When going through a divorce, the division of assets and debts is often a primary concern.
In dividing property, the courts will consider whether the property is marital property or separate property. Marital property is subject to division during a divorce while separate property is not.
So, what are the differences between the two?
- Marital Property: In Tennessee, marital property are those assets that were acquired during the marriage or assets that became co-mingled during the marriage. For example, when a married couple buys a home or car during the marriage that becomes marital property for the purposes of a divorce. Each party has a 50% interest in the home or car because it was bought during the marriage.
- Separate Property: Conversely, if the wife has a bank account only titled in her name that she brought into the marriage, that will be considered separate property. However, if the wife adds husband’s name to this bank account, she has made it marital property subject to the court’s division in the divorce.
It is also important to be aware of spouses contributing to the increase of valuation of separate property and assets. For example, a husband has a house that is considered separate property when the parties marry. The husband owns the asset and keeps it in his name only, not co-mingling the asset with the wife. However, the wife helps make significant renovations to the home and marital funds are used to do so. Because the wife contributed to the home’s increase in value over the course of the marriage, she could be entitled to a portion of the increase in value after the renovation.
Another common question is whether inheritance is marital property. The answer to that concern is no, a person’s inheritance from family members or friends is separate property and not subject to division. But, again, if a spouse deposits an inheritance into a joint bank account or somehow comingles the assets, it can become marital property.
The division of property is just one of many factors that can be stressful during a divorce. Here at Batson Nolan , our experienced Family Legal Matters Team is here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment to find the right lawyer for your case. With offices located in Clarksville and Springfield , TN, our legal professionals have been proudly serving Tennessee, Kentucky and beyond since 1860.