Dividing property that you and your spouse accumulated throughout your marriage is often one of the most challenging but essential aspects of divorce. While the state of Georgia has laws regarding the division of marital assets, this process is subject to many factors and can vary from case to case.
Because of the uncertainty of how a judge will allocate a couple’s assets, it is essential to work with a knowledgeable Crabapple property division lawyer. The family law attorneys on our dedicated legal team know how to protect your legal rights and can work to minimize the stress of this legal process.
Georgia follows the law of equitable distribution, meaning that a judge must divide a couple’s marital assets fairly but not necessarily equally. The first step in the local property distribution process is to classify which assets are marital and which will be kept separate.
Generally, assets acquired by either party prior to marriage or through inheritance are generally considered separate property that will remain with the original owner after divorce. Marital property includes any assets acquired by the spouses after marriage.
Some assets may be considered a combination of marital and separate property, such as a house one spouse purchases before getting married but which was maintained by both spouses after marriage. Spouses facing a divorce should consult with a skilled property division attorney as early in the process as possible to ensure their assets are properly identified.
After a judge determines which assets are divisible, they must then decide how to distribute them between the spouses. Unlike community property states where assets are divided ‘50/50’, Georgia courts must divide property equitably, or in a way that is fair to both parties. To reach a fair distribution of a Crabapple couple’s property, a judge may consider several factors, including:
A dedicated asset division attorney can explain each of these factors and their role in a court’s decision.
After classifying marital and separate property in a divorce, the judge will issue a legally binding order detailing how the couple’s assets will be divided. If either spouse disobeys it, the other may seek contempt of court charges and ask a court to sanction the offending party for their noncompliance. A spouse seeking compliance with a property division order should consult an experienced attorney about their legal options.
If you are going through a separation or divorce and need legal advice, it is essential to work with an attorney who will thoroughly explain your property rights and fight to protect them. An experienced Crabapple property division lawyer understands Georgia’s family laws and can provide a judge with all the evidence necessary to reach an equitable property distribution. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation with an attorney.