When couples divorce in Georgia, they are faced with the challenge of dividing their assets as well as debts equitably.Â A source of conflict is often uncovered because this division of property in Georgia courts is not necessarily â€œequal,â€ meaning this split does not always equate to a fifty-fifty split or the higher earning spouse being responsible for a greater share of the debt. Â The guiding factor for the court is fairness. Â In dividing assets and debts, the court will first classify which property is marital. Â Next, it will assign a monetary value to the classified property and debt. Â Last, it will distribute the property and debt equitably.
Generally, each party can retain any property that he or she owned prior to the marriage.Â Any property purchased during the marriage is usually subject to equitable division; it does not matter in whose name the property is listed.Â The rules of equitable division are subject to a courtâ€™s discretion but in reaching a decision the court or a jury may consider:
- length of the marriage;
- the age, health, occupation, vocational skills, and employability of each party;
- the service contributed by each spouse to the family unit;
- the amount and sources of income, property, debts, liabilities, and needs of the parties;
- debts against the property; whether the division is instead of, or in addition to , alimony;
- and the opportunity of each spouse to earn money or acquire property in the future.
The parties debt and how the responsibility of paying the debit will be allocated is becoming a frequent issue in this depressed economy.Â The court will consider the above factors and may divide the responsibility between both parties or may order one party to pay all debts.Â The White Law Office, LLC responsibility to our clients is to protect your interests and ensure you are not held responsible for debts your spouse accumulated before the marriage.Â Our success is from growing our network of forensic accountants and financial experts to determine how the debt was accumulated and when.Â This endeavor becomes increasingly important if a family business is involved in the division of assets and allocation of debts.