A significant issue during divorce that needs resolving is how to divide money, property and debt between the couple. If you assume you will get half, you may want to reset that expectation. Tennessee is not one of the nine community property states, instead favoring equitable division during divorce.
What is equitable division and what will it mean for your financial future? Learn about some of the ways a court may choose to dole out marital money during divorce and the reasons behind it.
Equitable not equal
Absent an agreement between you and your spouse, the judge will reach a conclusion about what happens to your marital finances. The court surveys the financial landscape of the marriage, including each spouse’s contribution financially and emotionally to the marriage as a whole. Then, the judge reaches an equitable split based on the information gleaned from examining your financial filings and personal insight.
Some of the things the judge will consider include:
- How the marriage ended and whether one party more culpable than the other
- Did one spouse spend more time at home with children so the other could advance his or her career
- Do you or your spouse own significant separate or premarital property
These are not the only elements a judge examines, but they do weigh heavily into the decision.
Any money or property you entered the marriage with remains yours. You do not have to split it or share it with your spouse unless you combined or comingled it in a joint account or added your spouse as a co-owner of a deed. If you have a prenuptial agreement, the property set out as yours will also stay that way.
Equitable division tries to help divorcing couples get a firmer financial foothold.