Divorcing couples in Georgia have a lot to think about during a divorce, including how to divide property. One of the trickiest things to divide is equity. Equity is usually found in real estate and is the difference between what the real estate is actually worth and the amount that is due on any mortgages held against the real estate.
How is Property Divided in Georgia?
In Georgia, spouses must split their property. The judge usually will decide on how to divide property in a fair manner. The court looks at certain factors when deciding upon a fair division of the property including each person's needs and their contributions to the marriage.
For example, when dividing equity, the court may look at which spouse contributed more money to the actual purchase price of the property. However, this is not the only factor that the court considers when dividing the equity in the home. The court will also look at the marital and non-marital assets of both spouses and the incomes of both spouses.
Other issues that will come up when dividing the equity in the home is whether one of the spouses will stay in the house or whether the house will be sold and the profits divided.
In the alternative, the divorcing couple can come to an agreement on the division of the equity in the home themselves instead of relying on the court to make the determination. This agreement will be presented to the court and if the court determines that it is fair, the agreement will be honored.
Options for Home Equity Division
People have a variety of options when dividing the home equity beyond splitting it fifty-fifty. First, the couple must establish the value of the home. The parties can either agree on the value or use other methods such as relying on an appraiser, a realtor or the tax assessed value of the home. Then the divorcing couple must finalize the amount due on any mortgages against the property.
Divorcing spouses have many options when it comes to dividing the equity in the home. For example, if one spouse stays in the home and retains all of the equity, the other spouse can be awarded other marital assets to make up for the difference in assets. People can also decide to sell the property immediately or in the future.
An important thing to remember when going through a divorce and trying to divide assets is to work with experienced professionals. A family law attorney can help people dealing with divorce protect their rights, determine the best option for them and assure that marital property is divided fairly.