Is Property Division in Tennessee Divorce a 50-50 Split?
States are either community property states or equitable distribution states. Community property states consider all assets or income acquired during the marriage as owned 50/50 by the spouses. Equitable distribution states divide the property between the spouses equitably, but not necessarily equally. Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. This means that each party may not receive a share of each piece of marital property. In some instances, one spouse may receive a marital asset free and clear of the other spouse.
Family law courts first classify property as separate or marital. They then apply various factors to determine how to divide marital property between the spouses.
Separate property in Tennessee is not subject to division during the divorce. Instead, each spouse maintains his or her own separate property. Under Tennessee law, the following type of property is considered separate:
- Real property and personal property owned by a spouse prior to marriage
- Property that was purchased with separate funds or property acquired before the marriage
- Property received by one spouse in the form of a gift or inheritance
- Rent and appreciation of property owned by a spouse before marriage unless when it is characterized as marital property
- Crime compensation awards and damages for future medical expenses, future lost wages and pain and suffering
- Property acquired by a spouse after a legal separation where the court makes a disposition of the property
There are some exceptions in which separate property may become marital property, such as if separate and marital property is so comingled that it is impossible to trace the source of the property to separate property.
Dividing Marital Property
Family law courts consider these factors when determining how to divide the property between spouses:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, health, earning capacity and financial condition of each of the spouses
- The contribution of the spouses to separate property
- The economic and non-economic contributions of the spouses during the marriage
- The extent and value of separate property
- The estate of the spouses at the time that they entered into the marriage
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or earning power of the other spouse
- The ability of each spouse to acquire assets and income
- The amount of Social Security benefits available to each spouse
- The tax consequences to each party, the likely expenses that will be incurred to sell an asset or the reasonably foreseeable expenses related to that asset
Tennessee law also allows courts to consider any other factors that are necessary to consider a fair distribution to the parties.
Contact a knowledgeable Murfreesboro divorce lawyer for assistance
Our Murfreesboro divorce attorneys are ready to help you leave your marriage in the most stable position possible. We review the complex nature of property division during a free and confidential consultation. We also consider the possibility of negotiating an agreement between you and your spouse to avoid the court making any adverse decisions regarding your property. For help with your divorce, contact us online or call 615-890-1982 to schedule a confidential consultation.