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Marital property laws in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Asset Division, Divorce

When couples tie the knot, they’re likely not thinking about what to do if their marriage ends. However, statistics show that nearly half of all married couples get divorced. If you and your spouse are involved in a high-asset divorce in Tennessee, it is important that you know what is considered “marital property” according to state laws.

Tennessee is a marital property state

When it comes to dividing property and money in a divorce, including high-asset divorce, some states following community property laws while others follow marital property regulations. Tennessee is classified as a marital property state. This means that you and your spouse can file a Marital Dissolution Agreement once you agree on who gets what. However, you must both agree to all terms in the document, and neither of you can be pregnant or have children under the age of 18 at the time you sign the agreement.

If you can not agree on how to split your assets, a judge will make the determination. The judge will make their ruling based on several factors, including which spouse makes more money and which spouse is the primary caretaker for the children.

The divorce court process

Tennessee judges use the rule of “equitable distribution” in a high-asset divorce. This does not mean that the division of assets will be equal, but it will be as fair as possible. The judge will consider what each party needs, as well as the income of each party. Fault is not used as a factor for property division.

The court will also assign a value to marital assets if both spouses are not able to agree on how the asset should be divided. Unless the value of the asset is apparent, the court will hire an appraiser.

It is important to note that all assets Tennessee citizens gain in marriage are not necessarily considered marital property. This could include property that was purchased or given as a gift or lawsuit settlements that one spouse acquired before marriage.