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The rules of marital property in Tennessee

As part of a divorce settlement, marital property may be split among the former spouses. How items are split may depend on state law and whether there is a prenuptial agreement in place. It is important to note that nonmarital assets may be considered marital assets if money is placed in a joint bank account or if the other spouse contributes to the upkeep of an asset or helps to improve it.

Therefore, it is critical that each spouse keep good records to verify that an asset is not marital property at the time of a divorce settlement. If an individual deposits marital income into a separate account, it may be viewed as commingling. This means that was once a separate asset may now be considered a marital asset because the marital income is a joint asset of the couple.

Even if a spouse does not take steps to pay for or maintain a nonmarital asset, some portion of it may still be considered marital property. This is true if the property appreciates in value during the marriage. The appreciation will generally be considered marital property that may be up for division at the end of a marriage. Businesses may also be considered at least partially marital in nature if it appreciates in value during the marriage.

Any property obtained during a marriage may be eligible for division in a divorce. This includes real estate holdings, retirement accounts and anything else that may have purchased with marital money. An attorney might be able to help individuals verify which assets are separate property and should not be part of the division process. Legal counsel may also review prenuptial agreements to possibly determine if they are valid.

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