When a couple gets married, they start accumulating property together. The longer a couple remains married, the more assets they jointly own. During a divorce, all these assets must be divided between the parties.
Splitting property can be a time-consuming and lengthy process that may require help from a practiced Roswell division of assets lawyer. By working with a team of diligent family lawyers, you can work towards an agreement that is fair to you.
During a divorce, couples have a legal obligation to make a fair accounting of all of their property. Parties who hide assets or fail to fully disclose all of their income can face severe sanctions from the court, including the loss of some or all marital property, fines, and even jail time. Once a divorce is filed, the parties are prohibited from selling or transferring property unless it is to pay off existing marital debt. See OCGA 19-5-7.
The parties to a divorce must sign a financial affidavit listing all of their assets and their value. Larger items of property such as real estate may need to be appraised for an accurate value. Spouses must disclose all of their assets, including retirement accounts, investment portfolios, stock holdings, and bank account information, even if these accounts are only in one person’s name.
Once the parties have a complete list of their assets, they will determine which property is separate property and which property is part of the marital estate. Property is separate if one spouse owned it before marrying, or if they received it as a gift or inheritance. All other assets, including those that are only in one person’s name, are considered jointly owned and part of the marital estate.
Most divorcing couples can come to some agreement regarding a large portion of their marital during mediation. However, if the parties cannot agree on what to do with a particular asset, they can ask the judge to make the final decision.
In Roswell, judges follow the rule of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing property. This legal doctrine means that a judge will divide property according to what is fair, rather than by what is equal. Therefore, one party may receive a much greater share of assets than the other if the circumstances warrant it.
When determining how to split assets, a judge will weigh several factors. Some of these factors include each party’s income and financial resources, each person’s contributions to the marriage, and each person’s behavior before and during the marriage. A Roswell division of assets attorney can further explain the factors a judge will weigh.
The division of property can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce case. Many people who are considering divorce are dismayed to find that they do not fully understand their marital finances or are unsure of what kind of assets their partner possesses.
Working with a Roswell division of assets attorney can help alleviate these concerned. A team of experienced lawyers knows where to look for hidden assets and can help make sure that you get your fair portion of the marital property. To learn more about your rights during this process, call today to speak with a member of the team.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group