Things to Consider in Dividing Assets and Debt in a Divorce

Sarah Richter Perky
minutes read

Standard in Dividing Property

Trial courts have wide latitude in fashioning an equitable division of marital property. However, their decisions must be guided by the factors in Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121(c) and must be made without regard to marital fault. The decision is not a mechanical one and is not rendered inequitable because it is not precisely equal or because both parties did not receive a share of each piece of property.  

Important Factors in Dividing Property

In making an equitable division of marital property, the court is statutorily required to consider all relevant factors including but not limited to:

  1. The duration of the marriage;
  2. The age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, employability, 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 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. In determining the value of an interest in a closely held business or similar asset, all relevant evidence, including valuation methods typically used with regard to such assets without regard to whether the sale of the asset is reasonably foreseeable. Depending on the characteristics of the asset, such considerations could include, but would not be limited to, a lack of marketability discount, a discount for lack of control, and a control premium, if any should be relevant and supported by the evidence;
  11. The amount of social security benefits available to each spouse; and
  12. Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

Contact Us

If you would like to discuss your assets and debts and how these factors may affect your divorce, please contact CPJ for a consultation.