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Determining Marital v. Separate PropertyOnly property and debts acquired by the parties during the marriage are subject to equitable division. Any separate property acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage is not subject to...Read More
How Separate Property can become MaritalAlthough an asset maybe considered separate property at one time, the actions of the parties over the course of the divorce can switch its characterization from separate property to marital...Read More
Factors to Determine Division of Marital PropertyOnce it has been determined what is (and is not) marital property, Georgia law uses a series of factors to determine how to best allocate various assets and liabilities between the parties....Read more
Asset Division is NOT Modifiable!
Unlike Child Support and Alimony that can be re-evaluated over time as the circumstances change between the parties, once assets are divided the agreed upon division is generally not subject to further review by the court. As such, it is critical to make sure your settlement agreement, which ultimately is the court document which documents your asset division, is done exactly the way you intended.
Specific Types of Assets Division
The Marital House
For many going through a Georgia divorce, the marital home and other pieces of marital real estate are their largest assets. Whether or not the marital home or real estate should be retained and by whom is often a major issue in the divorce. What happens to the family home will ultimately depend on the facts of each case. If the spouses can agree between themselves regarding what will happen to the marital home and other real property, it is likely that the court will approve such a settlement agreement. However, if the couple is unable to come to an agreement, the court will decide the issue. If you are considering divorce or if you are currently going through a divorce, there are several options to consider when deciding how to handle real property.
Although it may not be readily apparent to most, businesses, just like real property or investment accounts, are assets that may be subject to equitable division upon divorce in Georgia. See Miller v. Miller, 288 Ga. 274 (2010). In fact, Georgia case law makes it quite clear that business, similar to other forms of property may be divided upon divorce if deemed marital property, or they may be exempt from the equitable division process if they are deemed to be separate property.
Not only must marital property and assets be divided upon divorce, but also marital debts must be divided as well. In Georgia, responsibility for the debts assumed by the couple during the marriage may either by assigned by the parties themselves by virtue of a settlement agreement or by court order. Similar to marital assets or marital property, marital debt is debt incurred by both spouses during the marriage. An obligation is normally deemed marital debt when both spouses have signed a promissory note associated with the debt and agreed to repay the loan or debt. Cormier v. Cormier, 280 Ga. 693 (2006).
Tax concerns surround various aspects of equitable division. Should you be concerned about tax effects in regards to the transfers of Property incident to a divorce? When do you file a joint return with your spouse? Should you be using the innocent spouse rule as a defense to previously owed taxes? Things you should know before you move forward with your divorce.
According to O.C.G.A. § 19-6-2, attorney’s fees may be awarded in alimony cases or divorce and alimony cases. However, this section of Georgia law does not specifically authorize awards of attorney’s fees in cases where no alimony is sought. This may be explained by looking to the purpose of this section of law…
Bankruptcy and divorce often go hand in hand, as one of the major causes of divorce is financial difficulty during the marriage. Couples may seek to file bankruptcy prior to or during divorce in order to liquidate joint debts or file for bankruptcy post-divorce due to their post-divorce financal situation...
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I highly recommend Meriwether & Tharp for anyone considering or going through a divorce. Divorce for me was emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually draining but they were there for me every step of the way and... read more