Division of property can be a quarrelsome issue during divorce proceedings. A 50-50 equal division of property is hardly ever achievable unless no marital home is owned, financial assets are minimal and one party is apathetic to the process.
Marital property in Tennessee is distributed fairly and equitably. An experienced family law and divorce attorney is required to protect your assets. Mr. Jones has extensive experience dealing with this issue.
At The Law Office of Jeffrey Jones, we have been providing family law services to clients in Bartlett and throughout Shelby County since 1977.
We are committed and proactive in protecting your interests throughout what is possibly the most quarrelsome issue in the divorce process.
What Is Marital Property?
Marital property includes assets and debts that were acquired by either party during the marriage. However, if both spouses contributed to the appreciation of nonmarital property, if there is evidence of intent to treat nonmarital property as marital property, or if nonmarital property was commingled with marital property, the court might decide to include nonmarital property in the property division (asset division) agreement.
Generally, marital property includes:
Even if one spouse was responsible for amassing debts, such as medical debt, credit card debt and even student loan debt, as long as the debt was accrued during the course of the marriage.
This may be the most complex area of property division, because even if you started your 401(k), IRA or pension plan before marriage, the money you added to those accounts during your marriage is still a marital asset. Splitting these accounts requires determining the portion that is marital property and dividing only that amount.
Dividing ownership of the family home, vacation home or cabin can be especially difficult when emotions get tied up in negotiations. Oftentimes, the fate of the property ends in sole ownership or total sale of the family home, or even shared ownership for vacation homes or cabins with an arrangement similar to a timeshare.
Dividing bank accounts can be difficult if a spouse is hiding money in a secret account. We can help you locate any hidden assets with forensic accounting techniques to make sure you are getting your fair share in your divorce.
Cars, boats, gun collections and jewelry are only a few examples of valuable personal property. These assets can often function as negotiation tools to help you fulfill your goals in asset division.
Family Business Assets
A business that a family built together also needs to determine who they split the business in a divorce. While it is possible for spouses to continue to own and operate a business together, they may also opt for sole ownership or sell the business entirely.
Nonmarital property is generally all assets that were acquired prior to the marriage, and may also include gifts and inheritances. Nonmarital property may include real property, business assets and debts.
The Right Property Division Agreement For You
The opposing party will likely feel just as entitled to marital property as you, if not more so. They might also feel entitled to some nonmarital property in your possession. Reaching a fair and equitable agreement requires patience and compromise.
We will work hard to obtain the best possible agreement for you to protect your financial future.
Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division In Tennessee
Because Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, which emphasizes fairness, there can be a lot of nuances to the property division process. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we hear when we start working with our clients.
What is marital property in Tennessee?
Marital property is everything that is acquired after the marriage begins and before the final divorce decree, regardless of whose name is on the title or which spouse acquired it. That typically includes earnings, real estate, recreational vehicles and investments, including retirement accounts. All marital property has to be divided equitably in a divorce.
What is considered separate property?
Separate property is not subject to division in a divorce. Separate property is anything that was owned by either spouse before the marriage began, along with a few things that may have been acquired afterward, such as inheritances and gifts.
It is important to understand that separate property can be transmuted, or turned into marital property, when it is treated as belonging to both parties. There can also be complications when separate property is commingled, or mixed, with marital property. For example, using marital funds to pay the mortgage on a house that one spouse owned before the marriage began would likely give the non-owner spouse an interest in the home’s increased equity.
What factors impact property division?
Because Tennessee courts use the equitable division model, the court will consider numerous factors when dividing marital property. These include the length of the marriage, the ages and health of both spouses, each spouse’s earning potential, and each spouse’s contributions to the household (economic and noneconomic alike).
Do Tennessee courts consider fault when deciding property division?
Tennessee does not permit “marital fault” to influence the property division process, although it may factor into alimony decisions.
We Will Guide And Protect You In The Right Direction
To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, please give us a call at 901-410-5751 or toll-free at +1-800-863-2561, or contact us online. We offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments for your convenience.