Is Property Split 50-50 in a TN Divorce?
Franklin divorce attorney explains nuances of equitable division of assets
In Tennessee, marital property must be divided equitably. That means that if you buy a house while you’re married, you and your spouse are both entitled to the equity in that home. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be ordered to sell the house and split the proceeds right down the middle.
The first thing that the courts will do during your divorce is to catalog all of the property and assets between you and your spouse and then decide which are considered marital property and which are separate. For example, if you inherited a bunch of money from your great aunt before you got married, that money would be considered separate. But if you bought a vacation home while you were married, that would be considered marital property. If you purchased the property on your own entirely with the money that you inherited, it would likely be considered separate property. But sometimes the circumstances can make the definition murky, which is why working with an experienced divorce attorney like myself is necessary.
Once the property is all catalogued, the courts will evaluate a number of factors to determine what percentage of the assets should go to each spouse. Some of the factors the court considers include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The earnings capability of each spouse, which is determined by looking at age, vocational training and experience, financial holdings, and more
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or career advancement of the other, either in financial or intangible support
- The potential of each spouse to acquire financial assets in the future, such as if the business owned by one spouse is poised to take off
- The value of the separate property owned by each spouse
- The value of each person’s estate at the start of the marriage
- The value of retirement benefits for each spouse
Equitable does not always mean equal. One spouse may get a greater share of the marital property if it will help them have the kind of life they did while they were in the marriage. For example, if one spouse stayed home to raise children while supporting the career of the other spouse, that person may get a greater share of the marital property since they don’t have as much earnings potential as a result of their time out of the work force.
Once courts decide the amount that each spouse should get, it can be distributed in different ways. That might mean that one spouse gets the house, while another gets a greater share of the investment accounts, for example.
As a Tennessee divorce attorney, I help my clients get the best possible share of marital assets by showing all the ways they contributed to the marital estate and how they will be negatively influenced by the divorce. I work with a team of financial experts and investigators to put together the strongest case possible to ensure there is a truly equitable division of assets, so my clients get a settlement that accurately reflects their contribution to the marriage. Let me do the same for you. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 or use the secure online form to schedule a free consultation. Let me help you keep more of the property and assets you worked so hard to attain.