couple sitting next to each other behind divorce papers and wedding rings

FAQs: High-Asset Divorce

Although all divorces usually come with a complicated set of emotions, things become even more difficult during times of a high-asset divorce. When a couple shares multiple houses and other assets in Georgia, it is important to find answers to some of the most common questions associated with this type of split.

What if My Spouse is Hiding Assets?

In Georgia, spouses must disclose all aspects of their finances and divide all marital property. However, there are times when one spouse may attempt to hide things. For example, there may be unreported income or undisclosed financial statements. Also, there may be hidden retirement accounts. While working with a divorce attorney, it is possible to gather all documents and information that reveal the exact amount of debt, income, and ownership within the marriage. Through "discovery," you and your lawyer can request financial documents and can inspect property to assess hidden items.

Who Gets the Home?

Some states make divorce simpler than others. Certain states believe in common property. This is not the case in Georgia. In other words, property acquired during a marriage is not automatically owned equally by husband and wife. Georgia courts determine marital property and separate property. Separate property includes inheritance, gifts, and items owned before marriage. On the other hand, marital property usually includes anything acquired during the union. The courts examine certain aspects when dividing marital property.

  • Finances of husband versus wife
  • Health and age of husband and wife
  • Future needs of husband and wife

What Happens When Numerous Businesses are Involved?

There are certain instances where married couples own multiple businesses. Since businesses involve assets and debt, splitting them can be difficult. It is essential to determine the property's value, the amount of debt, and the cash flow. If one spouse does not want to be involved with the businesses, the other spouse may buy the other party out. Another option is performing a business liquidation. An experienced lawyer can make sure that you receive your deserved share.

How Much Alimony Will Be Awarded?

In the beginning of divorce proceedings, a judge may award temporary alimony to one spouse. After the divorce is finalized, either party may receive a permanent payment amount. This financial support depends on a number of factors:

  • Standard of living
  • Spouse salaries
  • Earning capacity of the supported spouse
  • Contribution to the marriage
  • Health and age of husband and wife
  • Length of marriage

In Georgia, alimony may be terminated when the spouse who is receiving the payments begins to live with someone new.

What Happens with Stock Options that Vest Over a Future Period of Time?

In most instances, one party will not need to split all stock options with the other party. The courts use a formula to determine the amount that is owed to one spouse. An experienced attorney can review the option agreement and determine how things can be split.

Will a Prenup Be Upheld?

If a prenuptial agreement exists, it is crucial to share it with your attorney. This professional will review the document and ask questions about it. If the agreement can be enforced, the court will follow it. The only exceptions involve custody and child support issues that may not be included.

Why is it Important to Work with a Lawyer Who is Familiar with High-Asset Divorces?

Before selecting a divorce attorney, it is essential to uncover whether or not this professional has experience dealing with high-asset divorces. A high asset divorce is usually classified in this manner when the couple holds more than $1 million in liquid assets. These cases take time to settle. It is vital to consider the tax applications as well. Having the appropriate team on your side will make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer for your case will ensure a fair settlement. Getting help early will keep problems from arising.

At Harmon Caldwell, we understand the complications involved with high asset divorces. If you need assistance, we are waiting to help. Call us today at (404) 882-7263 to schedule an initial consultation.