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Attorney Christopher T. Adams

Trusted Attorney Providing Knowledgeable And Dedicated Representation

Sharing home equity in a Georgia divorce

Couples in Georgia may have made sacrifices together to save for the down payment used to purchase their home. They may have both invested sweat equity by helping maintain and improve the property during their tenancy there.

It is therefore typically necessary for divorcing spouses in Georgia to share the equity that they have accrued in the home where they live together. Doing so can be a very challenging prospect, especially if one spouse comes to the table with unrealistic expectations. During divorce.

How can spouses fairly share home equity in a Georgia divorce?

By establishing what the home is worth

Real estate prices change from year to year. They tend to increase over time, but factors including local school performance and crime rates can lead to unexpected fluctuations. Spouses have to determine the fair market value of their marital home when they divorce. Hiring an appraiser or consulting with a real estate agent can help determine what the value of the home is now versus the value set when the couple originally acquired the property. The only way to fairly negotiate for an appropriate division of home equity is to know how much equity the spouses need to split.

By looking at the totality of the estate

The marital estate does not just consist of assets owned jointly. Items held in the name of one spouse but acquired during the marriage or with marital income are probably subject to division in a Georgia divorce. For some spouses, actually withdrawing equity using the home as collateral isn’t a good solution for property division matters. They might not be able to afford the mortgage after using the actual home equity to compensate their spouse. Therefore, people need to look at the totality of the marital estate.

Other assets and marital debts can help to balance out property division terms. Couples have the option of being as creative as they feel is necessary to reach an amicable and fair property division solution. If they cannot decide, then a judge applies Georgia’s equitable distribution law to their shared home equity and other assets.

Having reasonable expectations is important for those preparing to negotiate property division matters in a Georgia divorce. Those who learn about the law and carefully consider their marital estate may find it easier to reach workable compromises with their spouses.


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