Whether you have filed for legal separation or divorce, there are a host of issues to negotiate before creating the final settlement. One of the most daunting tasks is dividing marital property and assets accumulated throughout your marriage.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you and your spouse may be able to amicably agree on who receives what in the settlement and file a marital dissolution agreement with the court. If you cannot, however, the court will determine the final property division details. Understanding how property division works may help to ensure you receive everything you deserve in the final settlement.
What is equitable division?
Tennessee, like many other states in the nation, follows an equitable division of property model when separating property and assets. Unlike the community property states, which split assets equally in half, the equitable property model divides assets based on key factors of the situation. According to Tennessee state statutes, the court will then distribute property and assets according to what it deems is fair.
What are the factors that affect equitable division?
The court will consider your and your spouse’s individual situations and other factors when making the final decision. These factors include the following:
- Each party’s occupation and ability to make money
- Length of the marriage
- Whether there are children involved
- Contribution each party made to the acquisition of property and assets
The court may also consider whether you or your spouse stayed home to take care of the children while the other person went to school or furthered a career.
It is important that you disclose all property and assets in your possession to help the process run smoothly and avoid legal consequences.