With higher stakes and higher risk, learn what experienced divorce attorneys take into account to help you secure your fair share
Georgia is an ‘equitable distribution’ state, meaning that in a divorce, assets are to be distributed fairly – but that doesn’t always mean an exact 50/50 split. In general, the longer a couple has been married, the more equal that asset division should be. However a judge typically takes a range of other factors into consideration.
The two most common mistakes in a high asset divorce
In even the best of circumstances, emotions can run high. Sure you’re angry with your spouse for problems leading to the divorce. Depriving them of their share of the assets may seem like a good way to get back at them. But a seasoned family attorney knows that reason, rather than emotion, is a smarter approach. In fact, whoever brings the most drama into a courtroom is least likely to win the judge’s favor.
The second common mistake is skipping over steps or details to get things over with as quickly as possible. Yes, you want to put this difficult time behind you. But neglecting to work for what is rightfully yours can be followed by years of regret.
This game can be played two ways
The first way is to work with your divorce attorney in appraising and listing all relevant assets, then deciding what you want, as well as what you’re willing to live with. Then your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will attempt to negotiate a mutually-agreeable settlement.
If that simply doesn’t work out, a trial may be the only way to resolve the differences. But however hard your attorney works on your behalf, there’s risk in putting matters in the hands of a judge who barely knows you or your spouse.
Knowing what to typically expect in scenarios like yours, your family law attorney can advise you whether going to trial makes sense in your case.
Your family law attorney can advise you whether going to trial makes sense in your case.
What types of assets are subject to division between the spouses?
Individually-held and jointly-held bank accounts; financial investments; retirement accounts (such as an IRA or 401(k)); homes; real estate; trusts; jewelry; furnishings; club memberships; pensions; business ownership stakes; stock options; deferred compensation; and future earning potential.
Also, in the Discovery phase, your attorney will look into whether either party owns assets that they’re trying to keep ‘hidden’ from their spouse or the court.
Assessing, valuing and attempting to divide assets is a complex endeavor, which your attorney will attempt to simplify for any court proceeding.
What other factors are taken into consideration?
The couple’s standard of living; their ages; the proposed living arrangements of minor children; the current and future needs of each spouse; the overall value of assets; current debt; prenuptial agreements; spousal and child support claims; and the role of each spouse as a wage earner, parent and homemaker.
Courts also consider whether someone achieved professional licenses or advanced degrees while being supported by their spouse.
Have questions or concerns about how to proceed with a high asset divorce?