Check out these 3 common divorce questions to learn about the divorce process in Georgia. Then call Hall & Navarro today for a legal consultation.
1) What will happen to my personal belongings in a divorce?
I got a call the other day from a client who had some personal belongings they had questions about in their divorce case. In Georgia, your personal property, including pictures, clothes, any items in your home, may still be considered marital property. It’s very important that you take your time to itemize all of your personal belongings, tell us where they came from, track who bought those items, whether they were gifts, and whether you purchased those prior to your marriage. All of those things are important to know as we’re figuring out what should happen with those personal belongings. Ultimately, the court is going to take your list of personal belongings and your spouse’s list of personal belongings and look to see which ones are easy fixes. You keep your clothes. Your spouse keeps their clothes. Those are the easy ones. The not so easy ones may be if you have boats, motors, trailers, jet skis— all of the things that you still want to maintain but that are just items of personal property that you may have received during your marriage.
The court is then going to look at what equity you have in those pieces of personal property. Do you have jet skis that are paid for? Those may be of value to the marital estate and the judge is going to divide those equitably, so whatever is fair, divide those between the parties at any final trial. You can also reach an agreement to split certain pieces of personal property and our courts really do encourage you to do that. In Georgia, if you have an agreement as to who keeps the jet ski and who keeps the RV, well, the court is going to sign off on that so long as it seems to be fair. We would ask that we narrow down during your case, narrow down your personal items to what you may be okay with the other party keeping or what you want to keep in your possession and to the extent you’ve reached an agreement, the trail court is going to sign off on that. If you’re not able to reach an agreement on certain items of property, the court considers that like any other asset and is going to divide that fairly and equitably under Georgia law.
2) Will I have to give my ex half of my business if we own the business together before our divorce?
I represent several people who are business owners who are going through a divorce and their first question to me is usually what will happen to their business as a result of a divorce. Am I going to have to remain business partners with my soon to be ex-spouse? What exactly is going to happen to my business? This is a huge concern. One, one spouse can buy out the other spouse out of the business so that they are not business partners anymore. The court can value the business and simply market it and sell it. Ideally, what you would want to do if you’re a business owner going through a divorce, you would want to talk with your spouse. Do your very best to reach an agreement as to how that business is either distributed, dissolved or maintained where your spouse agrees to a certain number, a certain amount to be bought out so that the business can continue. You rarely want to leave it up to a judge to direct you as to what’s going to happen to your business that you worked at years and years and years. Ideally, it’s better, if you can, to reach an agreement. This is a very complicated question.
3) Will my spouse be required to pay my legal fees for divorce?
I had a client call recently about whether or not her soon to be ex-husband was going to be required to pay the legal fees for the cost of the divorce in Georgia. There is no mandatory requirement in our state to have the opposing party pay the attorney fees. That is 100% at the discretion of the court. When I file for divorce, I always ask that my client be reimbursed for the legal fees that he or she incurs in pursuing the divorce, but ultimately, that is up to a superior court judge.
Are you or a loved one in the process of a divorce in Statesboro, Springfield, or Swainsboro and have questions aside from our 3 common divorce questions? Contact the experienced Georgia divorce lawyers at Hall & Navarro today for a consultation and case evaluation. We can help get your life back on track.