Many individuals focus on dividing their visible marital property, such as the house, cars, and bank accounts, but often overlook other assets with significant value. In Georgia, all assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable division between both parties. This means that any asset can be divided between the spouses during a divorce.
Antiques, artwork, hobby equipment, gun collections, and tools are physical items that are sometimes overlooked or undervalued. In addition, digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, online businesses, airline miles, and social media accounts need to be considered by couples going through a divorce.
Another often overlooked asset in a Georgia divorce is retirement accounts. Many couples consider their retirement savings as personal property and fail to factor it into the division of assets. However, in Georgia, any contributions made to a retirement account during the marriage are considered marital property and subject to equitable division. This includes 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. It’s crucial for individuals going through a divorce to consider the long-term impact of dividing retirement accounts and seek professional financial advice if needed.
Another asset that could be overlooked may be insurance policies. For example, if one spouse has a life insurance policy with the other spouse listed as the beneficiary. In Georgia, any life insurance policy acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to division. This means the policy’s cash value or death benefit may be divided between the spouses during a divorce. Individuals, with the assistance of their lawyer, should review insurance policies during a divorce.
Property In Your Spouse’s Name
When going through a divorce, you will want to review with your attorney assets in your spouse’s name, which may be marital property. This can include assets like real estate, vehicles, or other possessions that were solely purchased by one spouse but are still considered part of the marital estate. You may be eligible for reimbursement for assets paid for by the marital estate, such as an advanced degree or renovations on a separate property. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of all assets in your spouse’s name and how they may impact the division of property during a divorce.
In Georgia, with divorce cases involving significant assets like businesses, investments, and stocks, the issue of appreciation of these assets arises. Appreciation refers to increased value over time, which can be passive or active. Passive appreciation occurs due to market forces, while active appreciation results from the efforts of the property owner and/or spouse. In a divorce, the active appreciation of a business owned before marriage may be subject to division as marital property if it grew substantially during the marriage due to the joint efforts of both spouses.
Our attorneys help clients inventory assets and the value of their separate property at the time of marriage and the point of divorce for an accurate and equitable division of assets.
Individuals going through a divorce should conduct an assessment of all their assets, including those that may not be immediately visible, so parties are not short-changed in the settlement agreement. At our firm, our attorneys work closely with clients to identify assets considered marital property, for a compressive settlement agreement. If you have any questions or need assistance in inventorying assets during your divorce, feel free to schedule a consultation.