When you are going through a divorce in Georgia, it can seem like your whole life is unraveling around you. Property division contributes to this feeling, and the prospect of losing your assets can make you feel like you are losing control. However, it is important to understand that there are strict rules that protect spouses in Georgia, and you can keep certain assets without having to sell them or divide them with your former spouse. What about jewelry? How is this asset divided in a Georgia divorce?
While some might think that jewelry is a relatively minor matter in a divorce, these assets can represent a tremendous monetary value for some couples, especially those with a high net worth. Dividing these assets fairly and properly may be a significant priority for many former spouses. If you are serious about making sure you get your fair share when the jewelry is divided, it makes sense to enlist the help of a qualified attorney.
Georgia is an Equitable Division State
The first thing you need to know is that Georgia follows a system of equitable division when it comes to divorce. This means that all property is divided “fairly” and not necessarily in an equal manner. Judges will take many factors into account when dividing property in an effort to make sure that this process is handled in a satisfactory way for everyone.
Equitable division does not mean “equal” division. Unlike community property states, Georgia does not simply divide all assets in a 50/50 manner. One of the key factors here is whether or not you owned the jewelry prior to the marriage. If you did, then the jewelry is considered “separate property,” and you will not have to divide it with your former spouse.
Was the Jewelry a Present?
Gifts are always excluded from equitable distribution. If one spouse gave the jewelry to another during the marriage, then the receiving spouse always gets to keep it. In addition, a spouse who receives jewelry from someone other than their spouse also gets to keep it. Inheritance is also excluded from equitable distribution, which means that a spouse who inherits jewelry during the marriage also does not need to divide it during a divorce.
Did the Spouse Purchase the Jewelry for Themselves?
If a spouse purchased jewelry for themselves during the marriage, these assets are classified as marital property. Any property that is accumulated during the marriage is subject to equitable division. This means if you treated yourself to a new diamond necklace or a fancy wristwatch, you will likely have to sell it and divide the proceeds with your spouse, especially if the items are very expensive.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching Georgia for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. We have considerable experience with divorces in Georgia, and we can help you approach the process of property division in the most effective way possible. We understand that jewelry can be a major source of wealth for couples, and we will help you get your fair share. Reach out and book your consultation today.