Lack of understanding can make divorce a frightening concept. What should be an option for leaving a difficult marriage could instead become an unknown legal procedure that costs you much more than you bargained for. This fear can prevent people from taking advantage of divorce for fear that they will lose many of their assets or custody of their children. For individuals with above average wealth, this asset division could be even more concerning.
What you should know about marriage and asset division is that the law is very clear when it comes to keeping assets that are undeniably yours. An article from Forbes explains the asset division process in-depth, including the mystery of Separate Property and Marital Property. In the simplest terms, Separate Property includes assets that were owned by a party prior to the marriage, but it also includes gifts or inheritance given specifically to one of the spouses. This means that houses or cars that you purchased before the marriage will remain yours even if your marriage ends in divorce. Although a caveat exists that an individual’s property once commingled with marital property can lose its status as separate property.
However, what you may not know is that property and assets that married couples acquire during the marriage are often treated as marital property, no matter which spouse’s name is on the title. This means that houses or cars purchased during the marriage are considered married property, even if the property is titled in your name.
Of course there are many more assets and properties to consider than cars or houses, but the concepts apply to all assets. Georgia courts consider many factors when choosing how best to divide assets, but wealthy individuals need not worry about losing their personal assets which they acquired before the marriage. While there can be no guarantee about which way Marital Property will be divided, considering which assets are yours and yours alone may help you decide if divorce is the right option for you.