Divorce is one of the most difficult situations a family may face. Decisions concerning property division, the payment of debts, child custody, and spousal support will be addressed by the Court.
Property Division- The laws of Tennessee state that the Court should make an equitable division of marital property. ” 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 to the date of the final divorce hearing, and valued as of a date as near as reasonably possible to the date of entry of the order of the final divorce.
“Marital property includes income from, and any increase in value during the marriage of a party’s 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.
” Marital property” includes recovery in personal injury, workers’ compensation, social security disability actions, and other similar actions for the following: wages lost during the marriage, reimbursement for medical bills incurred and paid with marital property, and property damage to marital property.
Separate property means:
(A) All real and personal property owned by a spouse before marriage, including, but not limited to, assets held in individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
(B) Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
(C) Income from and appreciation of prooperty owned by a spouse before marriage except when characterized as marital property under subdivision (b)(1);
(D) Property acquired by a souse at any time by gift, bequest, devise or descent;
(E) Pain and suffering awards, victim of crime compensation awards, future medical expenses, and future lost wags; and
(F) Property acquired by a spouse after an order of legal separation where the court has made a final disposition of property.
Keep in mid that an equitable division of marital property does not always mean an equal division. In making equitable division of marital property, the court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(1) The duration of the marriage;
(2) The age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, emploabilty, earning capacity, estate, financial liabilities and financial needs of each of the parties;
(3) The tangible or intangible contribution by one(1) party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
(4)The relative ability of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
(5) The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, depreciation or dissipation of the marital or separate property, including the contribution of a party to the marriage as homemaker, wage earner or parent, with the contribution of a party as homemaker or wage earner to be given the same weight if each party has fulfilled its role;
(6) The value of the separate property of each party;
(7) The estate of each party at the time of the marriage;
(8) The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of the property is to become effective;
(9) The tax consequences to each party, costs associated with the reasonably foreseeable sale of the asset, and other reasonably foreseeable expenses associated with the asset;
(10) The amount of social security benefits available to each spouse; and
(11) Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.