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How to divide stocks in a divorce

For many married couples, the idea of divorce has popped up in one spouse's mind at least once. In Georgia, these thoughts tend to manifest themselves into reality, especially in certain cities. In 2018, the cities in Georgia with the highest divorce rates included Cumming, Winder, Lovejoy and Garden City.

Every divorce in these cities is different. Some people will have hundreds of assets to divide while others will only have a few. Some couples have complicated matters to settle on, such as what to do concerning one spouse's stock options. Investments are a great way to build up a portfolio and to save for your future. However, that future goes into disarray when divorce comes into the picture, and you will naturally have a lot of questions about what will happen to your stocks.

Look at whether the stocks are separate or marital property

Georgia is a joint property state. That means all assets acquired during the marriage are subject to division. Meanwhile, assets either spouse acquired prior to the marriage by him or herself remain separate property, which is not subject to division. Knowing what will happen to your stocks ultimately depends on when you got them. If you receive them prior to the marriage, then they will remain yours. If you continued to purchase stocks after marriage, then the amount you accrued after the marriage date would fall under marital property. 

Dividing stocks

In the event that the stocks are marital property, then the court will divide them equitably among the spouses. However, it is possible for one spouse to retain most or all the stocks. It is not necessary for each spouse to receive a 50/50 cut of each asset. You may want to offer your spouse the family car or another substantial item so you can retain the stocks. You must plan your strategy with your legal counsel to determine the best route to take. 

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