Are you getting divorced in Georgia? Do you have assets and debts to divide with your spouse? If so, you will want to pay careful attention to the date that is ultimately identified as your official date of separtion. Just what is this and why does it matter so much?
As explained by Forbes, the legal date of separation essentially becomes a stake in the ground as to when any income or liabilities can be classified as part of your marital estate or as separate property or responsibilities. For example, if you receive your annual bonus two weeks after your legal date of separation, that bonus income is yours alone and cannot be factored into your divorce settlement. If, however, you receive that same bonus two weeks before your legal date of separation, it may be considered joint income and subject to being part of your marital property division.
Certainly if you have a prenuptial agreement in place that already identifies certain assets or debts as separate, that will play into things but anything not identified in such a contract will directly be impacted by the date of separation. You should remember that debts fall into this category as well as assets so keeping an eye out for a spouse who may be racking up new debts when a marriage is on the rocks is important.
If you would like to learn more about identifying a date of separation and how that may factor into your divorce settlement, please feel free to visit the marital asset and debt division page of our Georgia family law website.