In every state, there are laws that tell a court how to handle property division in a divorce. Because this is a topic that can become quite complex, the law provides guidelines based on one of two methods. Every state either follows the rules of community property or equitable distribution.
Community property laws tell a judge to split the property 50/50. Equitable distribution laws, on the other hand, tell a judge to split the property fairly. Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, and according to Insider, there are a few points about this type of property division that you should know.
Equitable distribution does not mean an even distribution. The judge could give you more or less than your spouse. The judge will usually try to focus on fairness, which he or she determines.
When determining fairness, the judge will consider many things about you, your spouse, your assets and your financial situations. He or she wants to determine the circumstances of each of you after the divorce.
For example, if your spouse earns more money and will have an easier time financially after the divorce, then the court may award you more property to help even things out a bit.
One thing to keep in mind about property division in your divorce is that you can have control over who gets what. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement outside of court, then you can split the property in any way you want.
The rules of equitable distribution only apply when the court must make the decisions about dividing your property.