How Separate Property Laws in Georgia Protect You and Your Property
When two people divorce, they must decide how to divide shared assets and property. If they can’t agree on the terms, then it’s up to the family courts to decide.
Separate property laws can protect your financial interests and help you distinguish between assets that are yours and those that are shared with your spouse under Georgia law.
This is especially important for individuals with business interests. Separate property laws can help you determine ownership of business assets so that you secure your long-term financial wellbeing.
How Georgia Family Courts Divide Property in a Marriage
Family law courts in Georgia distinguish personal property in a marriage as “separate” or “marital” property. Knowing the difference is essential to protecting your assets in a divorce or other legal proceedings.
Under Georgia law, shared assets are subject to equitable distribution. They’re divided according to different factors and distributed to each party.
Shared property includes any assets that were acquired during the marriage. Any assets you owned before the marriage, such as an inheritance, gifts, or personal property, are considered to be yours.
Some separate assets may be considered marital property if they were commingled with shared assets. For example, one person may have used money from an inheritance to fund a business venture with their spouse.
When separate assets are commingled with or contribute to the appreciation of marital property, then they may also be subject to equitable distribution by the courts.
Business Assets and Separate Property Laws
When a married couple owns a business, the process of dividing business assets and property can be even more complicated. Consulting with a family law attorney in Georgia is the best way to determine the best legal options for your needs.
Maintaining detailed and accurate financial records can protect your business and make it easier to identify what assets related to the business may have come from separate property owned by you or your spouse.
The courts will determine how much each party contributed to the business or any other shared assets.
If the role you played in developing a business is deemed more significant than your spouse’s, then you may be entitled to receive a larger portion of its assets.
The value of shared assets must also be determined through the valuation process. A third-party may be used to determine their true value.
But you may want to challenge the decision. Having an attorney to help you can ensure that the courts decide in your favor.
Protecting Separate and Shared Property
Working with a family law attorney can help you protect your separate property in a divorce. They can take the time to assess your legal needs and the value of your assets.
Prenuptial agreements can be put in place before a marriage to outline how you and your spouse will divide separate and shared assets during a marriage and in the event of a divorce.A prenuptial agreement can take precedence over state laws that govern how assets are divided in a divorce. It’s an effective legal strategy for avoiding costly and lengthy divorce battles.
Postnuptial agreements can also be put in place after the marriage. They can protect your business interests and commingled assets and make it easy for you and your spouse to agree on the terms of property division ahead of time.
These agreements can be used to decide whether or not your personal or business assets will be considered to be separate or marital property. They can also include terms for determining how spousal support will be established.
Your attorney can help you draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to protect separate property.
They can make sure that your agreement is valid and fair under Georgia state law. Having a family law attorney who can help you protect your separate property is critical to your financial future and give you the support you need in a divorce.