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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Property division issues should be addressed before divorce

Hindsight is 20/20. This is perhaps more true in matters of marriage and divorce than in any other arena. The old adage is appropriate, however, when it comes to the financial ramifications of a divorce. When a Georgia couple is faced with the need to address property division matters, a degree of preplanning can go a long way toward a successful outcome.

In handling property division, the focus is often on protecting one’s assets from the other spouse. A better way to look at the process would be to work together to retain as much of the family’s assets as possible, so as to have more to put toward the goals of each individual spouse once the divorce is final. Excessive litigation can quickly deplete one’s financial holdings. By outlining how assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce, a great deal of expensive legal wrangling can be avoided.

Couples can formalize the allocation of assets in a number of ways. For those that have yet to wed, a prenuptial agreement is the best approach. For couples who are already married, similar protections can be written into a postnuptial agreement. These documents can be tailored to the specific needs of each couple. For example, in marriages where there are children from a previous marriage, a written agreement can outline how the parent plans to pass certain of their separately owned assets to those children.

Taking steps to clearly define which assets belong to each spouse and how property division would be handled in the event of a divorce, couples are making wise decisions about their financial future. In many cases, these protections will never be called into play. However, in the event that a Georgia marriage ends in divorce, having these matters already outlined within a legal document can make the process easier for all involved.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: When You Earn More Than Your Husband,” Jeff Landers, April 10, 2013