Assigning Assets, Dividing Debts in Georgia
Preserving Quality Of Life
You worked hard throughout your marriage to contribute to your family’s well-being and the standard of living you enjoyed. Now that you are going through a divorce, you shouldn’t have to take a large step back. As you go through the complex process of dividing your assets, make sure you have an experienced Marietta, Georgia, property division lawyer & his team of attorneys in your corner.
Holding Onto Earned Assets
Georgia law says that property accumulated during a marriage should be equitably divided between the husband and wife. But what exactly does that mean? This will not necessarily be a 50-50 split. One spouse may walk away with more assets, while the other spouse may be faced with more debts to pay. Every divorce is unique. Attorney Gentry Law Firm LLC has access to industry-leading experts invaluable in helping him trace what assets are considered part of the marital estate and the value of those assets. He is a skilled negotiator committed to protecting your share of the marital property, while fighting to help you keep your separate property.
Getting a divorce shouldn’t leave you at risk financially. Contact our Marietta equitable distribution lawyer today for a consultation. He can outline the steps you can take to preserve your financial interest.
What Happens To The Business?
If a business hangs in the balance of your divorce, it is crucial to make sure it is accurately valued. If you are leaving the business in the hands of your spouse, it is important to make sure you are properly compensated for the business’s value as well as the hard work you have put into it.
Don’t Forget About Retirement Assets
In addition to business assets, it is important to remember that debts and most retirement plans like 401(k) plans are subject to division. It is important to keep all documents related to your assets and debts so that an accurate picture of your marital finances can be used to develop your case. If you have these documents, make sure they are safe and in a place where your spouse cannot seize or destroy them.
Since 1986, attorney William C. Gentry and his team of expert attorneys have provided clients with sound legal advocacy focused on protecting their financial interests when going through the divorce process in Cobb County and surrounding areas. He has tried cases before every divorce judge in Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties. He has the resources and skills to resolve the most complex family law issues, including high-asset divorces.
How do the Courts divide marital property in Georgia?
Georgia is an equitable distribution state. This means that if you and your spouse can’t agree on how to divide marital property and debts, the Courts will make that decision, aiming for as equitable an outcome as possible. In this case, ‘equitable’ means fair under the circumstances.
Although every case is different, Georgia courts often consider factors like the following when making a determination:
- Each spouse’s income and earning ability;
- Your respective debts;
- Each spouse’s anticipated future needs;
- Whether either of you owns separate property;
- How you behaved toward one another during the marriage; and
- Whether one of you wasted marital assets.
By taking the above information into account, the Courts can order a marital property and debt division that’s most likely to meet your financial needs after the divorce.
What happens to property owned before the marriage during a divorce?
Most couples bring separate assets into a marriage. Common examples include individually-owned bank accounts, a piece of real estate your parents gifted or left to you, or your dad’s prized coin collection.
In most cases, property that you owned before getting married will remain yours after the divorce, unless it was commingled with the marital estate. For example, if you used marital funds to improve the vacation home your mother willed you, your spouse may be entitled to a share of the property’s new, higher value. If you have concerns about marital property division affecting your separately-owned assets, speak to your property division lawyer at the Gentry Law Firm.
What if my spouse is hiding assets?
Unfortunately, some people react to divorce by hiding marital assets. Their goal is to prevent their spouse from receiving a fair share of the marital estate. Although it can happen in any divorce, asset concealment is more frequently seen in high net worth divorces or cases where one spouse handled all the finances.
Common strategies include:
- Hiding cash in safe deposit boxes
- Underreporting income on tax returns
- Deferring bonuses until after the divorce
If your spouse hides marital property and fails to make a full financial disclosure to the court, penalties may include receiving a smaller share of the marital estate, an order to pay your attorney fees, or even fines or jail time.
I caught my spouse cheating. Do I get all of the property?
If your spouse cheats on you, it’s normal to feel angry and want to see them punished. But can that punishment include cutting them out of any property award?
Although it’s not likely that infidelity will rob them of all property rights, it may result in you receiving a bigger share of the marital estate. This outcome usually happens when the cheating spouse uses marital funds or accumulates debt to buy gifts for their boyfriend or girlfriend, rent hotel rooms, or go on expensive vacations. Your Georgia divorce lawyer can help you go over financial records to identify any signs of misspent funds and argue for a just marital property division.
Contact Us To Protect Your Financial Interests
You are not expected to have all the answers, but attorneys at Gentry Law Firm LLC are. When you have significant financial interests on the line, settle for nothing less than experienced representation. Mr. Gentry and his team of attorneys have handled hundreds of divorces in Cobb County and surrounding areas. He has what it takes to address the questions keeping you up at night. Many of your assets, including your family home, cannot be split down the middle. Attorney Gentry Law Firm LLC will work relentlessly to protect your financial interests. To discuss your property rights with an accomplished property division attorney in Marietta, Georgia, call 770-425-5573 or contact us today for a consultation.