If you’re considering, or are filing for divorce, you may be wondering how division of assets in divorce are handled in Atlanta and what are your options when you’re in a divorce splitting assets with your spouse.
Filing For Divorce In Georgia: What Is The Divorce Process?
So you’ve found yourself thinking “I want a divorce” or wondering how to get a divorce in Georgia and looking for the steps to divorce. We understand completely, so we hope that we can give you a brief overview on the divorce process to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Whether you’re going to use a divorce lawyer in Georgia or you’re going to have a “do it yourself” divorce, you should be aware of the divorce process and steps to divorce. If you file for a divorce in Atlanta, Georgia it can be simple, but it isn’t always.
When you file for a divorce in Georgia, the divorce process is pretty similar to those in other states and jurisdictions. In all cases, you’ll be severing your marriage and splitting your assets and debts — that means your house! There are many other factors than just who gets to stay in the house during a divorce, such as minor children or alimony costs. Some people even opt to a do it yourself divorce, or a DIY divorce. This can sometimes add undue stress and there are three requirements when trying to complete a do it yourself divorce. However, in order to get a fast divorce, follow these divorce tips!
To begin the divorce process, you or your spouse has to be a resident of Georgia. You will file in the superior court of the county in which you live. Sounds easy enough so far, right?
Procedurally, things can get sticky very quickly. Sometimes people need advice or tips when going through the divorce process, so we’ve included divorce tips to help you in this difficult time. This is when much of the fighting begins because this is when you decide on what to do with the kids and assets. You’ll have to decide who gets what during this phase of divorce. With an uncontested divorce, people can fly by this step because they’ve already agreed on all issues, so their Petition for Divorce (with other supporting documents) can be filed and settled rather quickly, making for an easy divorce. All couples filing for divorce in Georgia will have to send these documents to the Superior Court and copies will be sent to your spouse. You and your spouse will then attend a court hearing where the judge crosses some T’s and dots some I’s to make sure all the paperwork is all set. She will then enter your Final Judgement and Decree of Divorce.
When going through a divorce in Georgia, you’ll be asked the grounds for divorce. Most people stick with no-fault divorce because it makes filing for divorce in Georgia easier. And everyone is looking to have an easy divorce. In the Petition for Divorce, you simply state that the “marriage of the parties is irrevocably broken.” However, if this grounds for divorce is used, the court is unable to finalize the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce until 30 days after your spouse is served with the divorce.
Now, there are some traditional fault-based grounds for divorce when filing for divorce in Georgia. These add complexity to the divorce process because they require proof, so many people don’t bother with pursuing it. However, it is possible.
As for alimony in Georgia, according to Georgia law, alimony can be rewarded according to the needs of the party seeking alimony, the other party’s ability to pay, and any “evidence of the conduct of each party toward the other.” In many instances, the court must look at evidence at the cause of separation, even if you filed for Georgia’s no-fault divorce.
As for separating real property, we’ve included a more in depth look at how to split the house in Georgia below.
Filing For Divorce In Georgia: How To Split The House
Literally splitting a house is actually not possible. I know – you’ve seen the oversized trucks driving down the highway hauling half a house, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is what’s the best strategy if you’re going through a divorce splitting assets. We know you’re wondering “who gets what in a divorce?” So if you’re selling your home during a divorce, read on.
The first step, if you’re in the beginning stages of going through a divorce in Atlanta, Georgia, is to sit down with your spouse and conjure up a separation agreement with your divorce lawyers to figure out the division of assets in divorce. If you’re still on talking terms, figuring this out together before you meet with your divorce lawyers will go a long way in making the divorce process fast and easy.
And if you’re opting for a “do it yourself divorce,” be sure to make time and be professional when coming together to draft your separation agreement. Divorce lawyers are commonly used among those who can’t agree on just about anything. So if you and your spouse are taking the DIY divorce route, make sure you both are fine with open communication!
Once you’ve started thinking about who gets what in a divorce between you two, the question you will have to answer is “What happens to the house in a divorce?”
Filing for a divorce in Atlanta,Georgia can be stressful, lonely, and depressing. This is why we’ve compiled divorce tips to help make this transition easier for you.
What Happens To The House In A Divorce
What you decide to do with your house during the divorce process in Georgia could go multiple ways. You could:
- Sell during a divorce with a Realtor
- rent out the property for cash flow
- pay off your spouse and continue living in the property
- sell it to an investor quickly for a fast and easy divorce settlement
Filing for a divorce and going through the divorce process is hard enough as it is without complicating it with who gets the house in the divorce.
Some questions that you will have to ask yourself (and your spouse) are:
- What happens to the house in a divorce?
- How long are we okay with the house being on the market?
- Who will pick the Realtor?
- Who will negotiate and pick the final offer?
- How will the income be split fairly from the sale?
- Who will pick the contractors to fix the house?
- Who will pay for the contractors to fix the house?
- Who will manage the contractors during fixing up the house?
- Who will clean the house regularly for showings?
- Who is going to pack stuff into boxes and organize it?
- Who is going to pay for mortgage, utilities, maintenance, etc.?
- Can either one of you afford to own the property alone?
This can be overwhelming, we know. Sometimes these aren’t even things that you knew you had to think about when going through the divorce process in Atlanta, Georgia. We’ve compiled a list of divorce tips we’ve heard from others we’ve helped.
