Asset Division Non-Economic Contributions
When a married couple decides to divorce in Georgia, asset division is just one of the many things they need to consider. It can get especially challenging when the spouses do not agree on how to divide joint property or when one party’s contributions to the marriage were more non-economic in nature.
If you are currently going through a divorce and expect this to be an issue, it is a good idea to retain the best divorce lawyers in Atlanta as soon as possible.
Understanding Equitable Distribution
Under normal circumstance, both spouses in a divorce situation have the right to a portion of joint assets they acquired during the marriage. The title of the property can be in the name of only one spouse or both spouses and fall under the classification of marital property. Assets that either party owned prior to the marriage, such as an inheritance from a relative, typically remain under that person’s sole ownership.
Family law in Georgia operates under the premise of equitable distribution. If the divorcing couple cannot agree on how to divide their assets, a judge will make the ruling for them. It is important to understand that equitable does not mean that each spouse receives exactly 50 percent of everything. Rather, it refers to what the judge considers fair after taking several factors into consideration. One of these is non-economic contributions.
What is a Non-Economic Contribution and How Does It Affect Divorce Settlements?
In some marriages, one spouse works full-time while the other stays at home to care for the couple’s children. Although neither the husband nor the wife has a more important role in this scenario, only one member of the couple earns an income. However, he or she could not do that without the unpaid childcare provided by the spouse.
Another example of a non-economic contribution is when one spouse owns a business and the other offers several ideas that help the company grow. That spouse may have also provided services for the business that he or she did not receive direct reimbursement for, such as bookkeeping or scheduling appointments. This is an example of what is known as active appreciation.
The best divorce lawyers in Atlanta will attempt to influence the judge’s decision by demonstrating that the business owned by one spouse would not have reached its current state of financial success without the non-economic contributions of the other spouse. As the judge considers multiple factors when determining asset division, retaining an experienced family law attorney is essential.
A lawyer can also argue against one spouse gaining a large share of the joint assets through passive appreciation. An example of this is when one person buys a piece of land and its value increases over the years due only to market conditions and not his or her efforts. A judge would be less likely to grant a greater share of the assets to the other partner because neither had a substantial role in the increased value or the property.
Do You Want to Be Represented by the Best Divorce Lawyers in Atlanta?
The more joint assets you have, the more you stand to lose in a divorce. We invite you to contact Daniele Johnson & Associates today to request a free consultation about your case.
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