On your wedding day, one of the things that are far from your mind is the possibility of divorce. After all, you have found your “person.”
Unfortunately, many marriages do end in divorce and if you reach this point, there are a lot of things to handle. One of the most complex issues during divorce relates to property division.
In Tennessee, there are two types of property – separate and marital. Understanding what marital property is will help you better understand the property division process.
Marital property defined
Marital property is what you acquire with your spouse during your marriage. These are the things that must be divided during a divorce. It includes both assets and debts.
How is marital property divided in Tennessee?
Tennessee is not a “community property state” where things are divided equally.
Instead, laws of equitable distribution are used. This means that the division aims to be fair, where each party’s contributions to the marriage, their independent means and their actual needs are considered.
What isn’t considered marital property?
While marital property is anything you and your spouse acquire during your marriage, there are some exceptions. For example, gifts and inheritances one spouse receives are not considered marital property (even if the gift came from the other spouse). Other items that aren’t marital property include personal injury lawsuit compensation, capital gains and property one spouse owned before the marriage. However, these rules only hold true if the assets were kept separate from those of one’s spouse.
Protecting your rights during property division in a divorce
Understanding marital property will help you get a fair amount of the property you have accumulated during your marriage. Be sure that you know the true value of your property, assets and debts before going into the process.