We are married 1 + year - house was purchased after engagement but before marriage - presently in joint names - no kids
Child Custody Lawyer
If the home was purchased prior to the marriage, then it is arguably not marital property or subject to equitable division; however, if funds earned during the marriage by either party paid down the mortgage and contributed to the equity in the home, then there would arguably be a marital interest in the home. After only a year of marriage, however, I imagine any appreciation in the home is nominal.
You mentioned that the home is "presently" titled in your joint names. If the down payment on the home was made with your spouse's premarital funds, then while he or she could argue that it constitutes his or her separate property, if he or she deeded the house into your joint names after you married, then he or she arguably made a gift to the marriage. If the Court finds as much, then the home would be subject to equitable division. In that event, the Court could, as examples, grant the home to either party or require that the home be sold and the proceeds divided (not necessarily equally) between the parties, and consider the award of the home in determining how to divide the balance of any marital assets.
If you made the down payment on the home with your premarital funds, then you would arguably have a separate property interest in the home, but if you subsequently deeded the home into you and your spouse's joint names, then your spouse can argue that you made a gift to the marriage and that the home should be subject to equitable division.
If you both contributed premarital funds to the home, then you both arguably have a separate property interest in the home that should be awarded to you.
Upshot - it would be wise to speak to an experienced family law attorney. Best of luck to you.
This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as nor does it constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this answer in prosecuting or defending against any criminal or civil legal action. Speak to an attorney in your area about how to protect yourself and your interests.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
More information is needed to answer you. Since the property was purchased before marriage, some of the answer involves knowing how and when your name was put on the title. Assuming the home can be divided, and that's likely, Georgia recognizes equitable division which can be anything from 100-0 to 50-50. Since you have a property issue and are facing divorce, you clearly need to retain counsel.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you. Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at email@example.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
Family Law Attorney
The answer to your question is "Maybe". In decided who gets what out of a divorce, the court looks into many details about the marital estate. It's impossible to determine, based solely on what you've provided here, whether the home would be considered a marital asset or how it will be divided. For a more informed opinion (and to maximize your chances of receiving a fair portion of the marital estate), you would need to retain an attorney.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.