Helping Clients Make Informed Decisions of Their Marital Assets
One of the toughest issues divorcing couples face when splitting is the topic of property distribution. Obviously, tangible and intangible assets that belong to both parties must be split. Many believe that divorce ends in a 50% split of the marital estate. While this can sometimes happen, it most often is some other percentage according to what is fair. Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital assets and debts will be split according to what is equitable; fair and just to both parties. There are many factors that impact the determination. Speaking with an attorney when facing divorce is essential to protecting your rights and interests. If you need an experienced attorney to guide you in making informed decisions on your legal matter, contact The Alfred Law Firm.
Dividing the marital estate in Georgia
Whether a couple addresses the issue of dividing the marital estate outside of court or litigates the matter, marital assets must be identified. Deciphering between marital assets and exempt assets, sometimes referred to as separate property, is a complicated matter. Generally speaking, assets acquired during the marriage or assets acquired before a marriage but transmuted to include the others’ title to ownership. Exempt property can include assets acquired before the marriage and solely kept in the owner’s name. It can also include some assets acquired during the marriage, including inheritance, gifts, and other items. In some cases, there may be a need for a forensic investigation when one party is suspected of concealing assets or income. This can include when one party owns a business or there is evidence of assets being hidden overseas or through other means. It is important to have an attorney through this process to ensure that a full financial disclosure is provided.
Factors that can impact an equitable distribution case
If the issue of dividing assets is litigated, there are numerous factors the court will consider when deciding on the matter. All matters regarding property distribution are discretionary, but the court will normally consider factors like:
- The financial situation of each party
- Exempt property that exists
- Evidence of economic misconduct
- The future needs of each spouse
- The tax implications of splitting marital assets in certain ways
Fault and the division of the marital estate
It is important to note that, because Georgia is an equitable distribution state, it could consider fault when dividing marital assets. Factors like adultery could impact a decision. Economic fault is another factor that can impact a divorce case. If one party was to willfully dissipate assets or become unemployed in lieu of a divorce, the court could change much of the divorce decree to account for that aggression.
Contact The Alfred Law Firm
If you are getting divorced, the division of marital assets will most likely be an issue you need to resolve. While some can set aside their differences and work out this issue aside from litigation, others are not so lucky. Whatever the case may be, having an experienced attorney to help protect your rights and interests is best. For a consultation, contact The Alfred Law Firm today.