Going through a divorce is always challenging, but it can be slightly less stressful if you know what to expect. Here are three things to know if you are going to file for divorce.
1. Property division is not always 50/50
There is a common misconception that divorcing couples can simply split their property down the middle, with each spouse walking away with exactly half of what they owned together. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, so the division of marital property does not have to be equal. Instead, the courts divide property based on each party’s separate assets, earning ability and alimony, among other factors.
2. You may end up with unexpected debts
Many divorcing individuals face a surprise when discovering that an ex-spouse built up debt during the marriage. Unfortunately, that debt becomes part of the marital property and faces division along with all other assets and marital debts. In some cases, the divorcing spouse who was not responsible for the debt may end up having to pay for it as part of the divorce settlement.
3. You do not have to end up in court
While some divorces are highly emotional and contested, they do not always have to end up in the courtroom. Many couples choose to use divorce mediation to decide on child custody, property division, spousal support and other issues without the need for the courts’ intervention.
If you are considering filing for divorce, understanding how the process really works can be helpful in having realistic expectations for your own outcome.