Selling a house in a divorce

Selling a house in a divorce

Who gets the house in a divorce in Georgia?

The short answer is there is no easy answer. Judges have complete discretion in their decisions, and divorce courts in Georgia are courts of equity.

That means the court will focus on providing fairness to both parties. But according to Atlanta Divorce Attorney Anthony M. Zezima, fair is not the same thing as equal.

Separate property vs. marital property

Georgia is considered an equitable distribution state.

Equitable distribution means courts divide divorcing couples’ assets by carefully reviewing an inventory of assets owned by each spouse and dividing them however the court deems fair.

The Georgia-based Siemon Law Firm explains that the court will categorize the couple’s assets as separate or marital property.

Separate property is typically any property owned by either spouse before the marriage. Usually, the court will not divide most separate property between the spouses.

Marital property is property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage. Even if only one spouse’s name is on the title. All marital property will be divided between the spouses.

There are exceptions to these rules. For example, if one spouse inherited property that was willed specifically to them during the marriage, the court may see that property as separate.

How is marital property divided?

There is no magic one-size-fits-all approach to dividing marital property. It depends on which court and judge you appear before and your unique circumstances.

Again, courts will try to use Georgia’s marital property laws to divide marital property fairly in a divorce.

Here are a few things your judge might consider, according to the Siemon Law Firm and Anthony M. Zezima:

  • Each spouse's separate assets and debts   
  • Your ages, health, education, and earning potential
  • Provisions in prenuptial, postnuptial, or separation agreements
  • The amount of Alimony that was awarded to either spouse.
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • How you and your spouse treated each other during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s future needs, including retirement planning
  • Questionable behavior by either spouse that led to wasted assets.

Can I keep my house in a divorce?

Now for a more detailed answer to our earlier question: Who gets the house in a divorce in Georgia?

Let’s assume your house is marital property—either you got the house during the marriage, or your spouse’s name was added to the deed after your wedding.

If you have children, the court may award the house to the custodial parent—the spouse with primary physical custody of the kids.

The answer to the question could also depend on who initiated the divorce. For example, if one spouse pushed for it, the judge might sympathize with the other and choose not to make them leave the house.

There are a lot of potential outcomes that depend on each couple’s unique situation and the judge who presides over their case.

Your judge and other court officials will try to reach a fair decision, but many divorcing couples choose not to let the court decide the fate of their property.

Going to court is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful.

Some alternatives are to meet outside a courtroom and negotiate without the judge, or you can ask a mediator to step in and help you find some middle ground.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll likely find some assets, like houses are hard to divide.

Selling a house in a divorce

One avenue you may consider is selling your house.

Selling a house in a divorce is an excellent option if you are okay with simply splitting the cash or debt left over after the sale.

Whether you split a profit or liability depends on how much equity you have in your house compared to the amount you still owe on the mortgage.

If you haven’t already, the first place to start is to ask an attorney. They can help you cover your options, set up a plan, and begin the conversation.

If you decide to sell, We Buy Ugly Houses® would be happy to look at your house! We buy houses with potential from sellers who need a fast solution, and we buy “as is.”

We’re not afraid of buying a house that is being sold during a divorce. So call us today at 866-200-6475. You can also leave your phone number on our online form to sell a house in a divorce in Atlanta.