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    What Is the Division of Property?

    Division of property refers to the process of separating and splitting assets and debts between spouses during a divorce. This involves identifying all marital property accumulated during the marriage and developing a plan to divide it equitably between both parties through divorce court. 

    How Does Property Division Work?

    There are several steps in the property division process:

    • Asset identification: All assets including real estate, financial accounts, businesses, pensions, personal property, and more are identified. Debts are also identified.
    • Asset valuation: Each asset and liability is assigned a fair market dollar value. This may require appraisals, financial statements, tax returns, and other documentation.
    • Classification: Assets and debts are classified as separate or marital property. Separate property is excluded from division.
    • Distribution: An equitable distribution is proposed, either by agreement or court order if parties cannot agree. The distribution divides all marital property and debts.
    • Implementation: The division plan is implemented by retitling assets, refinancing loans, filing transfers, dividing payments, etc.

    Types of Property 

    The types of property subject to division during a divorce case can vary depending on jurisdiction, but generally, it includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. Here are common categories of property that may be subject to division:

    • Real Estate: Homes and other real property that were acquired during the marriage.
    • Personal Property: Furniture, appliances, electronics, jewelry, and other personal possessions obtained during the marriage.
    • Financial Assets: Bank accounts, savings, investments, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts accumulated during the marriage.
    • Income and Earnings: Income earned by either spouse during the marriage, including salaries, bonuses, and business income.
    • Business Interests: Ownership interests in businesses or professional practices established or acquired during the marriage.
    • Pensions and Benefits: Retirement benefits, pensions, 401(k) plans, and other employee benefits accrued during the marriage.
    • Debts: Liabilities such as mortgages, loans, credit card debt, and other financial obligations incurred during the marriage.
    • Intellectual Property: Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property developed or acquired during the marriage.
    • Vehicles: Cars, motorcycles, boats, and other vehicles purchased during the marriage.
    • Household Debts: Debts related to the maintenance of the household, such as utilities, property taxes, and home improvement loans.
    • Gifts and Inheritances: Depending on jurisdiction, gifts and inheritances received by one spouse may be considered separate property, but the increase in value during the marriage may be subject to division.

    It’s essential to note that the laws governing the division of property vary by jurisdiction, and some jurisdictions may have community property laws, which presume that both spouses equally own all property acquired during the marriage. Others, like Georgia, follow equitable distribution principles, where the goal is a fair and just division of debt and property based on various factors.

    How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?

    Before entering into divorce proceedings, individuals should consult with legal professionals to understand the specific laws in their jurisdiction and to navigate the complexities of property division. An experienced divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance with property division by:

    • Helping locate all marital assets and debts
    • Determining accurate valuations and classifications 
    • Negotiating a fair property settlement
    • Drafting a division contract or litigating if no agreement is reached
    • Overseeing the legal implementation process
    • Enforcing violations if a spouse does not comply

    The property division lawyers at FBA Law Firm have extensive expertise in asset identification, business valuation, forensic accounting, and complex property division cases. We help clients understand their rights and advocate aggressively to achieve favorable outcomes. With us by your side, you can make property division during your divorce as fair and smooth as possible. Contact our office today to get started.