Division of Property and Debts in Tennessee Divorce Law
One thing that happens when two people get married is that their assets and debts are suddenly merged. These remain merged, and the assets and debts which are then accrued merge into the remainder. Such is the nature of that famous union of two souls we call matrimony. So, if marriage comes with a merging of property and debt, it makes sense that divorce comes with an opposing process: division.
If you’re considering divorce or have already began the procedures, you might be concerned about how exactly your stuff is going to get divvied up. It’s a fair consideration. After all, it’s yours. The thing is, in the eyes of the law, it’s also your spouse’s. For better or worse, same goes for debts. But first:
What qualifies as property?
Or rather, what’s fair game for splitsies? According to Tennessee divorce law, dividable property includes any personal property acquired by either spouse at any point during the marriage. That also includes every single bit of real estate property — as long as said property was purchased after the wedding bells and before the divorce gavel.
If you and your spouse got married and adopted a Scottish terrier named Dudley, Dudley would sadly fall under the category of Property That Can Be Divided.
As far as property acquired prior to the marriage, these belong to whoever put the money down (or received it) in the first place. Same goes for inherited stuff, as long as it was inherited before the marriage was finalized.
If you were already in residential cahoots with a Scottish terrier named Dudley before you got married, you’re in luck. You and Dudley: together forever.
Division of Debt
If the aforementioned rules for dividing property make sense to you, then there’s not much need to explain the finer points of dividing debt. It’s pretty much the same. Whatever debts you or your spouse acquired prior to getting hitched stick with whoever acquired them. On the other hand, any debt that came into play during the marriage is up for grabs. Try not to get too excited.
If you owed a thousand dollars to a Scottish Terrier named Dud— just kidding. You get the picture.
Play it safe!
When it comes to property, you want to make sure you’re not getting less than you deserve. When it comes to debt, you definitely want to make sure you’re not saddled with more than you deserve. Whether you have a lot of expensive assets or a few sentimental ones, it doesn’t pay to take chances.
The best way to make sure this whole divorce thing ends with you walking out the door with the right to keep your own stuff is simple: don’t do this alone. Get help. Specifically, get help from an experienced divorce attorney that you trust. If property division is something that you’re especially worried about, make sure you’re shopping for divorce lawyers who boast a track record of dividing property successfully. They’re out there!
FIND THE RIGHT ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOUR LIVELIHOOD
If you’ve made it this far, it’s time to consider your options and make the most informed choice you can. After all, this is one of the most crucial times for your case, so don’t wait to take action. Contact our team and we’ll get started right away on finding the best possible outcome for you.