Tennessee Divorce Guide

Dividing Marital Property

Tennessee is an equitable distribution Dividing marital propertystate, which means that the court will divide the marital assets between the parties as it deems equitable and just, after setting aside to each spouse the separate property of each.

Marital property defined

Marital property” means all real and personal property, both tangible and intangible, acquired by either or both spouses during the course of the marriage up to the date of the final divorce hearing and owned by either or both spouses as of the date of filing of a complaint for divorce, except in the case of fraudulent conveyance in anticipation of filing, and including any property to which a right was acquired up to the date of the final divorce hearing, and valued as of a date as near as reasonably possible to the final divorce hearing date.

Marital property includes income from, and any increase in value during the marriage of, property determined to be separate property if each party substantially contributed to its preservation and appreciation, and the value of vested and unvested pension, vested and unvested stock option rights, retirement or other fringe benefit rights relating to employment that accrued during the period of the marriage.

Substantial contribution” may include, but not be limited to, the direct or indirect contribution of a spouse as homemaker, wage earner, parent or family financial manager, together with such other factors as the court having jurisdiction thereof may determine.

If the court needs to determine the division of assets

If the court makes a final distribution of marital property at the time of the decree of legal separation, any after-acquired property is separate property.

You and your divorcing spouse will be given an opportunity to put together a divorce settlement. If you are unable to come to an agreement, the court will step in. Some of the factors the court considers in dividing the property between the parties include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, employability, earning capacity, estate, financial liabilities and financial needs of the spouses
  • The tangible and intangible contributions of each spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other
  • The relative ability of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
  • The contributions of each party to the acquisition reservation, appreciation, depreciation or dissipation of the marital or separate property
  • The value of each party’s separate property and
  • Any other factors necessary to achieve an equitable distribution

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[Tennessee Code – Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-121]

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