Frequently Asked Questions—Property Division in Divorce
Each state has specific laws regarding property division in divorce. Learn more about those applicable laws in Tennessee.
Division of property can turn the most amicable of divorces into a hotly contested legal affair. Items of personal value and monetary value are all brought to the table to be divided during divorce proceedings. Here is some more information regarding some of the most asked about property division in divorce questions.
How is property divided in a Tennessee divorce?
Tennessee is an equitable distribution as opposed to a community property state. This means that, instead of splitting marital property in an even 50-50 split to each spouse, the court’s goal will be to have the marital property divided in a manner that is equitable and fair. Of course, this means that property could be evenly divided, but that is not necessarily how it is going to work out.
What factors are considered in equitable distribution of marital property?
The court will consider such factors as:
- Length of marriage;
- Age and health of each party;
- Employability and earning capacity of each party;
- Financial needs of each party;
- Future earning capacity of each party;
- Value of separate property held by each party; and
- Other factors the court deems relevant to the analysis.
What is considered to be marital property?
In divorce, marital property will be divided between the two parties. Property deemed to be separate will not be divided and will stay with the spouse who owns it. Generally speaking, marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage. It also includes assets that may have been commingled or transmuted, meaning one spouse made the other spouse a co-owner to what was previously considered separate property. The court will determine what property is considered marital, value the property, and equitably divide it between the two parties.
How are the values of marital assets determined?
A court will generally look to the asset’s fair market value to determine its worth. Other assets, such as bank accounts are easy to determine based on the monetary amount held in the account reflected on monthly bank statements. Some assets require a more complex analysis to determine worth. In these instances, when value is difficult to ascertain and the spouses cannot agree on a value, each spouse may testify as to their opinion of the asset’s value. In some cases, expert witnesses such as appraisers or accountants may be brought in to testify.
Division of assets in divorce can have lasting consequences on your finances. Get legal counsel you can trust to look out for your best interests throughout the divorce process. Contact Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.