Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Financial considerations in a Georgia divorce

Money is among the most important issues in both marriage and divorce. The spending and saving habits of spouses can cause problems during the marriage, and financial considerations often drive the divorce process as well. Georgia couples approaching or going through a divorce should keep a close eye on assets and debts to prepare for property division.

The property division process splits assets and debts between the divorcing parties. Courts are not required to make an equal division. Rather, the legal standard is equitable distribution, meaning the court will seek to leave the parties in a position to maintain lifestyles similar to those they enjoyed prior to divorce. The court will attempt to leave the parties on relatively equal footing as well.

Regarding debts, the parties may agree upon the division of debts among themselves. One spouse or the other may agree to assume liability for a debt, for example, in exchange for assets. Division of debt depends upon the amicability of the divorce, the resources of the parties and the asset split.

It's important to note that divorce will not automatically affect joint debts entered into during the course of the marriage. Even if one of the parties agrees to assume responsibility for a particular debt, the other party may remain liable. It is up to the creditor to agree to release one of the parties from the obligation.

Another thing to take into account in property division negotiations is future tax liability. Assets that have appreciated and are subsequently sold will present capital gains issues. Alimony also has tax implications, and attorneys will tell their clients that it is includable in the recipient's income for tax purposes and deductible by the paying party.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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