One of the greatest sources of conflict in a divorce is the division of assets between spouses. In Tennessee, courts are concerned with the equitable distribution of property in a divorce.
As such, property is divided equitably between spouses according to factors in the Tennessee Code. Equitable division does not necessarily mean that every marital asset is split exactly equally between spouses. An entire asset may be distributed to one spouse.
Spouses retain their own separate (non-marital) property after divorce. Generally, non-marital property includes any property owned before marriage, or gifts or inheritances to the individual spouse. Over the course of the marriage, the status of non-marital property can change making the property subject to equitable distribution upon divorce. It is possible for non-marital property to become marital property if the property appreciates or produces income, or if there is commingling or transmutation. The non-marital property may be deemed marital property if both spouses contributed to the production of income from or appreciation of the property.
Marital property includes any property acquired during marriage except property acquired by gift or inheritance. Property acquired before marriage or excluded by agreement is considered marital property. Marital property is divided equitably between the divorcing parties. Courts weigh a number of factors in distributing property in divorce including the economic circumstances of each spouse. In particular, the amount of non-marital property owned by each spouse factors into how much marital property each spouse receives. If one spouse has substantially more non-marital property, a court may award more marital property to the other spouse.
An experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand how your property ownership may be affected in a divorce under Tennessee’s equitable distribution laws.