Knoxville Property Division Attorney
One of the significant decisions to make in a divorce is how to divide up the marital property between the divorcing spouses. If the couple do not have any minor children and agree on how to divide the property, they can draw up a marital dissolution agreement detailing the property division. If they do have children or disagree on how to divvy up the marital property, the matter must be referred to mediation or litigation in court, with the judge making the ultimate decision on the division of marital property. Knoxville property division attorney Patrick L. Looper is your guide through the process of determining which property is marital and separate, how much each asset is worth, and how to divide the marital property in a way that is fair and just and meets your needs regarding the property that is most important to you.
Determining the Character and Value of Tennessee Marital Property
There are many ways our Knoxville family law attorney can help with the property division in your divorce. One way is to help in distinguishing whether property is marital or separate under Tennessee law. The court only divides marital property; your own separate property is yours to keep. Basically, separate property is property you acquired before marriage or during marriage through a gift or inheritance. Other income or assets, as well as debts and liabilities, acquired during marriage are marital property. However, depending on how property is handled, separate property can become marital and subject to division, and marital property can sometimes be turned into separate property as well. We can help determine the marital estate so only marital property is divided.
Once identified, marital property must be properly valued so it can be fairly divided. Attorney Patrick L. Looper can assist in the valuation of complex property assets, such as business valuations, the determination of self-employment income, the value of pensions plans and future retirement benefits, the value of stock options or profit-sharing plans, and the imputation of a fair amount of income to someone who is intentionally unemployed or underemployed.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in Tennessee Divorces
Tennessee law requires judges to make an “equitable distribution” of the marital property between the divorcing spouses. Often a 50/50 split of the property will be considered equitable, but there are some types of property that cannot be split up, and there may be some assets that are very important to you and that you wish to retain for yourself. If the parties can’t agree, the judge will have to decide how to divide the property in an equitable way, which may include giving the house to the primary residential parent and making offsets through in solido lump-sum alimony payments.
There may also be factors which lead the judge to decide that an unequal division of property would be more fair or equitable. Factors which may result in an unequal division of marital property include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The health of the parties
- Each person’s job skills and earning capacity
- The needs of each party
- Each party’s contributions to the marriage, including earning income as well as managing the household
When you are arguing for a specific outcome regarding the property division, you’ll need to be able to present credible evidence and convincing arguments for the outcome you desire. Attorney Patrick L. Looper is an experienced Knoxville family lawyer who knows how to prepare and present a strong case reflecting your interests.
Call Knoxville Family Attorney Patrick L. Looper for Help with the Property Division in Your Tennessee Divorce
For help with the property division in your Tennessee divorce, contact Knoxville family attorney Patrick L. Looper at 865-229-3164 for a free consultation regarding the division of property and other important, contested issues in your divorce.