If you are going through a divorce, there are certain things you need to know. One of the most important things is how the state of Tennessee divides the marital property of the couple between each spouse. The state of Tennessee is what is known as an equitable state, which means that the property is not always divided equally between you.
If you and your spouse are able to come up with your own agreement, and you are able to agree to the overall value of each property on your own, you are able to separate your assets as you would like.
On the other hand, if you are unable to come to an agreement on how to divide your assets, a judge will make that determination for you. They will use a list of factors to determine who will get each piece of property. These factors are based on what is deemed fair distribution of the property.
The Determining Factors for Distribution of Property
A judge will take several factors into account when deciding what assets each spouse will receive. The court will look at how long you have been married. The longer the marriage was, the more likely you will have purchased property together. This means that property could be divided equally between you.
Other factors the judge will take a look at include the ages of each spouse and their mental and physical health. They will see how employable each spouse is and if they have long-standing and stable employment. The financial security of each spouse is taken into account. This includes if either spouse helped the other gain a higher education or job training.
Instead of the home itself getting sold and the funds given equally to both of you, the court will see what each one of you contributed to the buying and maintenance of the home. Typically, the spouse with the greater involvement in the cost of the house and its overall upkeep will have the better chance of obtaining it in the divorce.
Other types of marital property include what are known as non-tangibles. They can include any income that you have gained from income properties that are either jointly or separately owned. If you have an income property that you bought before marriage, you should retain ownership of that property. But that ownership could mean you will receive less financial gain from any other asset.
Non-tangibles also include items such as stock options, unvested pensions, and retirement benefits. If you or your spouse receive payments from worker's compensation claims, they are also included. Also, social security, disability payments, and any lost income that occurred during the marriage are taken into account.
Property That Is Not Divided
If you and your spouse had any property prior to your marriage, this is considered separate from marital property and therefore not subject to division. This includes all homes already owned by either spouse before they married. It also includes any gifts or inheritances received by either spouse before the marriage.
Also, If either spouse had been injured prior to marrying, any benefits or successful lawsuit payments are not divided.
How Debt Is Divided
Debt is divided according to which spouse receives a specific property. For example, if you receive the marital home and there is still a mortgage on it, it becomes your responsibility to pay that debt. If you incurred any other type of debt after you separated, you are responsible for paying it off.
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, Martin A. Kooperman, Attorney At Law is here to answer any questions you might have. We can help you through the process. Contact us today.