With a rating of 85.5 against the national average of 100, Knoxville, Tennessee, is ranked 113th out of 505 cities in the world when it comes to the cost of living. Due to a steady increase in the prices of goods and services, financial management has become crucial. Also, adding to the woes is the rising unemployment rate, which increased 10.9 percentage points to 14.1%.
Such testing times have resulted in couples deciding to part ways for good. A Knoxville divorce lawyer can be your guide during this challenging phase by providing professional support on property division post-divorce.
Property Division In Knoxville, Tennessee
According to the state’s definition, property division is the dividing of marital property during the divorce proceedings. However, Knoxville, Tennessee’s law does not necessarily divide the property in equal. Tennessee, being an equitable distribution state, values your property and distributes according to their monetary value.
Apart from shared marital assets, Knoxville court values each party’s asset separately. If the court deems you to be monetarily superior to your spouse, a substantial portion of matrimonial assets may be awarded to the less-privileged spouse.
Marital property is what you acquired during the marriage. Those assets acquired before the wedding, after separation, inherited or gained through personal injury settlements are considered non-marital assets. A Knoxville divorce lawyer can best sort out the complexities involving property settlements during the divorce proceedings.
Factors Governing the Division of Assets
Several factors influence the court’s decision about dividing your property.
- Length of your marriage
- Financial ability and need of each spouse, along with earning capacity, age, employability, physical and mental health
- Quantifiable or intangible efforts of one spouse towards the education and increased earning capacity of the other
- Value of each party’s separate and marital properties
- Economic situation during the time of division
- Available social security benefits
- Tax consequences, along with costs associated with the sale of assets and other asset-related expenses
Available social security benefits
Tax consequences, along with costs associated with the sale of assets and other asset-related expenses
However, there are always exceptions to the rules. Termed as commingling and transmutation, a divorce lawyer in Knoxville can help you sail through situations where even separate properties are considered as marital property.
How Are Your Assets Valued?
Assigning a monetary value to your asset can be tricky. Certain assets like stocks, bank accounts, and investment portfolios are easily quantifiable, while those like automobiles, real estate have debatable prices.
For assets like fine art, businesses, jewelry, and collectibles, you may seek outside help for determining their worth. Nevertheless, the asset value may be simplified to personal or professional opinion when presented to the court. But you are not alone in this process. A reputed Knoxville divorce lawyer can assist you with official valuing and connecting with industry experts for placing fair prices.
A gift to only your spouse is separate property in Knoxville, Tennessee. However, if it is blended with a marital asset, the gift is subject to division. For instance, both you and your spouse moving into an inherited house makes it a marital property fit for the division. Should you decide to keep your inheritance separate, it may sometimes mean receiving a smaller share in the marital property.
Retirement Plans, IRAs, 401Ks and Pensions
Like any other asset, Knoxville, Tennessee considers retirement plans, IRAs, 401Ks and pensions as marital assets. However, you only need to share the number of retirement assets earned during your marriage period.
Splitting these assets is a multi-step process, with the court passing a decree for your assets to be divided. QDRO or Qualified Domestic Relations Order is passed and approved by the court and plan administrator. The QDRO is a tool that establishes your spouse as an alternate payee and contains specifics for the division of your retirement assets.
A divorce can bring a lot of things on your plate, and you need proper legal counsel for navigating this complicated process. Valuing your marital assets is of the essence, and only professionals can help you retain the rightful ownership of assets.