Should married partners decide to divorce, the assets they accumulated during their marriage must be divided between them. Sometimes, parting spouses reach an agreement regarding how their property should be split and the associated legal procedure is smooth and amicable. In other cases, however, the process is more complicated.

If you are undergoing divorce and have questions about asset division, you might want to consider employing the services of an Alpharetta division of assets lawyer. Getting help from a qualified attorney could have a positive impact on your financial and personal future and make a difficult process easier to get through.

 

The Equitable Distribution Principle in Alpharetta

Under Georgia state law, divorce courts must divide property in accordance with the Equitable Distribution Principle. Equitable distribution means a couple’s assets should be allocated in the fairest possible manner.

“Equitable,” however, neither guarantees nor implies an even 50-50 split. One spouse could be awarded larger or more valuable assets than the other depending on the circumstances. A court would render such a decision after considering several influencing factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s current income and future earning capacities
  • The age and general health of both partners
  • The amount each spouse contributed to the couple’s accumulated assets
  • If the splitting partners had minor children, and which spouse would be given primary custody
  • Any special needs or extenuating circumstances faced by one spouse or the other

Divorcing spouses also must arrange to pay off any debts accumulated while they were married. If an agreeable debt management plan cannot be arranged, the court has the authority to decide how a former couple’s debts would be satisfied.

Do You Have to Sell Your Home in a Divorce?

While it is not required, sometimes it is best for both parties if the marital home is sold. This ensures both individuals have liquid assets they can utilize to purchase a new home or to otherwise go on with the rest of their lives. However, what we do here at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group is work with financial planners to look at what is in our client’s best financial best interests so that we can advocate for that.

What Are Marital vs Separate Assets?

Only a couple’s marital assets are subject to property allocation by a court. Marital assets are considered property the spouses accumulated together during the time they were married. Separate assets are defined as property which each spouse owned prior to marriage or which they received through inheritance or as a gift. An Alpharetta division of assets attorney could provide further clarification about the differentiating factors between marital and separate property.

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)?

A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is the vehicle by which the transfer of funds from one retirement account to another takes place without incurring the tax or penalties in the aftermath of a divorce case. However, it takes an attorney with experience to make sure a QDRO is done correctly.

Misconduct as a Factor

Marital misconduct can potentially impact a court’s decision regarding asset allocation. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-3, there are 13 specific legally-acceptable reasons one spouse might seek a divorce from the other. Should specific grounds such as adultery or abuse be proven by one spouse, a court might render a more unfavorable property division decision against the other.

How Can a Couple Settle Asset Division Issues out of Court?

Divorcing spouses in Alpharetta may resolve asset allocation questions without court intervention. Some spouses opt to sign marital contracts that cover how specific personal, legal, and financial affairs would be settled should they divorce. In many cases, property allocation is among the discussed subjects.

The two most common type of marriage contracts also referred to as marital arrangements and agreements, are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements—entered into prior to the couple becoming married or after the couple is officially wedded, respectively. Other couples agree to sign separation agreements, which are then ratified if the two signatory spouses ever seek to separate or divorce.

Most courts accept these contracts as legally binding. However, to be considered as such, both spouses must agree to all discussed terms and endorse the agreement with their official signature. A qualified division of assets lawyer in Alpharetta could be of great assistance during this process, as well as any preceding or following disagreements about how marital property should be divided.

What Happens to My Spousal Support Payment if My Ex Gets Remarried?

If you are paying periodic spousal support when the other person gets remarried or is in a meretricious relationship, payments cease immediately under Georgia family law. However, if it is lump sum alimony, even if it is paid monthly, this is not the case. The best practice is to have a detailed Alpharetta division of assets attorney review the final judgment decree or settlement agreement to properly advise if, and when, payments can be ceased.

Contacting an Alpharetta Division of Assets Attorney

Asset distribution is often one of the most crucial issues divorcing spouses need to resolve. With the understanding that this process can have a significant financial and emotional impact on your life, an Alpharetta division of assets lawyer might be able to help you obtain the best possible financial future. Call today to set up an initial consultation.

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