Going through a divorce involves making some tough decisions regarding the property you co-own with your spouse. You may be wondering what will happen to the family home, the business you own together or even your pets.
Should you and your partner amicably agree on how to go about dividing your assets, you can end up saving both time and money. However, not all divorcing couples see eye to eye, and the court has to step in and handle the division of property. State laws apply, and they are different across states.
The law in Tennessee
Firstly, only marital property is up for division. It includes all the assets you and/or your spouse acquired throughout the marriage. Your retirement and pension benefits are also considered marital property and will be shared between the two of you. You can, however, typically keep your personal property such as an inheritance, gifts or any property acquired before your marriage.
The division is done on an equitable basis. Rather than split everything equally between you and your spouse, the court will seek to dividing the property fairly based on several considerations. For instance, it would be unfair to get an equal share after you sacrificed your career ambitions to take care of the family and support your former spouse.
What factors are considered?
Equitable division of property means looking at certain aspects of your marriage. The court will factor in things like:
- The duration of the marriage
- Both spouses’ age and health
- Your contribution to the earning power of your spouse
- The value of your personal property compared to that of your spouse
- Your earning capacity or employability
Property division is not always a smooth process. Complex property division issues may arise, and it is therefore important to be well prepared for any eventualities. While divorce may be a challenging process, do not let it distract you from safeguarding your legal rights and getting what you deserve.