Is Tennessee A Community Property State?
Classifying and dividing marital property is one of the longest parts of the divorce process, and one reason some divorce cases can take months, or even years. Determining what property is yours, theirs, and jointly owned is rarely easy. Classifying marital property is extremely important, as it is only these assets that are divided during divorce. Many people wrongly assume that all marital property is divided 50/50 during the divorce process but in Brentwood, as throughout the rest of Tennessee, this is not true. Below, one of our Brentwood property division attorneys explains how assets are divided during divorce.
Classifying Marital Property
Determining which property is considered marital and which is deemed as separate is a very important part of the divorce process. Only marital property, or that which was acquired during the marriage, is subject to division. Marital property can include assets as well as debts. Investments, real property, businesses, loans, and credit card debt are just some of the most common types of marital property. Marital property belongs to both you and your spouse, regardless of whose name it is under.
Classifying Separate Property
Separate property generally refers to assets and debts a person acquired before they were married. In addition to this, other property is also considered separate, even if it was acquired during the marriage. This type of property includes:
- Property that was received in exchange for property obtained prior to the marriage,
- Profits or appreciation from property acquired before the marriage,
- Civil damages awarded during a civil dispute, and
- Gifted property, such as inheritances
There are times when separate property can become classified as marital. This includes when it is commingled with marital property, or when the property is transmuted. Transmutation occurs when both parties treat property as though it is marital.
How is Marital Property Divided During Divorce?
Again, only marital property is divided during the divorce process. Equitable distribution laws govern property division in Brentwood, and throughout Tennessee. Unlike in community property states, which divide marital property equally, marital property is divided fairly under equitable distribution laws. This does not always mean that property is divided equally.
The family courts in the state will generally start with the presumption that property should be divided equally. However, the difference from community property states is that judges have the discretion to make adjustments in an attempt to provide for a division that is as fair as possible. This provides the court with the opportunity to count for the non-monetary and intangible factors of the divorce.
Call Our Property Division Attorneys in Brentwood for Help with Your Case
Property division is one of the most contentious, and most challenging, aspects of any divorce case. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Brentwood property division attorneys can classify your separate and marital assets, and help you protect what is most valuable to you. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.