Atlanta Property Division Lawyer
The division of marital property is one of the most important issues to be decided in a Georgia divorce, along with matters such as child custody, child support and alimony. Property division can also be one of the most complicated and conflict-laden issues to work out. Georgia law requires an equitable distribution of marital property, but equitable does not always mean equal, and strong, effective representation is necessary to ensure a fair shake in the property settlement while also keeping the items most important to you. At Buckhead Family Law, we have over ten years of experience handling divorce cases in Atlanta, including divorces involving high asset and high net worth individuals and couples. Learn more about the division of marital property below, and contact our office to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Atlanta property division lawyer.
Georgia Equitable Distribution Law
In a divorce in Georgia, the parties are free to divide up the property between them in any matter they see fit. If you are able to work with your spouse and determine how every piece of property – including marital assets as well as marital debts – will be divided, we can help you draw up a marital settlement agreement that will be accepted by the judge without requiring litigation.
If the parties are not able to agree on how property should be divided, it is up to the judge to make an equitable distribution of marital property. While the courts typically strive to divide property equally, this is not always possible, practical or even appropriate. For instance, some assets cannot be divided unless they are sold and the cash proceeds divided, but this is not always preferable. One solution is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s share in the property, or to receive other property in exchange, but this process quickly becomes quite complicated.
Additionally, the court will look at a number of different factors about the marriage to determine whether it would be more equitable to award a larger share of the marital property to one spouse than the other. Factors considered by the court in this determination include:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring and maintaining marital property
- Each spouse’s contribution to the family and household
- If one spouse was at fault in causing divorce due to conduct during the marriage, including adultery or other marital misconduct
How Buckhead Family Law can Help
The first step in property division is determining whether each piece of property is marital or separate. Typically, all property acquired by one person before the marriage is separate, while property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is marital. There are notable exceptions, however, such as a gift or inheritance received by one spouse during marriage, which may be separate property. To make matters more complicated, property can lose its character as marital or separate depending on how it is treated by the parties. With full knowledge of Georgia equitable distribution law and ten years of experience handling Atlanta divorce cases, our attorney can guide you through the process of ensuring every piece of property is accounted for and properly characterized as marital or separate.
Another important aspect of property division is making sure that all assets are accurately valued. With experience in high asset divorces, we are familiar with the complicated task of accurately valuing complex assets, including business valuations and future interests such as stock options or retirement accounts. We are also experienced in working with forensic accountants and other experts as needed to determine an accurate value or to locate and value property that may be intentionally hidden or underreported.
Get Help with Property Division from an Experienced Atlanta Divorce Lawyer
Unlike other court orders such as child support, child custody and alimony, court orders regarding the division of marital property are generally not modifiable by the court. It is important to get the property division done right the first time. Make sure your rights and interests in the marital property in your divorce are protected. Contact Buckhead Family Law at 404-600-1403 to discuss your case with an experienced and detail-oriented Atlanta property division lawyer.