Divorce can be many things, but one of the most common things it can be is a fight over money. While you were married, you and your spouse were building a future together. Whether your goals included buying a home, starting and running a business, or retiring in comfort, you needed money to achieve your dreams. Now that your marriage is ending, you and your spouse must try to find a way to divide up the wealth you were saving together.
In family law, this is called asset division. Depending on how things go, it can be a relatively smooth process or a long, acrimonious battle.
Fair division of property in Tennessee
Tennessee follows the equitable division system in divorce, as do most states. In equitable division, divorcing spouses must split up their marital property in a way that is “equitable,” meaning fair. Each party should get a reasonable share of the marital assets, though the law does not require them to divide them up exactly 50-50. This gives you and your ex a lot of flexibility to negotiate a settlement. For example, if one spouse wants to keep the house, they can agree to receive a lower share of the retirement savings.
Even if you did not earn an income during the marriage, you are still entitled to a fair share of the assets. Stay-at-home parents who are in charge of the household help their working spouses focus on their careers. Both spouses worked to make the working spouse’s success possible, so both get to share the rewards they acquired during the marriage. There is an exception for nonmarital assets belonging to one spouse solely.
Getting a reasonable financial share
If you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, the process of asset division is faster because the decisions have already been made. Otherwise, you and your attorney will work together to identify what is most important to you and make sure you will be financially stable after divorce.