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Marital property exceptions in Tennessee

Divorce is rarely easy, but some states do tend to make the process easier than others. Here in Tennessee, we enjoy fewer regulations than some other states, and are not a community property state, so couples have greater flexibility to decide between themselves how they divide their assets and liabilities in divorce.

Property division is one the most complicated and time-consuming aspects of most divorces, along with any child custody issues that may arise for divorcing parents. In very broad strokes, couples divorcing in Tennessee must reach an agreement about how to divide up all of the assets and liabilities that count as marital property between them. So, what exactly counts as marital property in the Volunteer State?

Generally speaking, assets or liabilities that either party acquires during the course of the marriage counts as marital property. However, there are some exceptions. Some of these include

  • Any property that one spouse acquires by trading property he or she owned prior to the marriage
  • Capital gains applied to property that either party owned prior to the marriage, such as a house
  • Property that either spouse received as a personal gift during the marriage, such as inheritance or birthday gifts
  • Monetary awards from a civil or criminal suit

If you have concerns about the status of certain property as you head into a divorce, be sure that you have all the legal counsel you need to protect your priorities and rights. Even if a particular piece of property does qualify as marital property, you may have more options than you realize to protect it.

Source: FindLaw, "Tennessee Marital Property Laws," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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