When a marriage faces the challenging crossroads of divorce, one pressing concern is the division of property and assets. Both spouses are likely to have valid concerns regarding what will happen to their assets and belongings.
Georgia follows the principle of equitable distribution, aiming for a fair, though not necessarily equal, split of marital assets. Understanding how this process works, especially for complex properties like family businesses and real estate is important for ensuring a smooth process.
General property division in Georgia
In Georgia, the court determines a fair distribution of marital property based on several factors. These include the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse and their respective earning capacities. Marital assets, which are those acquired during the marriage, are subject to division. Separate property remains with the original owner.
Statistics show that there is a higher divorce rate among business owners, so it is important for those owning a family business to understand the complexity that a divorce brings. The court must assess the business’s value and decide on an equitable distribution. This process involves expert evaluations to determine the fair market value of the business. Once the value is transparent, the court may suggest a buyout, allowing one spouse to retain ownership by compensating the other.
The family home is often a contentious asset in a divorce. While the court may award the home to one spouse, they might also order its sale and the subsequent division of proceeds. Factors such as child custody and financial capabilities may influence the court’s decision.
Retirement accounts, like 401(k)s or pensions, are also subject to division. The court may issue a qualified domestic relations order to split these accounts between spouses. This ensures that both parties receive a fair share of the accrued retirement benefits.
Navigating the complexities of property and asset division in a Georgia divorce requires a clear understanding of the state’s equitable distribution principles. By comprehending the unique challenges and processes involved, individuals can navigate this difficult terrain and embark on a new chapter with a fair distribution of resources.