My Husband Is Selling Assets Before Divorce — Is There a Penalty?

selling assets before divorce

Divorce can be a daunting and emotional process, particularly when dividing assets. Sometimes, one spouse may sell assets before the divorce is finalized to secure their own financial interests.

If you’re going through a divorce and suspect your spouse of selling assets beforehand, you’re probably outraged and might be curious about the consequences.

Let’s discuss the legal implications of selling assets before divorce, ways to protect your financial interests, and how an Atlanta divorce attorney can help.

How Selling Assets Before Divorce Affects the Georgia Divorce Process

A complex legal process ensues when you file for divorce, involving spouses dividing assets and liabilities. In most cases, the court will divide assets and liabilities based on what is considered “fair and equitable.”

However, when one spouse tries to sell assets before the divorce, it can complicate matters and create legal issues. In the following sections, we will discuss the legal implications of selling assets before divorce and what you can do to protect your financial interests.

What Is Considered Marital Property?

Before we delve into the legal implications of selling assets before divorce, it is important to understand what is considered marital property.

In Georgia, marital property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investments.

Non-marital assets include property acquired before the marriage, inheritances, and gifts, as long as those assets were never commingled with marital funds.

Why Would My Spouse Sell Assets Before Divorce?

There are a couple of reasons why your spouse may be selling assets before the divorce. One reason may be to hide assets from the court or reduce the marital property divided between the spouses. Another may be to pay off debts or fund legal expenses.

Legal Implications of Selling Assets Before Divorce

If your spouse is selling assets before divorce in Georgia, there are two legal implications that you should know: Fraudulent conveyance and dissipation of marital assets.

What Is Fraudulent Conveyance?

Fraudulent conveyance occurs when someone transfers property to someone else intending to defraud creditors.

In divorce, fraudulent conveyance can be when one spouse transfers assets to a third party intending to hide them from the other spouse or the court. If your spouse is found guilty of fraudulent conveyance, the court may set aside the sale and award you a larger share of the marital property.

What Is Dissipation of Marital Assets?

Dissipation of marital assets occurs when one spouse uses marital property for their own benefit without the other spouse’s consent.

If your spouse is selling assets before divorce to pay off debts or to fund their own legal expenses, it may be considered a dissipation of marital assets. The court may award you a larger share of the remaining marital property if it is found that your spouse dissipated marital assets.

What Can You Do If Your Spouse Is Selling Assets Before Divorce?

If you suspect that your spouse is selling assets before divorce, there are some steps you can take to protect your financial interests:

  • Hire a divorce lawyer. The first step is hiring an Atlanta family law attorney to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. A divorce lawyer can also help you gather evidence of your spouse’s asset sales and advise you on the best action.
  • File a motion for temporary orders. If you believe your spouse is selling assets before divorce, you can file a motion for temporary orders with the court. A motion for temporary orders can prevent your spouse from selling any more assets until the divorce is finalized. This can help protect your financial interests and ensure that marital property is divided fairly and equitably.

Concerned Your Spouse Is Illegally Selling Marital Property? Contact an Experienced Atlanta Divorce Attorney Today

Dividing assets isn’t easy during a divorce, and it can lead to stressful and emotional responses from both parties.

However, if you suspect that your spouse is selling assets before divorce, you need to understand how Georgia law addresses these issues and take steps to protect your financial future. By hiring a divorce lawyer and filing a motion for temporary orders, you can ensure that marital property is divided fairly and equitably.

At Edwards Family Law in Atlanta, we’ll ensure your rights and financial interests are protected throughout your divorce proceedings. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Author Bio

Regina Edwards is the Owner and Managing Attorney of Edwards Family Law, an Atlanta family law and estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With more than 21 years of experience practicing law, she is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, legitimation, wills, trusts, probate, and Medicaid planning.

Regina received her Juris Doctor from the Tulane School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for six years, as well as being named among the Pro Bono All Stars by the Georgia Bar Journal in 2019.

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