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Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division

Below are a set of questions clients frequently ask about Tennessee property division. If you have additional questions, contact Rogers, Shea & Spanos for knowledgeable guidance. You may call our firm at 615-320-0600, or toll free at 888-521-9952.

How Do Courts Divide Assets During Divorce?

Unlike some states, where property is evenly divided between divorcing spouses, there is no exact formula to Tennessee’s property division system. Instead, the court determines how to equitably divide your marital property. They do not split separate property.

The judge evaluates each spouse’s needs, ability to earn an income, contribution during marriage, retirement benefits and the length of your marriage, but they do not take fault into consideration.

What Is Considered Separate Property?

You are able to retain all assets that are considered your separate property during divorce. Separate property is property you owned prior to marriage, capital gains on that property, personal injury awards, inherited assets or gifts.

If you and your spouse purchased a home during marriage, the house is considered marital property regardless of whose name is on the deed. If one of you inherited a family home, it is considered separate property. While this can be tricky, our experienced lawyers can classify your property as marital or separate and explain what you can reasonably expect to keep in the divorce.

Are Businesses And Property Acquired Before Marriage Always Separate?

If you own a small business, vacation home or other piece of property before marriage, you may think that you should be able to fully retain that asset during divorce. While these are initially considered separate property, the lines can become muddled throughout marriage.

If your spouse improves the property, or puts work into the business, a portion of that asset becomes marital property. While they may not be entitled to half of the business, or property, the court may award them a portion of the asset’s value to reflect their investment of resources.

How Are Retirement And Financial Accounts Divided?

During divorce, your retirement account or pension may be eligible for division as marital property if you earned the funds during your marriage. Retirement assets earned before marriage are considered separate property and are not eligible for division.

Financial accounts, and money earned during your marriage, can only be protected from division if they are secured by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys

Our attorneys have over 30 years of legal experience. If you have additional questions about divorce or property division, our knowledgeable team can provide you with the guidance you need. You can call our Nashville office at 615-320-0600, or toll free at 888-521-9952. You may also email our firm.