A recent case from the Supreme Court of Georgia highlights how critically important it is for divorcing spouses to address all of the necessary terms and follow all required procedures when seeking to finalize their divorce. In the case of Rasheed v. Sarwat, 797 S.E.2d 454 (2017), the Court vacated a divorce decree nearly a year after the trial court issued its order purporting to dissolve the parties’ marriage.

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Going through a divorce means dividing assets that you and your former spouse may have spent a considerable number of years accumulating. In addition to real estate, cars, furnishings, and other types of personal property, this involves untangling your financial accounts as well.

You may not see a connection between your retirement accounts and divorce, particularly if these funds were earned specifically by one of the parties and deducted directly from a paycheck. It is important to realize that, as marital assets, they can be divided during a divorce, and included as a part of your property settlement.

The breakup of a marriage is never easy, and negotiations over how to divide property and assets you have accumulated together as a couple can be particularly contentious. The court aims to distribute houses, personal property, and financial accounts in a way that is fair and reasonable to both parties, but it is not uncommon for one of the spouses to behave spitefully or feel that they would rather give away and even destroy assets rather than see them in their former partner's possession. In Georgia divorce proceedings, this is known as dissipation of marital assets, and it is important to act quickly to protect property that is rightfully yours.

Managing debt is something that many couples struggle with, and balancing mortgages, car payments, loans and credit card payments each month can prove to be challenging. For those going through a divorce and making the transition from living on two incomes to one, it can be even harder to stay afloat.