The division of property can be complex. Under current law, the property is first classified as being either separate property of a particular spouse or the marital property belonging to both spouses. Marital property is subject to “equitable division” between the spouses. Equitable is often thought of as that which is equal however is too simplistic. Equitable is often equal but equal is not in all cases the most equitable division based upon all the facts and circumstances and the court may determine it to be more equitable to divide the marital property in a manner that is not 50/50.
Separate property is the property that a party entered the marriage with or inherited during the marriage or received by a party by a party as a gift during the marriage by someone other than the other spouse. To qualify irrefutably as Separate Property the property must at all times remain in the sole name of the spouse claiming that property to be his/her separate property. If that spouse after the marriage transfers ownership in whole or in part to the other party then the property so transferred is deemed to have been gifted to the marital unit and both parties may assert an equitable claim to that property. Also if marital property is gifted by one spouse to the other that gift does not make that marital property item the non-marital or the separate property of the recipient spouse by virtue of that gift. The gifted property remains marital and subject to equitable division.
As stated at the beginning it can get very complex so it is important to have a mediator that understands the principles of equitable division that are involved in the mediation.
As with all issues involved in a divorce, the equitable division of the marital assets can be done by agreement and without contest. These issues can and should be settled through negotiation and mediation when possible and Michael J. King’s experience and and abilities as Mediator will prove invaluable in finding the resolution that the parties feel is in their mutual best interest.
For more information and to learn how to best proceed to Mediate these issues of equitable division of property or any issue involved in a divorce call Michael J. King, Atlanta’s expert divorce Mediator attorney at 770-662-0600 and schedule your Mediation.
Georgia: The Equitable Distribution State
The state of Georgia is recognized as an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that property will be divided based on fairness, not specifically on what is equal. The Superior Court in Georgia will take the following steps in proceeding with your case:
• First, your case will go through a discovery process in order to classify the property and debts as either marital or separate.
• Second, the court will determine a monetary value on the marital property and debt.
• Third, the court will award to each party that party’s Separate Property then divide the Marital Property between the parties in the manner the trier of fact deems “equitable”.
Step three is avoidable. You can decide these issues between you and your spouse and the court will accept your agreement and make that a part of the court’s order. The way to get to an agreement is often through Mediation if you have the right Mediator for the task. Michael J. King is that Mediator.
If you cannot come to terms on the division of property in your case you need the help of a good Mediator, contact Michael J. King, Atlanta’s divorce Mediator, at 770-662-0600.