If you are going through a divorce with children involved—whether the children are minors or adults—you may be wondering how division of property will work. The outcome will differ depending on a variety of factors. They include whether the children are yours, your spouse’s, or yours together. Also, it depends on whether or not you have a prenuptial agreement in place.
In a Divorce with Children and Own a Home?
When minor children are involved, the Georgia courts may decide to postpone the sale of the family’s home until the youngest of the children reaches age 18. This means the parents may be waiting on equity they cannot access for a period of time. Also, it means the children will have a stable, secure place they can call home until they become adults.
As with child custody, division of property when children are involved in the divorce falls under the umbrella of “whatever is in the best interests of the children.” Of course, prenuptial agreements provide a way to establish the financial and property rights of each spouse if the marriage ends in divorce. Once children are involved, the family home can become a “safe zone” if the court decides—regardless of what was stated in the prenuptial agreement. Once the children are adults, the prenuptial agreement will determine what happens to the family home.
Division of Property: What It Covers and Does Not Cover
In Georgia, the court accepts a fair property division to which both parties agree. However, in the case that parties cannot come to an agreement, the court will divide property using “equitable distribution.” Keep in mind, “equitable” does not mean equal, or a perfect split down the middle. To the Georgia courts, equitable means fair.
Each spouse will keep his or her separate property—the property with which they came into the marriage. The court will equitably divide the shared property they acquired during the marriage.
Separate property in marriage the parties can keep following the divorce includes:
- Personal or real property owned prior to marriage
- Personal gifts
The shared property included in equitable distribution during the divorce process includes:
- Real or personal property acquired during marriage
- Other employment benefits
Parents and courts should never consider children as “property” to be divided and they can also not be a part of a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements cannot determine child custody, child support awards or visitation rights for current or future children who are a result of the relationship.
For all of these issues related to children, a judge will make the decisions based on the best interests of the child—only after reviewing current evidence and testimony. This makes it impossible for the inclusion of this decision in a contract written in the beginning of the marriage. Because the judge considers the needs of the children at the exact time of the divorce, pre-determined contractual terms are irrelevant.
At Reeder Law Firm, our lawyers are knowledgeable regarding property division and divorce with children involved. It is our goal to ensure you understand the issues and how the laws may affect you and your children.
Need more information about divorce with children in the state of Georgia? Our team of family law attorneys at the Alpharetta office of Reeder Law Firm is here to help. Call (770) 475-2521 for a free consultation or to ask your questions about divorce with children involved.