Your marriage may be coming to an end, but does that mean you have to give up your forever home, too? If you are currently going through a divorce, you’ll want to know what could happen to your property.
When going through a divorce in Tennessee, your property will be split between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you and the other party can agree, you will not need to have the court involved. However, if there is no agreement, the court will come in and decide what property you get to keep and what property your spouse will get to keep.
This article will provide you with what factors the court will be looking at when deciding how to split property between spouses.
What is Marital Property in Tennessee?
Marital property under Tennessee law is defined as any property or assets that either party obtained during your marriage. It is subjected to equitable division during the divorce process.
There will be many pieces of marital property in most marriages, especially if the marriage has lasted for several years. Marital property includes:
- Vacation Homes
- Main Living Homes
- Retirement Accounts (401(k)s and Pensions)
- Cash and Bank Accounts
- Investment Accounts and Stocks
Separate property in Tennessee is defined as any assets or property that you’ve obtained during your marriage through inheritance or gifts. Separate property will typically not get subjected to division during the divorce proceedings.
How Is Property Divided During A Tennessee Divorce?
In the state of Tennessee, you can come to an agreement with your spouse about your division of property, or you can take it to court.
Handling the division of property between the two of you will require you to fill out and file what is known as a Marital Dissolution Agreement. When going this route, have an experienced divorce attorney help you file this paperwork to ensure legal requirements are being met and that you understand the purpose and details of the process..
If you two cannot come to a settlement agreement, the court will decide for you. For instance, if you bought the house while you were married, the house is automatically marital property. Since most spouses will not want to share the home after they split, this gives one option—sell the house or provide the house to the spouse that wants it. If you both choose to sell the house, then you will split the profits evenly.
In the chance that one spouse wants to keep the house in the divorce, they may get awarded it but lose out on other marital assets. For instance, one spouse may get the house, while the other spouse may get more cash and other marital assets instead. However, in divorce cases where children are present, often, the parent with custody will retain the home over the other parent.
What is an Equitable Distribution?
Equitable distribution is where everything is divided on what seems fair to the court. For example, marital property will be divided equitably, meaning fairly, but not always equally. Just because you may earn more than your spouse does not mean you will get more assets and property than your spouse.
The court will always consider each spouse’s contributions during the marriage before they start dividing all assets. For instance, you may be the breadwinner in the family, but your spouse may be the one raising the children.
The court will take into account the following factors:
- How long you were married
- Both spouse’s earning ability
- The physical health of both spouses
- Benefits available to both spouses
What Happens When Spouses Combine Their Separate & Marital Properties?
During the marriage, many times, spouses commingle their separate and marital properties. If your separate property became commingled, there is a chance it will lose its separate status and become part of the marital property, even if you didn’t want it to.
This is extremely difficult to handle in the courts. Still, if the property can easily get traced back to its original separated source, the court will favor the spouse it was originally in possession of. However, if it cannot get easily traced back to its origin, the court will put the property in the equation with the rest of the marital properties.
You Can Rely On Hunter Fowler Law
Divorces get messy. You need an experienced divorce attorney who is an expert in family law—someone who will help you set realistic goals—someone that you trust.
As you can see, there isn’t always a clear-cut answer when it comes to who will get the house in a Tennessee divorce, as there are so many factors that go into the judge’s decision.
Whether you’re filing for divorce or have been served divorce papers, you may feel like your world has come crashing down around you. It’s a very vulnerable and confusing place to be in, which is why you need the best legal counsel possible to navigate all the ins and outs of divorce law.
Attorney Hunter Fowler has provided legal services to many individuals in your exact situation and will work with you through every detail of your divorce proceedings to ensure the final outcome is what you want for yourself and your family. Contact Hunter Fowler today to get the legal counsel you deserve.