Many divorced spouses in Tennessee agree that the outcome of property division after a divorce is a matter of serious concern. Marital property refers to all tangible and intangible personal property, purchased or acquired by either or both the spouses during the course of the marriage.
Marital property also includes income from property, pension, stock options and retirement benefits accrued during the marriage’s tenure. Recovery from personal injury, workers’ compensation, reimbursement of medical bills and lost wages, while married, are also considered components of marital property.
After a divorce, the court may order equitable division or distribution all marital property between the two parties. The court may also assign all marital property to one party or reserve the division process for a later time.
In some cases, the court may call for divestiture of a property or order a sale of the property and divide the proceeds between the two parties. It may also impose additional conditions upon the property’s sale to ensure that the property is sold for fair market value. Assets distributed as marital property may not be used to pay child support expenses unless used as an additional source of parental income.
Properties owned by spouses before marriage or acquired by a spouse at any time by gift or bequest are considered separate properties and are exempt from division. When deciding property division, the court considers the tenure of the marriage, age or physical health of the spouses, employability, earning capacity and financial needs and liabilities of both parties.
Before deciding on property division, the court also looks at the value of separate properties held by the spouses, the financial viability of each property at the time of marriage, Social Security benefits of each spouse and the contribution of each spouse in acquiring marital properties.
Source: Tennessee Statutes, “Distribution of marital property,” Accessed on Apr. 17, 2015