When you’re filing for divorce in Georgia, you are probably wondering how your assets will be split up.
What do you get to keep?
What will you lose?
Will you have a fair property settlement or will you get hammered?
This article will walk you through how to know what you get to keep, what you’ll split, and what you’ll lose when splitting assets in divorce.
So, keep reading.
Splitting Assets On Divorce
When you are splitting assets in a divorce, community property (marital property) is generally split up equally between the spouses. But each spouse gets to keep their separate property.
And when you’re going through divorce splitting assets, first you have to figure out what TYPE of property you have.
The divorce laws in Georgia give us a specific set of rules for determining which assets are marital property or separate property.
The distinction between “marital property” and “separate property” is important because marital property is divided between spouses, but separate property is not.
Most of the time, the spouse will get to keep their separate property when splitting assets in divorce in Georgia.
Marital Property and Community Property In Georgia
This means that no matter who bought it, no matter whose name is on it, no matter who funded it, it’s marital property in Georgia and is subject to equitable division.
Marital property in Georgia can be the marital house, cars, retirement accounts, checking and savings accounts, and any investments.
Separate Property In Georgia
Separate property is any asset that was acquired before the marriage took place. Separate property also includes an inheritance or a gift.
How Is A House Split In A Divorce?
When looking at how is a house split in a divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses. But each spouse keeps their separate property.
When the judge is looking at how is a house split in a divorce, they may order one party to use their separate property to make the splitting of assets fair.
What Is Equitable Distribution?
Equitable distribution in divorce is how courts fairly split up marital property when filing for a divorce. Equitable distribution does not mean everything is split 50/50 in a divorce. It means there will be a fair division of assets and debts.
How Courts Go About Splitting Assets In Divorce
Once the divorce courts determine which property is marital property and separate property, they can determine how they want you to be splitting assets in divorce.
The divorce courts have complete discretion on how to divide assets in divorce. They also can make decisions on how to go about splitting debt in a divorce.
Unlike community property states, when you have a contested divorce in Georgia, the divorce courts are not bound by predetermined rules or formulas.
They can decide what is “fair” to themselves when it comes to how you and your spouse split assets.
They will split up the assets and debts in a way that they believe is fair based on your marriage and divorce.
But they do take into account several factors when deciding who gets what in a divorce property settlement.
- The value of the separate property.
- The financial status of each spouse.
- The spousal support (alimony in Georgia) awarded and paid.
- The income and earning capacity of each spouse.
- The reason for divorce.
- How the spouses treated each other during a divorce.
- The debts of each spouse.
- Whether one spouse mismanaged marital property.
Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?
Who keeps the house in a divorce depends on alimony, child support, income of each spouse, the reason for divorce, and separate property. A parent who primarily lives with the children may get to keep the house in a divorce. The judge could also order that the house be sold and the income be split between spouses.
When you are filing for divorce with children in Georgia, and the judge is factoring who has primary child custody, they want to provide the children with a stable home environment. Uprooting the children, making them move, and changing schools makes life for them even harder than it already is.
If you have to sell your house in a divorce, this is usually based on the affordability of the home. When you go from two incomes to one, each spouse may not be able to individually afford the house.
If you are selling a house in divorce, the income from the selling of the home is not always split 50/50. The couple will either be ordered to split the proceeds of the house equally or based on what is deemed fair by the judge.
Who Typically Gets The House In A Divorce?
When it comes to who typically gets the house in a divorce, if it’s separate property the owner will get the house. If it’s marital property, it can be can be sold and split the profits, you can buy your spouse out, or you can agree to sell it at a later date to maximize profits.
What Determines Who Gets The House In A Divorce?
A marital home is going to be split in the divorce. If it’s separate property, the owner will get to keep the house in a divorce. If one spouse gets the majority of child custody, the judge will lean towards keeping the spouse with the kids in the house and make them give up something in equal value.
How To Split Retirement Accounts In Divorce
When you file for divorce, especially a contested divorce, you will most likely have to split retirement accounts in divorce.
The retirement accounts subject to being split include, but are not limited to, your 401k, 403b, pensions, Roth 401k, Roth IRA, and IRA.
How Are Retirement Accounts Split In Divorce?
IRAs are split in a divorce by transferring funds between your account and your spouse’s. For the 401k and 403b plans, the retirement accounts are split into two accounts, one for each spouse, by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
Any money invested into retirement accounts before the marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to division. Any money invested and interest earned after the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to being split in divorce.
Do I Get Half Of My Husband’s 401k In A Divorce?
In a divorce, whether you get half of your husband’s 401k depends on whether the retirement account is marital property or not. If it’s marital property, it is subject to equitable distribution, meaning you get a fair split of the retirement account. If it’s separate property, you don’t get any of it.
How Do I Keep My Retirement In A Divorce?
If you want to keep your retirement in a divorce, you will have to negotiate with them. This may mean that you give them the cars or your equity in the house. If you have to split your retirement account in a divorce, you’ll have to invest more money into your retirement account after divorce to make up for the loses.
Do We Have To Go To Court When Splitting Assets During Divorce?
You do not have to go to court when splitting assets in divorce. Spouses may resolve their issues during divorce by negotiating equitable distribution. This agreement should be put into a written settlement agreement. If spouses cannot agree on how to split assets in a divorce, they will have to go to court.
To minimize the amount of money that you lose in a divorce it’s important that you have an experienced family lawyer in Georgia on your side. We have seen people lose their entire retirement accounts, houses, and cars when splitting assets because they didn’t negotiate properly.
If you would like a FREE divorce consultation, fill out the form below. We can walk you through the next steps that you need to take to protect your assets in a divorce.
After your divorce and division of assets, you may want to consider redoing your will and estate planning.
Even if you don’t have assets, your spouse is no longer your emergency contact and you might want to appoint a power of attorney in the event of a medical emergency.
You may not want doctors that you don’t know making major life decisions for you in the event of an emergency.