Protecting Your Property Rights
I Help Establish A Sound Financial Foundation For This New Chapter Of Your Life
When it comes to dividing marital property as part of a divorce, people often are surprised at how emotional the process can be. Many times, the same individuals who put aside differences regarding custody for the benefit of their children struggle to resolve disputes over how to divide their assets and debt.
At Hedden Law in Cumming, Georgia, I protect my clients' interests regarding the division of marital property while helping them resolve disputes in this area. As with other aspects of family law, I make every effort to help my clients resolve disputes regarding property division through negotiation and, if necessary, mediation. This allows my clients to control the outcome more than putting the decisions in the hands of a family court judge.
Not all disputes in this area can be resolved without litigating. As your lawyer, my role in dividing marital assets will be to protect your financial interests and put you in the best possible position financially to begin your post-divorce life. Of course, if a fair agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, I am always prepared to advocate on my clients' behalf in court.
Property Division Traps And How To Avoid Them
Financial concerns must receive careful consideration during divorce. Because emotions can run high, it is common for people to error on either end of the spectrum when dealing with property division matters. Some individuals want to dig in their heels and exact revenge on a partner financially, while others want to give away the house (literally and figuratively) in attempt to accelerate the process and put the divorce behind them. Neither approach is advised.
Georgia law calls for an equitable distribution of marital assets and debt. However, that does not mean all property will be divided 50-50. Rather, the court will divide assets in a manner that is deemed fair and reasonable. When dividing marital assets, the court considers a number of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The financial status of each party
- The income and earning capacity of each party
- Each party's role in any dissipation of marital assets
The first step in asset division is determining which assets are marital property and which are separate property. In general, assets acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage regardless of title are deemed to be marital property with the exception of inheritance or gifts from a third party. Assets that were brought into a marriage are considered to be separate property as long as these assets were not "commingled" with marital assets.
Complex Asset Division Requires An Experienced Attorney
Many couples have extensive and complex assets to divide, including vacation homes, investment real estate, retirement accounts, pensions, professional partnerships or family-owned businesses. I have the experience and the resources to properly value these assets, including a network of real estate appraisers, forensic accountants, tax specialists and other financial professionals. In most cases, however, my clients have access to the financial records that will provide all of the information necessary to gain an accurate valuation of marital assets — they just need someone to help them sort it out. That's my job.
I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions and review your situation regarding asset division during a consultation. Call or use the contact form on this website to schedule an appointment.