The Minnesota Divorce and Family Law Blog has posted an article explaining that if a married couple gets divorced, and one of the spouses owned their home before the marriage, the house is part marital property and part nonmarital property.
It is important to realize that in Georgia, as in Minnesota, the value of the house at the time of the divorce can be divided into several categories:
(1) the equity the owning spouse had in the home at the time of the marriage (this is a nonmarital portion);
(2) the amount the couple paid off on mortgage principal while living together as husband and wife (this is a marital portion);
(3) the appreciation in the value of the house over the course of the marriage that can be attributed to the owning spouse’s premarital equity (this is a nonmarital portion);
(4) the appreciation in the value of the house over the course of the marriage that CANNOT be attributed to the owning spouse’s premarital equity (this is a marital portion); and
(5) the increase in value of the house that can be attributed to home improvements that the parties made during the marriage (this is a marital portion).
As explained in the article, most of the time, the components of the house’s value cannot be objectively determined or fixed without either the reasonable compromise of the spouses or the expertise of a neutral appraiser.