While married, a couple may accrue both assets and debts. However, during a divorce, the parties must split all these assets and liabilities between themselves. Rather than trying to divide marital property on your own, it may be easier to speak with an experienced Cobb County division of assets lawyer.
If you are considering filing for divorce, speaking with a team of experienced family attorneys can help you better understand your rights and options. An attorney can work with you to help you make sure you are protecting what matters most to you.
Not everything that a divorcing couple owns is subject to division. Judges in a family law case will only divide marital property and not items that are considered separate property. Separate property generally includes assets a spouse owned prior to the marriage, as well as that which was given to a spouse individually as a gift from a third party or as an inheritance.
Every other debt or asset that either spouse gains during the marriage—either separately or together—is part of the marital estate and can be distributed to either person during a divorce. This is because Georgia is an equitable division state. This means that the law requires a judge to split up property and debts in a way that is fair to both parties but is not necessarily equal. There is no requirement that each spouse receives the same amount of property, and one person may get a much more significant portion of assets or debts than the other. For more information, reach out to a division of assets lawyer in Cobb County.
When it comes to dividing up property and debt, a judge will weigh several factors. The court can consider the financial situation of each spouse, including their separate assets, liabilities, income, and future earning potential. In general, the spouse that needs more financial assistance to recover from the divorce may receive a greater share of the assets.
Courts in Georgia may also award more property and less debt to one spouse in order to punish the other for bad behavior. However, just because one spouse is awarded more debt and less property does not mean that that person necessarily did anything wrong. Often a judge will order the spouse with the larger income to pay more of the former couple’s debt simply because that person has a greater ability to pay.
While the judge in a case has a lot of power to split up the marital estate, many divorcing couples may be able to divide most of their property without legal intervention. Almost all divorcing couples are required to attend mediation if they divorce, usually with an attorney. During this process, most items including property and debt are split up according to the parties wishes. In most cases, a judge will only step in to divide property when the parties cannot reach an agreement during mediation.
Working with an experienced Cobb County division of assets lawyer could help you make sure your property and financial future are protected. Dividing assets and debts can be complicated, especially when you own property, have retirement or investment accounts, or if your family earned a substantial amount of money. Learn more about your rights by scheduling a consultation with a member of our team.