If you and your spouse have decided to separate, it’s important to start thinking about how you’ll divide your jointly-owned property. It can be unquestionably difficult to think about dividing mutual assets while you’re still processing your decision to file for divorce. However, being proactive now can save you stress, time, energy and money down the line.
In Georgia, spouses are permitted to divide their marital assets equitably. This means that you don’t necessarily have to split the value of your overall marital estate (all of your jointly-owned assets and debts) in a 50-50 fashion. Instead, you’ll need to consider what kind of asset division arrangement would be truly fair to both parties.
Seeking mutually-agreeable divorce settlement terms
If you and your spouse have no history of domestic violence in your relationship and you can work to overcome any disagreements you may have about your asset division strategy, you can mutually agree on your settlement terms. This means that you’ll work together and/or with your attorneys to find an equitable solution that safeguards the interests of both parties. If you can’t resolve your differences, a judge will be called upon to decide what a fair settlement looks like in your situation.
Because you don’t have to split the value of your marital estate 50-50, you’ll have the flexibility to agree on the sale of any mutual assets and on who gets to maintain ownership of any assets that aren’t sold. You’ll want to research which of your assets is likely to appreciate or depreciate over time so that the “forward-looking” value of your assets is taken into account when you divide them up.
Carefully considering your needs, priorities and unique circumstances before committing to an asset division strategy is wise. Without sufficient forethought, you may not end up structuring your divorce settlement terms in ways that support the life you hope to lead.