Planning to divorce brings questions about what will happen to your marital assets and debts. This may be especially true for couples whose marriages lasted decades.
If you have separated from your spouse in Tennessee, learn how the state divides shared property in a divorce.
Factors in property division
If you and your spouse have a valid prenuptial agreement, the state will follow its terms when dividing your assets and debts as long as it treats both spouses fairly. Otherwise, you must provide the court with an inventory of all marital assets and their value. Generally, Tennessee is an equitable division state, but the judge does not have to divide property and debts exactly in half. The court will also consider:
- The agreed-upon custody arrangement if you have children
- Whether either of you supported the other’s education or job training
- Your job and financial situation and that of your spouse
- How each of you contributed to housekeeping and child care
- How each of you contributed financially to the marriage
- Whether either of you will receive spousal support
Separate vs. marital assets
In Tennessee, as in most states, marital property includes assets and debts acquired by either of you during the marriage. However, if you received an inheritance or gift in your name only, it constitutes separate property. If both of you contribute to separate property it may become marital property in the eyes of the court, such as a home you owned before the marriage but you both live in and upkeep during the marriage.
You can try to come to an agreement with your spouse about how to divide your shared property. If you cannot agree, you can ask the court to decide based on these factors.