Property division can be among the most pressing concerns for divorcing spouses. When it comes to the distribution of high-value and sentimental assets like a family home, it may help you to first understand the basics of marital property laws in Georgia.
What constitutes marital property? Well, in marriage, earnings, acquisitions and purchases made with marital and co-mingled funds—such as those in a bank account—automatically become marital property. Marital property can range significantly by asset type. Such assets include:
- Retirement benefits
- Stocks and bonds
- Real estate property like housing
However, properties and assets classified as seperate include those inherited by a spouse prior to the marriage, purchases made through separate funds and assets that fall under specific pre- or postnuptial agreement terms.
So, what about the house?
Provided the family home is marital property, Georgia family court will approach its distribution on an equitable basis. Equitable distribution in a divorce case means that judges perceive what is fair and then divide assets accordingly.
Upon making their decision, judges may factor in spouses’ financial statuses, misconduct issues, future needs and even behavior during the divorce process. Was someone at fault for the divorce? This also may have an influence.
That said, perhaps one of the more influential factors is the best interest of children involved. Among the most vital aspects of child issues in a divorce is maintaining a sense of stability for the child. Would they have to move schools if they left the family home? Would they lose friends? If you and your spouse have kids, whoever has primary custody may end up with the family home.