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Alpharetta Family Law Blog

The importance of virtual assets in divorce

Considering division of property in divorce, most people think of things like homes, cars, jewelry and other tangible items. However, there are other assets that are just as important in divorce: Virtual assets.

While just as important as tangible assets, virtual assets are more complicated to divide in divorce. If you have significant virtual assets and are facing a divorce in Georgia, the most important thing you can do is talk with a sophisticated attorney who understands the complications involved and can protect your interests.

Prenups for blended families

Georgia residents who are preparing to walk down the aisle for the second or subsequent time should give strong consideration to creating a prenuptial agreement. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the fact that a remarriage is happening gives proof to the fact that even the most promising marriages may end in divorce. Couples preparing to marry again simply cannot avoid this reality. A prenuptial agreement can help to outline asset division if the new marriage also ends in divorce.

Smart Stepfamilies explains that there is another reason that prenups may be wise for remarried couples - the children. When a person comes into a new relationship with children from a previous one, there is a logical need to protect the children's future inheritences. Each spouse may well want to outline certain belongings or assets to their own biological children. These provisions can be enforced if the couple divorces but also if the couple stays married and one or both spouses die. In this way, a prenuptial agreement can become a useful estate planning tool as well as protection in the event of divorce.

Life insurance and divorce

While a couple is discussing property division and considering how their Georgia divorce will affect their finances, one of the topics they may need to include in that conversation is life insurance. According to Protective.com, a policy may be a marital asset that should be divided, if it has a cash value. If not, a person who already owns a policy may want to change the beneficiary, rather than leaving the benefits to a former spouse.

Ameriprise.com points out that sometimes, a judge will rule that a former spouse must be kept on as beneficiary of the policy. This may occur because it ensures that necessary financial support such as alimony will continue after the death of the person who was ordered to pay it. Some may find that keeping an ex-spouse as a beneficiary is preferable to changing the designation to the estate, or to minor children. Whether a parent is paying or receiving child support, making sure the children are cared for is often tied up in the financial health of the other parent, and maintaining that person as the beneficiary is one way to provide after death.

How age may affect your child’s post-divorce needs

During your child custody case in Georgia, one of the judge’s primary concerns will be making the decisions that are in your child’s best interests. To do this, he or she must consider the state of your child’s emotions, developmental stage and psychological needs. We at the Siemon Law Firm often provide advice to parents who are concerned about how the custody agreement may affect their child’s mental and emotional health.

According to Psychology Today, children of all ages need to know that they are not to blame for their parents’ divorce. Experts also recommend providing some level of routine and consistency in order to recover from the changes that a divorce brings. Naturally, a teenager does not need as much structure as a young child. But, even at this stage, a young person needs to be notified ahead of time about changes that will be made, and the specific ways that these will affect his or her life.

When your marital property includes mineral rights

Identifying and valuating all the assets you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage in Georgia may be a complex process involving a variety of professionals. We at The Siemon Law Firm have answered many questions about how the court may approach the division of marital property based on many factors in your marriage, and the strategies that couples have used to reach a fair settlement.

When it comes to real estate, your divorce agreement must include the value of the land itself and the residential or commercial buildings attached to it. The minerals underneath the ground may also be a factor in how much the property is worth, though, and MineralWeb.com warns that the number of elements at play may lead to significant variations in value at any given time.

How will divorce affect your business?

The challenges of running a business and those of going through a divorce may magnify each other if you and your spouse share ownership of a company. While ideally, you would have prepared for this contingency when you began the business, or before you entered the marriage, the lack of a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily eliminate all hope for a positive outcome.

According to CBS News, if the conflict between you and your spouse makes it impossible for you to come to a satisfactory agreement, the easiest resolution to the situation may be selling the company so the assets can be divided by the court. This may be the simplest way to determine a fair division, but by determining the company’s value, you may be able to come up with other options.

Is bird’s nest co-parenting right for you?

When you and your spouse are considering the ways that your divorce in Georgia may impact your child, the transition from one home to two is often a factor. However, according to Psychology Today, some parents who have joint custody may be able to maintain a single family home for their child. This arrangement, known as “bird nesting,” would require you and your spouse to secure a second residence where one of you would stay during the other parent’s custody time with the child.

Although sharing a common residence and maintaining a second place to live may be expensive and inconvenient for you and the other parent, the stability it provides for younger children may be worth the trouble. For example, one of the potential benefits to your child is the ability to remain in the same neighborhood and school so that contact with friends is not lost.

Use caution with social media during divorce

Most of us these days use social media as an outlet to express themselves. Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms can be a great way to express our feelings to many people we know. However, this approach can be extremely dangerous during a divorce.

What You Make Public Is Public

Few people consider the long-term impact or potential harm that can be brought by posts. Especially during a divorce when emotions are running high, you might be tempted to post negative comments about your spouse or pictures of you having a good time and forgetting about your spouse. But remember: what you make public on social media is public, and it can be used in most cases as evidence in a divorce trial.

Who gets the student loans in the divorce?

The discussion about the division of marital debt during a Georgia divorce may be just as contentious as the conflict over assets. According to Forbes magazine, if you or your spouse took out student loans to help pay for your education while you were married, these debts could be considered a divisible marital liability.

The presence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that addresses the ownership of the loans may be one of the easiest ways to influence their allotment. Unfortunately, if you and your spouse did not discuss the debt before acquiring it, the judge may decide to divide it between you. Since Georgia is an equitable distribution state, several factors may come into play when determining what constitutes a fair settlement.

Adolescents and divorce

As the parent of a teenager, you may believe that your Georgia divorce will not be as emotionally traumatic because of your child’s age. However, while younger children do typically have fewer coping skills to deal with the separation, teenagers may suffer just as acutely. We at the Siemon Law Firm are aware of the adjustments that young adults face during a divorce.

According to Psychology Today, all children are emotionally impacted by divorce, regardless of their age. Your teen may be undergoing a significant amount of stress, anxiety and even depression while going through the normal process of identity formation during high school. The beliefs that emerge as a result include how the adolescent feels about personal values, weaknesses and strengths, and when you announce your divorce, this is likely to change the way all of these things are perceived. Understanding these factors may help you identify ways that you can help your teen adapt.

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