What Evidence Do Courts Consider When Dividing Property in a Divorce?
In a Georgia divorce, you and your spouse must resolve various issues like property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. If you and your spouse are anything like most divorcing couples, you may have a difficult time coming up with an agreement on these divorce issues.
If this is the case, the court will take charge of resolving these issues and your Cumming divorce attorney must build a solid case that supports your position. As with all contested divorce matters, you will need solid evidence to prove your case.
The Importance of Knowing What’s Marital Property and What’s Non-Marital Property?
Georgia follows the equitable distribution rule, which means all marital property the couples acquire during their married life is subject to equitable distribution. Non-marital or separate property is any property acquired or owned by either spouse before marrying, through gifts from third parties or inheritance, excluded by valid agreements between the spouses. Separate property isn’t subject to property division.
The question of “Who gets what?” in a divorce is understandably common, especially in cases where spouses can’t agree on how they will divide the property among themselves. This is where certain pieces of evidence may be useful.
What Evidence is Needed for Property Distribution?
The spouse claiming certain properties as non-marital must prove their non-marital nature. Otherwise, these properties would be considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. To prove non-marital property, you will need to present evidence and show a paper trail tracing all the separate properties. Evidence can include the following:
- Income tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
- Property deeds
- Property valuations
- Vehicle titles
- Retirement account statements
- Stock portfolio balances
When a business is involved, evidence can also include financial documentation regarding the business, including business formation documents, inventory, accounts receivable, and other relevant financial statements.
Showing a clear paper trail through tracing involves connecting the dots, beginning with the original non-marital property, through every transaction, and leading up to the acquisition of the property. By identifying every transaction, you can clearly demonstrate that the property in question was acquired using your original non-marital property.
The tracing report must detail the outflows, inflows, and fund transfers to trace any withdrawals related to the property acquisition and establish each of the non-marital and marital property estates up until the present date.
Consult With an Experienced Cumming Divorce Attorney Now
If you’re having issues with property division, you must work with a Cumming divorce attorney who can properly characterize, value, and trace property to make sure that your non-marital property will not be lost, in part or whole, to your spouse.
At Banks, Stubbs & McFarland, our experienced Cumming divorce attorneys take a more proactive approach when building our clients’ divorce cases. They will create a strategy to locate and preserve vital evidence needed to prove your case. To learn more about your case and schedule a free consultation with our Cumming divorce attorney, call 770-887-1209 or fill out our online contact form.