How will a judge split your property in a Georgia divorce?
Property division is a known source of conflict in modern divorces, which is why some couples plan ahead for the issue. Prenuptial agreements can explicitly set aside certain property from one spouse or impose a particular rule on how the courts or the couple divide their property.
Other couples agree to sit down for collaborative negotiations or commit to divorce mediation so that they can resolve property division matters outside of court. When you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse, then you will have to turn to a family law judge to resolve the conflict.
In a contested or litigated divorce, a judge has to make a decision about what to do with your credit cards, retirement savings and your family home. What rules govern those decisions in the Georgia family courts?
Judges must look at family circumstances carefully
One of the first steps of preparing for a litigated property division case is the creation of an inventory of your shared assets and debts. You can also create a list explaining what assets are your separate property and therefore not subject to division.
A judge will review those inventories and hear information about your marital circumstances. Your professions, your sacrifices for the family and even the length of your marriage can influence what the judge decides to do with your property and financial obligations. Georgia law expects that a judge will seek an equitable or just way to divide your belongings based on their understanding of your family circumstances.
It can be hard to predict property division outcomes
No matter how specific your requests are or how much documentation you have before going to court, it is nearly impossible to predict exactly what a judge will do with your belonging and financial obligations.
You may have to accept certain terms that make you unhappy, like giving up tenancy of your marital home or dividing retirement savings with your spouse. When you understand what happens in litigated proceedings, you may have more motivation to work with your spouse to settle or the ability to gather evidence to support specific requests.
Learning about the laws that apply to Georgia divorces can help those facing the impending end of their marriage.