According to data from the Division of Vital Records and Statistics of the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 1,108 total divorce cases in Rutherford County, Tennessee in 2018. Before a divorce can be finalized, the couple needs to determine how their accumulated assets and debts will be divided. Depending on what is considered “fair” by the judge, the divorcing parties will receive an equitable portion of their assets.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce and want to understand the property division process, it is important that you consult with experienced Tennessee divorce attorneys for detailed guidance. At McCarter | East PLLC, we're dedicated to providing knowledgeable and comprehensive guidance to clients in divorce and asset division matters. Our attorneys are available to discuss your unique situation and help you navigate important decisions in the property division process. We will fight to protect your rights and make your transition as seamless as possible.
Our team at McCarter | East PLLC proudly serves individuals and families throughout Murfreesboro and Berry Hill, Tennessee.
Asset Division in Tennessee
During a divorce or legal separation, issues of asset and property division often arise and must be addressed. This requires determining the true value of individual and marital assets and liabilities. The spouses will decide how their marital home, real estate property, liability, debts, business investments, retirement accounts, and other assets will be divided.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
Before assets can be divided in a Tennessee divorce, separate property and marital property must first be established.
Separate property includes all assets owned, debts, and liabilities incurred by either spouse before the marriage. Separate property also includes bequests, personal gifts, and third-party inheritances received by each spouse during the marriage.
Marital property involves all assets, liabilities, and debts accumulated by the spouses during their marriage. These include the marital home, cars, second homes, bank accounts, income, business interests, stocks, royalties, retirement accounts, 401k accounts, credit card charges, as well as other assets acquired or debt incurred while they were married.
Who Determines How Assets Are Divided?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, the Tennessee property division process may either be uncontested or contested.
Uncontested Asset Division
In uncontested asset division, the spouses mutually agree on the key terms of how the couple's assets and debts will be divided. All agreed-upon details will be properly documented in a marital dissolution agreement and filed with the court to be officially approved. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help protect your best interests and keep the conversation productive.
Contested Asset Division
In a contested asset division, both parties are unable to agree on one or more important terms of the property division. The court can be called upon to help resolve such issues. The presiding judge will issue a final order during the court hearing. An experienced property division attorney can help argue your case and improve your chances of obtaining the best available outcome.
Factors Considered in Asset Division
Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. Under Tennessee Code Section 36-4-121, all marital assets and property must be divided equitably. In a contested divorce, the court will consider the following factors to determine equitable property distribution:
The duration of the marriage
Each spouse's tangible or intangible contribution to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse
Each spouse's age, mental and physical health, vocational skills, earning capacity, employability, estate, financial needs, and financial liabilities
Each spouse's relative ability to acquire more income or capital assets in the future
Each spouse's financial or economic situation during the asset division
The value of the separate property owned by each spouse
The tax consequences of the property division to each party
Work with Experienced Family Law Attorneys
Property division is one of the most contentious divorce issues. Separating the accumulated assets and financial lives of divorcing couples can involve several complexities. Establishing marital assets, evaluating business interests, or dividing retirement accounts can make the property division process more complicated and overwhelming. Consulting with experienced Tennessee family law attorneys is important for detailed guidance and to protect what belongs to you.
At McCarter | East PLLC, we have the experience and resources to guide individuals and families through the complexities of divorce and asset division. Our team will engage professional evaluators and forensic accountants to evaluate your marital assets, family business, financial accounts, and debts. Our attorneys will work meticulously with both parties involved to resolve asset division matters amicably and peacefully. We will fight diligently to protect your rights, your family's best interests, and your future.