portion of the business might become marital property).

Marital property is anything either party acquired during the marriage as a result of efforts during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title or who has official ownership. Marital property may include:

  • Real Estate;
  • Retirement accounts or plans, such as pensions;
  • Stocks;
  • Brokerage accounts;
  • Business interests;
  • Life insurance;
  • Deferred compensation;
  • Vehicles; and
  • Valuable personal items like jewelry, art, and antiques.

Separate property can become marital property under certain circumstances, like an inheritance given to one spouse during the marriage that is placed in a jointly-titled account.

Family law considerations in the division of assets

In any divorce, the distribution of assets is based on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage and the age of each spouse;
  • What each partner brought to the marriage;
  • Whether one spouse helped support the education or professional ambitions of the other;
  • Whether one spouse helped support the children and family at home in a caretaking role;
  • The income and earning potential of each spouse;
  • The financial needs of each parent in supporting the children and maintaining quality of life; and
  • Other equitable considerations.

For couples with young kids, the primary caregiver often stays in the family home, perhaps buying out the other partner to fairly share the equity in the home. In other cases, the couple may decide to sell the home and divide the net proceeds from the sale.

In a challenging split, divorce attorneys can help ensure one partner does not attempt to hide assets. This is especially common in high net worth divorces when one partner does not have a thorough picture of the family’s financial situation. A forensic accountant may uncover concealed accounts or other property.

Schedule your consultation today

Dividing assets is financially complicated and emotionally draining for many couples. When dividing assets in a divorce, divorce lawyers work to protect your quality of life and your financial future, making sure the division is truly equitable and accurately reflects the resources you put into the marriage.

The divorce attorneys at Marple Rubin have years of experience working with clients who have complex assets. We can help you move through the process thoroughly and quickly. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to move your divorce forward as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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