Getting Divorced in Tennessee? What to Know About the Equitable Distribution Standard

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Getting Divorced in Tennessee? What to Know About the Equitable Distribution Standard

When you get divorced, you have to untangle your lives—including your finances. One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is figuring out who gets what. In Tennessee, a divorcing couple’s marital property is subject to equitable distribution. It is divided in a fair manner. Here, our Franklin divorce attorney explains themost important things to understand about the equitable distribution of property in Tennessee.


Know the Law: Equitable Distribution in Tennessee

Similar to most but not all jurisdictions in the United States, Tennessee uses an equitable distribution standard. Understate Law (Tennessee Code § 36-4-121), courts have discretion to divide a divorce couple’s marital property in an equitable manner. In other words, the law mandates that assets and debts acquired during marriage must be divided fairly—though not necessarily equally. It is essential to understand that 'equitable' does not always mean a 50/50 split. Instead, the court looks at a variety of factors to determine a distribution that is fair for both parties.


A Key Question: Separate Property vs. Marital Property

For couples in Tennessee that are going through a divorce and navigating the issue of property division, they need to determine what is “separate” and what is “marital.” Indeed, doing so is a

a fundamental step in the equitable distribution process. Separate property refers to assets that were owned by either spouse before the marriage or were acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. These assets typically remain with the original owner post-divorce. On the other hand, marital property includes all assets and debts accumulated by the couple during their marriage. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution.

Collaborative Solutions Often Work Best for Property Division and Divorce

Dividing property is never easy for divorcing couples—even if you and your spouse both already agree that you want an even split. Not all property can be easily divided. You may have a house, vehicles, family heirlooms, or high value personal property. For most divorcing couples, collaborative solutions yield the best outcome. Both parties may be able to together—with support from a Tennessee divorce lawyer—to reach a mutually acceptable agreement as to what should happen with their property and their debts. By choosing collaboration over confrontation, spouses can maintain greater control over the final decisions regarding asset division and spare themselves of the potentially lengthy and costly battle that comes with litigation. Of course, every case is unique. Collaboration does not work for every couple and you may need to take aggressive legal action to protect your family law rights and your financial interests.


Contact Our Franklin, TN Divorce Lawyer Today for Help With Property Division  

At Campbell Perky Johnson, PLLC, ourTennessee divorce attorneys are committed to helping clients find the most effective solutions. If you have any questions about the equitable distribution of property, please do not hesitate to contact us today for your confidential initial consultation. With an office in Franklin, we handle property division issues in Nashville and throughout the region.