Marietta Property Division Lawyer
In Georgia, marriage is an economic union, which means that couples own property together that must be divided. This division is often the source of tremendous conflict when couples divorce.
At Buckhead Family Law, our team helps clients understand their rights to marital property. We also help our clients decide which assets to ask for. Georgia law requires an “equitable” division of marital property, but men and women still retain the right to work out a property settlement agreement between themselves. Contact our Marietta property division lawyer to learn more.
What Property Must Be Divided?
Some people wrongly believe they only need to divide property that they own jointly with their spouse. Georgia’s definition of marital property is much more expansive than that. Generally, any property you acquired while married will qualify as marital. This includes any wages either spouse earns and any assets they purchase with those wages.
There are some exceptions. For example, each spouse can leave the marriage with their separate property, which includes anything they obtained while single, as well as any gifts or inheritance the spouse received during the marriage. Sometimes, however, people commingle separate and marital property, such as when they use separate assets to update a marital home. Commingled assets can lose their character as separate property and become marital.
Even business assets can be marital. The small business you established in your first year of marriage is probably a marital asset, which means your spouse has an ownership stake—even if he or she has done no work for the company.
What is Equitable Distribution?
This term is somewhat confusing, and there are many misconceptions about how marital property is divided. For one, equitable does not mean equal, 50/50. Instead, it means fair. What’s fair will depend on the circumstances. Of course, in some marriages, a fair distribution is 50/50, but that even division is not required.
A judge will look at many factors when deciding what is fair, including:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Each spouse’s contribution to the household and family
- How much you contributed to acquiring and/or maintaining the marital property
- Marital fault, such as adultery
Critically, it is important to realize that contributions to a household can be non-financial. A spouse who does not work outside the home does not forfeit his or her right to some marital property simply because their spouse paid for everything. Hire a Marietta property division lawyer to help you make a strong argument to the judge.
What Conflicts Arise with Dividing Property?
Our lawyers have helped clients with the following:
- Whether property is marital or separate
- The effect of a prenuptial agreement on the division of property
- How much marital property our client is entitled to
- How to divide marital debts fairly
- Valuing assets properly
- Actually dividing complicated assets, like real estate or retirement accounts
We will also help our clients think carefully about what assets to request. For example, it might make more sense to request retirement accounts that require no work than a home that requires regular and expensive maintenance.
Contact Our Marietta Property Division Lawyer Today
The team at Buckhead Family Law can walk you through all of these complicated legal issues, but you need to contact us today. We offer a consultation in a safe, confidential setting.