Not understanding what happens in a divorce is one of the main reasons people put off filing. They may have heard such compelling horror stories from others that they don’t want to take any risks.
What people sometimes fail to understand is that divorce outcomes differ dramatically from state to state and even family to family. Someone complaining of a particularly unfair outcome may have been subject to terms they originally approved in a marital agreement. They may also have divorced in a state with very different property division was then the rules that decide what happens to your assets in a Tennessee divorce.
Is the 50/50 division of your property the preferred outcome in Tennessee divorce proceedings?
Tennessee law requires fair property division, not necessarily an even split
When people talk about a 50/50 division of assets, they likely refer to community property rules. In some states, the presumption at the time of divorce is that a couple should stay their marital assets equally as community property. However, Tennessee is not a community property state.
When a couple divorces in Tennessee, a judge has to consider many different matters to come up with an equitable or just solution to dividing their assets and debts. Any property or income from during the marriage could be at risk of division under equitable distribution rules in a divorce. Separate property that someone inherited or already owned at the time of marriage will often not be subject to division in a Tennessee divorce.
You don’t have to let equitable distribution determine what happens with your assets
Understanding state law is a good starting place when considering divorce, but you don’t have to let a judge make decisions about how you split your property. You and your ex always have the option of negotiating your own settlement outside of court.
You might be able to reach an agreement directly or could require support, like mediation services. If you reach a mutually beneficial and agreeable settlement, the two of you can set any terms that you both agree are reasonable and appropriate. Although a judge will still have to approve the settlement, the two of you still retain control over what ultimately happens with your property.
When do you understand the rules for property division in a Tennessee divorce, it will be easier for you to think rationally about your marriage and your future.