Dividing marital assets can be complicated in a Douglasville, GA, divorce case. When parties disagree about dividing assets, the court must decide for them. Our Douglasville property division lawyers at Bardley McKnight Law, LLC have decades of combined experience handling all types of property division disputes.
You might not want anything from your spouse when you get divorced. Instead, you just want the entire process to be finished. However, you need your fair share of marital assets to make a fresh start.
At the same time, you do not want to receive more marital debt than your fair share. Our attorneys fight to ensure your spouse pays their full portion of any marital debts.
At Bardley McKnight Law, our legal team works to protect your best interests to ensure you have the necessary resources after a divorce. Contact our law firm to schedule a confidential consultation with a Douglasville property division attorney by calling (470) 308-5409.
How Bardley McKnight Law Can Help You Receive Your Fair Share of Marital Assets in a Douglasville Divorce
You deserve a fair share of the marital assets during your divorce. However, your spouse might not agree. Instead, they might hold assets over your head to negotiate better divorce terms or to be vindictive.
Regardless of the reason for the dispute, it is crucial that you stand up for your rights. It is easier to do that with an experience divorce lawyer in Douglasville by your side.
Our experienced attorneys at Bardley McKnight Law are aggressive negotiators and skilled trial lawyers. We have a reputation for fighting for the rights of our clients. Your best interest is our top priority.
When you hire Bardley McKnight Law, you can trust our lawyers will:
- Explain how Georgia property division laws impact your situation
- Analyze your situation and devise strategies to obtain a fair distribution
- Work with financial professionals, forensic accountants, and other experts as necessary
- Represent you during negotiations and mediation
- Work to ensure that all property is classified correctly
- Help you protect your right to separate property
- Gather evidence and argue your case at trial, if necessary
Divorce cases often begin amicably but result in disagreements and arguments. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice before you begin the divorce process. Even if your divorce remains peaceful and agreeable, it is in your best interest to have legal advice to protect yourself and your future.
Contact us to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced property division lawyer in Douglasville, Georgia.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property in a Douglasville Divorce Case
During a divorce action, marital property is subject to property division laws. Separate property is not included in property division. Therefore, it is crucial that property is identified correctly.
Typically, marital property refers to any property or income acquired during marriage. Examples include:
- Real estate
- Marital home
- Investment accounts
- Motor vehicles
- Cash and funds in financial accounts
- Boats and recreational vehicles
- Personal property
- Pension and retirement accounts
Almost all property acquired during the marriage is included in marital assets, even if the property is titled only in one spouse’s name.
Separate property includes most gifts from third parties, inheritances in your name only, and the property you owned before your marriage. This property would remain yours after the divorce.
Unfortunately, property division is not always simple. Commingling assets can result in separate property becoming marital property subject to property division.
For example, suppose you inherited liquid assets from your grandparents. You deposit the funds in a joint account with your spouse. The inheritance then becomes a marital asset once the funds are commingled with marital assets.
Likewise, suppose your spouse inherits a home from their parents. The title remains in their name. However, your spouse uses marital funds to pay the mortgage payments and make improvements to the home. The judge might grant you an interest in the equity in the home based on payments from marital funds.
Cases involving high-net-worth assets, businesses, and international assets can also complicate property division. Our Douglasville divorce attorneys have experience handling complicated cases. We are prepared for all issues that could arise.
How Are Marital Assets Divided in a Douglasville Divorce Case?
Georgia Code §19-5-13 requires marital assets to be divided according to equitable distribution. However, it is essential to note that “equitable” does not always equal a 50-50 split. Instead, equity is what is fair based on the facts of the case.
The court can consider numerous factors when deciding what would be a fair division of marital assets. Factors include, but are not limited to:
- The financial needs of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Tax consequences for each spouse
- The age, education, and general health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s earning potential
- Whether either spouse has separate property
- The contributions of a spouse to the marriage through their financial contributions and household services
Some states do not permit judges to consider a spouse’s conduct during the marriage when deciding property division. But in Georgia, courts can consider a spouse’s infidelity or abuse when determining what would be equitable.
Additionally, a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement could impact property division in a Douglasville divorce case. If the parties entered into a legally binding marital agreement, the judge should enforce the agreement regarding property division.
How Is Marital Debt Handled During Property Division in Douglasville, GA?
The courts treat debt during a divorce much like they treat assets. Marital debt can be divided between the spouses evenly or based on an “equitable” percentage. Individual debt can also be divided between spouses, even though the debt is in one spouse’s name.
Nonetheless, a family court order does not necessarily prevent creditors from pursuing debt from the spouse that owes them, even though the family court ordered the other spouse to pay the debt. Our Douglasville property division lawyers work to mitigate your liability for debts. We’ll develop a plan that gives you the best chance of avoiding liability for joint debts after your divorce.
Will I Receive My Home in a Douglasville Divorce if I Have Custody of the Children?
Child custody is only one factor to consider when deciding what happens to the marital home in a divorce. If it makes sense in the situation, the couple might agree to allow the custodial parent to remain in the home with the children. Keeping the children in the home provides continuity during and after the divorce.
However, there could be other factors that prevent that from happening. For example, the couple might not be able to afford the mortgage payments for the home after they separate. In that case, the home might need to be sold, and the proceeds divided between the spouses.
If a couple cannot agree on how to divide the marital home, the court divides the interest based on asset division rules. In other words, what is equitable given the other factors in the case?
A judge might allow one spouse to keep the home while awarding the other spouse marital assets to offset that decision. The judge may allow a spouse to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the home. The price would depend on many factors, including how much the spouses contributed to the home’s value during the marriage.
How Are Retirement Funds Divided During a Divorce in Douglasville?
Retirement accounts and pension plans can be challenging to divide during a divorce. All contributions to retirement accounts made during the marriage are typically marital assets. Therefore, they are subject to equitable division.
However, any funds before the marriage would be separate assets. As a result, determining the value subject to division could require a careful analysis of the retirement account. Judges consider many of the same factors they use to divide personal property and real estate.
Property Settlement Agreements in a Georgia Divorce Case
Our Douglasville family lawyers are highly-skilled negotiators. We will diligently pursue settlement negotiations with your ex-partner once you hire us.
The goal is to negotiate a fair settlement without delays. An efficient, fair, and quick settlement benefits all parties. Therefore, we will work with you to determine your priorities for property division and work to achieve those goals.
A property settlement agreement can be presented to the judge for approval. It can be a part of a comprehensive divorce settlement or stand-alone while we litigate other matters.
If couples do not agree to terms for property division, the judge decides. Each party can present evidence supporting their position regarding asset division. However, the final decision rests with the judge.
Our Douglasville property division lawyers work with leading experts, including financial professionals, forensic accountants, appraisers, and investigators. If your spouse tries to undervalue or conceal assets, we aggressively pursue every avenue to uncover assets.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our Douglasville Property Division Lawyers
Do you have questions about property division during a Georgia divorce? If so, call Bardley McKnight Law for a case review with an experienced Douglasville property division attorney. We are here to help you with all aspects of your divorce case.