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What to know about dividing assets in a Tennessee divorce

A divorce is an emotionally challenging time, and often the process comes with conflict and overwhelming stress. There are many things to consider about your future, and finances are likely at the top of your list.

Asset division is an important component in your financial future if you are facing a divorce, especially if you have not worked during your marriage or you cannot independently support yourself as a single individual. Understanding how the division of property and assets acquired during the marriage works under Tennessee state law is a helpful first step to examining your post-divorce financial future and your options for moving through your divorce in a successful way.

Divorce and property division in Tennessee

Some states have "community property" laws that govern how to divide property during a divorce. In those states, as a general rule, courts divide the property and assets acquired during the marriage equally among both spouses, as in 50/50. In Tennessee, however, community property is not the law, but rather "equitable distribution" is. Under equitable distribution, a judge decides how to divide assets and property acquired during the marriage in an equitable way. In other words, a trial court makes the decision about how to fairly divide the assets. In July 2017, the Tennessee legislature passed an amendment, HB0348 Divorce, Annulment and Alimony, stating that courts must consider "all relevant evidence" to determine how much "an interest in a closely held business or similar asset" is worth. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide assets in an out-of-court settlement, a judge will ultimately determine how to divide assets based on this equitable distribution law.

Factors judges use for deciding on property division

Judges in Tennessee courts take several factors into consideration when they decide how to equitably distribute marital assets. The length of the marriage is one consideration, as is the earning capacity of each individual spouse. There are many more factors that come into play in this important decision-making process that ultimately determine your financial future. Property that a judge can consider in a Tennessee divorce trial includes real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, businesses and retirement portfolios.

Property division is a complex matter, and if you are not able to come to an agreement with your spouse, you will likely end up in court, where a judge will make this determination. If this is your case, you should seek out the skilled experience and assistance of a divorce attorney who knows how to handle property division cases in Tennessee. 

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The Law Office of Robert M. Asbury
5731 Lyons View Pike
Suite 206
Knoxville, TN 37919

Phone: 865-909-7290
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