When a couple goes through a divorce, there are several legal matters they must take care of. An important part of divorce proceedings in deciding how a couple’s assets are to be split between the two of them. Sometimes, couples are able to come to an agreement on their own outside of court. Other times, spouses feel differently about how to handle their assets and need the assistance of the court to find common ground and settle their disputes. An experienced attorney in Henry County, Georgia can help guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Exempt Property
If a couple disagrees on how to split their assets, they may have to go to court and use a judge to decide how they are to be divided. A judge comes to a decision by deciphering what of the couple’s assets are marital property and which are exempt property. The differences between the two are as follows:
- Marital Property: Any assets acquired during the marriage. This also includes any properties acquired before the marriage was changed to give the other spouse’s ownership at the start of the marriage.
- Exempt Property: Any assets acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay in the name of only one spouse. This may include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
Many people believe that when a couple divorces, they both receive 50% of the marital estate. However, Georgia is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that all assets will be split in a fair and just way. In order to come to this conclusion and determine what is fair, the court will consider many factors. Some of these factors may include:
- Economic circumstances of each spouse
- Any exempt property
- The needs of each spouse in the future
- Evidence of economic fault by a spouse
- Any tax consequence that may apply
While the court may consider economic fault while splitting a couple’s assets, they typically do not consider marital fault. When they are coming to a decision, a court usually does not sway in a certain direction if one spouse is the reason the marriage ended.
Mediation is often used to help spouses reach agreements during a divorce. The process of mediation gives the couple a chance to discuss the splitting of their assets outside of the court and make decisions themselves. In mediation, a third party will listen to both spouses and help them negotiate certain marital issues. This is so that they may come to an amicable agreement. Mediation can save both the couple and the court from any extra costs during divorce proceedings.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact The Alfred Law Firm, LLC. today.
Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.