Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

Property Division in Tennessee

When couples go through a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is often whether or not they will be able to keep their house. Whether you’ve owned your house for 1 month or 10 years, it can be extremely difficult to part from your home. On the other hand, you might wish to let go of the home in favor of other marital assets that mean more to you. Whatever your situation, make sure you know how Tennessee law deals with property division so that you can determine what to do with your home during your divorce.

Is Tennessee a Community Property State?

No, Tennesse is not a community property state. Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, which means all shared assets, those that belonged to both spouses during the marriage, are subject to division.

Properties owned by one spouse or the other, such as student loans, family inheritance, or personal gifts, will likely remain that person’s property. However, any assets or properties acquired during the marriage will be considered a marital asset and is therefore subject to division. In some cases, couples may be able to decide how they would like their assets divided on their own, in which case they can avoid court and draw up their own Marital Dissolution Agreement with the help of their respective lawyers. For other couples, a court-appointed judge will decide how the property will be separated.

Understanding Equitable Distribution.

The way that property is divided depends greatly on what the court deems fair. Property is distributed equitably, which means fairly, but not necessarily equally. Just because one spouse earned more, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she will retain more of the marital assets. The court will consider each spouse’s contributions to the marriage before any possessions are divided. For example, marital contributions might include raising the couple’s children or supporting the career growth of the other spouse.

The court will also consider a few other factors before dividing property, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • The health of each spouse
  • The benefits available to each spouse

Splitting the House

If your house was acquired during your marriage, it will likely be considered marital property, which means it will be subject to division by the court. Most spouses do not want to share the house after they divorce, which means the house will need to either be sold or given to one spouse over the other. If the couple chooses to sell the house, they may split the profits evenly.

In the event that one spouse wants the house, they may be awarded the house in lieu of other marital assets. For example, one spouse may receive the house while the other is given other properties or more funds instead. In cases where children are involved, the parent with primary custody is more likely to retain the house than the other parent.

Are you getting a divorce? Make sure you know what to expect during property division and find out what you can do to obtain the assets that are most important to you.

Contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys to discuss your legal options with our Clarksville family lawyers.

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