When people get married, they agree to live together and share their resources. Frequently, married couples choose to purchase real estate together. They may want to have a home when they raise a family, or they may simply want to develop equity in real property rather than paying rent to a landlord each month.
At the end of a marriage, when people start thinking about the practicality of divorce, their real property is often a primary concern. No one wants to lose the home that they sacrificed for years to purchase, especially not to a spouse who hurt or disappointed them.
Major assets are not winner-take-all items
The myths surrounding property division and real estate are rather insidious. Many people have heard the urban legend that the person who gives up and moves out of the marital home first will lose their interest in the property. However, that would not be a very fair solution, and Georgia’s law requires the equitable distribution of marital property.
To reach a fair solution for assets that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, a little bit of creativity is often necessary. If one person keeps the marital home, they often have to refinance the mortgage to offer the other spouse an appropriate amount of home equity. In some cases, other valuable assets can play a role in offsetting the value of home equity when a couple divorces.
People can either agree with their spouse about specific solutions or they can litigate and have a judge interpret state law after reviewing an inventory of the household assets and debts.
Setting a realistic goal is a good move early in the divorce process
Those who recognize that sharing the home will be the likely outcome of property division matters can then start to think about what would the best outcome look like for them and their future needs. Many people eventually reach the conclusion that they do not want to keep the home, while others can use their ambivalence on the matter as leverage during the property division negotiation process.
Understanding what to expect during a Georgia divorce can benefit those who are preparing to negotiate or litigate in pursuit of a fair divorce settlement. An experienced legal professional can provide guidance on this score at any time.