Marital property, with a few exceptions, is defined as property acquired by the parties during the marriage. When a divorce occurs, marital property is divided in Georgia based on the principle of “equitable division.” Equitable division means that property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally, based on a variety of factors.
You, your spouse, or both of you may own a business. There are a lot of factors to consider when business assets must to be divided in an equitable manner. Each party’s role in the business, the company’s reputation (often referred to as “good will”), the income, and associated debts are only a few issues that have to be addressed.
Our attorneys will carefully review all of your assets, including your business, and ask you a lot of questions about when all of the assets were acquired, and how the assets were purchased. We have years of experience litigating, mediating, and settling equitable division issues.
A common misconception is that if a particular asset is titled in one spouse’s name, that asset is not subject to equitable division. Retirement accounts, for example, are always titled in the name of only one person but are equitably divided. Similarly, the fact that the marital residence may be titled in only one spouse’s name does not mean it is not subject to equitable division. If the home was purchased during the marriage using marital funds, or if the mortgage was paid during the marriage using marital funds, the home is considered a marital asset subject to division.
Generally, inheritances and gifts from third parties made to only one spouse are not considered marital property. However, if a spouse received an inheritance during the marriage and placed it in a joint account or titled it in joint names, a Court may consider the inheritance as a joint gift to both spouses and, therefore, subject to equitable division.
Debts incurred during the marriage will also be equitably divided. As with marital assets, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. With your assistance, we will gather all necessary information about credit card debt, lines of credit, student loans, and other outstanding debt to ensure they are divided in a just manner.