When a marriage ends, the spouses are required to divide the property they accumulated during their marriage. This process can be a time-consuming and challenging task that is often more emotional than the parties expect.
This is why working with an experienced Suwanee division of assets lawyer is so important. A highly qualified team of family lawyers can help advocate for your interests to make sure the agreement is fair to you.
Two types of property make up a marital estate, joint and separate property. Joint property is owned by both parties together, while the separate property is owned by one individual. The parties will generally be able to keep their separate property and split their joint or marital property.
Most property in a marriage is considered joint property, even if only one person purchased an item or earned income. In general, the only property that stays separate is that which a person owned before the marriage or that which was given to only one person as a gift or inheritance.
The first step in dividing property during a divorce case is to make an inventory of all assets and accounts and categorize each as joint or separate property. Once the parties know the amount and the value of their marital property, they can begin the process of division.
Instead of dividing property evenly during a divorce, a judge will consider what is fair to each party. The judge will weigh factors such as each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, the age, and health of both spouses, the needs of any children, and each person’s income and earning potential.
Some types of assets, such as pension plans or retirement accounts, can be difficult to split because they are illiquid. With these types of assets, the court may issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (also referred to as a QDRO, pronounced “Quadro”) that will split the account in two and give a portion of it to each spouse.
Divorcing spouses are not required to have a judge divide their property for them. The parties are free to work out their own property settlement during mediation or other negotiations. If, however, the parties cannot decide on a fair division of property, the judge in the case will make the decision themselves.
Some parties in a divorce may try to hide assets or empty accounts to avoid giving the full amount to their former partner. This practice is unfortunately common even though it is illegal.
Spouses in Suwanee can protect themselves by paying close attention to their family’s finances before a divorce. A spouse who suddenly begins complaining about financial troubles, taking on new debts, opening new accounts, or acting secretive about the family’s income may be attempting to conceal assets or reduce their income ahead of a divorce.
To ensure that each person receives their fair share of the marital estate during a divorce, it is crucial to have an attorney help separate, categorize, and value the property that you and your spouse own. If you are planning to get divorced, work with a Suwanee division of assets lawyer who can help you fight for what matters most. Call today to get started.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group