Now, let’s go through what your options are with your house to give you a better understanding of how to navigate the waters.
Selling Your Home With A Realtor
Selling your house during divorce with a Realtor has its pros and cons.
On one hand, a great Realtor who has ample experience in selling houses going through the divorce process can easily hold your hand, help you make the most well informed decisions on selling your divorce house, and help you sell your house fast in Atlanta.
Finding a good real estate agent is hard enough, let alone a great one, without the complications of a divorce settlement occuring. You’ll have to comb through numerous agents to find the right one for your situation. Remember, spending more time upfront will compress the time it takes to sell your house and make the process of selling your house fast much more simple and painless. You definitely don’t want your divorce process hung up on your house, leaving you wondering, “What if my house won’t sell during a divorce?”
Some criteria for finding the best real estate agent for a divorce are:
- Does the real estate agent have experience with divorces in GA?
- How do their listings compare to their actual sales prices?
- Do they know how to deal with two conflicting people?
- Are they a good listener? Do you feel heard? Or do they just talk over you?
- How well do they know your area? How big is their network?
- What good are they are negotiating?
- Does the Realtor have references?
A great real estate agent, for your situation, will have experience dealing with couples selling a home during divorce in Georgia. With so many real estate agents out there, there’s a great chance that you won’t find one that has dealt with a property in divorce. Most Realtors avoid these types of sales due to the complications of them. Make sure that you know how to hire a great real estate agent for splitting your assets in divorce.
As for not so great Realtors, Atlanta has their fair share. We’ve had many people ask for our help in cases of expired listings, reactive Realtors, and Realtors who were not good at mediating the home selling process between both spouses’ needs. If you’re in the same situation, check out our website to see how you can sell your house fast for cash Atlanta so that you don’t have to spend another day worrying about what happens to the house in a divorce. We’re here to simplify the situation, not add to the divorce process.
Renting Out Your Property During Divorce
Depending on how well you and your spouse get along post filing for divorce, a great way to keep your assets making money for you is to rent out the property instead of splitting the asset during divorce. Renting your house in divorce may also be a great alternative if the market is not doing so great and selling your house while divorcing it would mean you take a loss on the house. You both could rent it out and hold it until the market in Georgia improves, allowing you to sell the house at a profit instead of taking a loss.
You will want to make sure that the rental numbers work and that you are not losing money every month. If that’s the case, you’ll have to cut your losses and sell the property as soon as you can to reduce your risk and your downside. If your property could make significant income monthly, then this could be a great way to save money for your children’s education, their first care, paying for your next home, a car payment, paying off debt, etc. You’ll have to figure out how to run some easy numbers on the property to make sure that it will cash flow for you long term.
Paying Off Your Spouse
Choosing to stay in the property and paying off your spouse for the house can drastically change the cost of divorce for you. One choice has you making money on splitting your assets in divorce to potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to figure out who keeps the house in a divorce.
So once one person has decided they want to buy out the other person’s interest in the house, you’ll need to get an appraisal on the property. Your best bet is to get three different appraisals (one appraiser you chose, one your spouse chooses, and one you both agree on or have referred) and average the three appraisals. This is a little more money upfront, but it allows you to get the best price possible. You don’t want your spouse to choose an appraiser who gives you a price that’s $35,000 more than market value that you have to pay and vice versa. Getting three appraisals is the most fair way to find the value of your home.
Now that you know the value of the divorce assets, you’ll have to do a little math. We have included a Spouse Buyout Calculator out some here. Just ‘Save As’ and plug in the numbers on your own house.
However, a quick run through of the numbers is:
- Divorce Home Value: $100,000
- Remaining Mortgage: $81,500
- Equity: $18,500
- Spouse Buyout: $9,250
In this portion of the divorce planning, you would figure out your separation agreement and write in how you’re splitting the divorce assets. With the above example, you would pay cash or trade equity from other assets (cars, boats, jewelry, furniture, debt, etc.) to pay off the $9,250 to your spouse and then you would take over the mortgage payments from this point on. Make sure that you remember to change over your mortgage into your name only.
Selling Your Home With An Investor
Given that there could be two parties that might not be getting along that well anymore, you are going to want to work with someone who understands the nature of divorce and all the emotional baggage that comes with this stressful life event. The Atlanta home buyer you choose to work with is going to have a certain level of patience, as all communications could be repeated multiple times.
The Atlanta home buyer you decide to work with is a process that should be worked on together. As an investor who has worked with numerous divorcing couples over the years in the business, I have found that if one party selects the investor, the other feels slighted. Human nature kicks in and the natural instinct is to feel that the home buyer is going to play favorites because of an established relationship with one party.
When we buy houses from a divorcing couple I want them both to be present for any interviews or walkthroughs that take place. My number one priority is to buy the home for the most money possible in a reasonable amount of time with the least amount of headaches.
Creating an atmosphere of trust where either party can call me at anytime is very important. Getting a divorce is stressful enough as it is. Adding a home sale on top of it can make you feel like your life is totally upside down. Striving to make the home sale process go as smoothly as possible is always one of my goals.
As an investor who is going to pay cash, not get financing, and not make you fix anything up (you can sell as is) we are able to buy your house is as little as 14 days. However, we know the divorce process is complicated, so we like to work with couples filing for divorce and let you pick a closing date that works best for them. Whether it’s in 14 days or 7 months, you’ll know that your home is sold. That’s one less headache for you during the divorce process.