As you begin the divorce process, you may be going through what many other Georgia couples before you have gone through — you are looking around your home trying to figure out what will happen to everything, including the house. Many people focus on what they perceive to be the larger assets they own such as retirement accounts and investment accounts, but your home and items in it often cause the most controversy during the property division stage of a divorce.
Sure, your home probably fits into the group of your larger assets, but you are probably more sentimental about it than you are about a 401(k). The prospect of trying to figure out who will walk away with what may be daunting, and the process could become complicated.
The collectibles and artwork the two of you own
While living in your home, you may forget about the art hanging on your walls or adorning table tops throughout your home. Perhaps you enjoyed collecting certain items with your spouse during your marriage, but once they entered your home, you may not have really given them a second thought.
Now that you are going through a divorce, these items may take on new meaning. You could have a sentimental attachment to certain items and want to keep them. What happens if your future ex-spouse also wants a particular item? These types of quandaries often cause couples to end up in bitter tugs of war in court.
Ultimately, you may need to compromise in order to get something you really want. Making an inventory of these items and determining their value may help you decide on an equitable and fair way to divide them. If not, you will need that information for court.
The household items and furniture the two of you own
More than likely, neither one of you wants to start from scratch when it comes to furnishing a new place. Even so, unless you have two of everything, the odds are that you will need to purchase something, unless your ex-spouse agrees to trade another asset for all of the furniture.
There is substantial room to negotiate when it comes to your household items and furniture. Perhaps you picked out the living room set and your spouse picked out the kitchen gadgets and other items. You may be able to make a deal, if that’s the case. Again, as long as you come to a fair and equitable arrangement, the two of you can make the decisions in any manner you wish.
The house the two of you own
Now it’s time to deal with that big asset that you may have sentimental attachments to — the marital home. In many cases, what the division of this asset often comes down to is money. Can you afford to refinance it yourself if you want to keep it? Can you keep up with the repairs, maintenance and taxes that go along with home ownership? Would it be better to sell the house and split the proceeds so that each of you can start over in a new place?
The answers to these questions may determine what happens to your marital home in the divorce. Before making any decisions, it may be a good idea to do your research and make sure that any choice you lean toward will not end up hurting your financial situation in the future.
Regardless of what the assets are or who wants what, the bottom line is that you each walk away feeling as though you were treated fairly and received an equitable share of the marital assets. It might benefit you greatly to gain an understanding of your rights and obtain some experienced assistance in making these tough decisions.