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Do you have to divide all your assets in a divorce?

| Apr 1, 2021 | Family Law |

You don’t have to lose everything when you get divorced in Tennessee. While the judge might consider most of your assets to be marital property, you have certain assets that your estranged spouse can’t seize in the divorce. This is in addition to properties that you might have protected with a prenup.

What are some properties that your spouse can’t take in a divorce?

If you received a settlement after you filed a lawsuit, your spouse is not entitled to take a part of it during your divorce. This might include damages from medical malpractice, personal injury, defective products or another issue.

Additionally, your spouse can’t seize gifts and inheritances. For example, if a family member recently died and left you a large share of their estate, your spouse can’t seize any of these assets. Your spouse also can’t take gifts that you received from a friend or family member. This includes gifts that your spouse gave you during your marriage, like jewelry or collectibles.

Your estranged spouse can’t take anything that you owned before you got married. Similarly, they can’t take any profits that you made off these properties. If you owned a house before you got married and the house has increased in value, your estranged spouse is not entitled to those profits. However, your former spouse might be entitled to a share of any properties that you bought during your marriage.

If you signed a prenup before you got married, you won’t have to divide anything that you covered in that document. Talk to a divorce attorney before trying to manage the property division process by yourself.

Do you need an attorney to divide up your properties?

If you don’t hire an attorney, you might end up giving up properties that you actually didn’t need to divide. For example, many people don’t know that their spouse isn’t entitled to property appreciation if they bought the property before they got married. Your estranged spouse might also undervalue their assets or try to hide properties from you before you finalize your divorce. An attorney could prevent all of this from happening.