If you’ve decided to divorce your spouse, you may already know that your assets could be at risk. You want to protect your assets, but without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, can you?
Simply put, since Tennessee is not a community property state and instead focuses on equitable distribution, you can take steps to show that you deserve a larger portion of the marital estate. There is no assumption that you should split your assets 50-50.
So, what can you do to protect the assets that you’d like to keep from your marital estate?
Consider negotiating instead of heading to court
One of the best things you can do is figure out how to negotiate a settlement with your spouse for the assets that you want. If you go to court, a judge will make the final determination on how to split your property, and you’ll have to build a case to get what you want.
Working with your spouse to come up with fair arrangements may be easier. For example, if you earn less than your spouse and will struggle to purchase furniture or have the same quality of life after the divorce, you may be able to negotiate a greater portion of your marital assets for yourself. They may be willing to give you that larger portion since they’re in a position to replace what they agree to let you take.
Settling is usually a better alternative than going to court, but if you and your spouse can’t agree on property division through normal negotiations or mediation, you may end up litigating. If you go to divorce court, you will want to build a strong case to keep your assets. You may need to show that your budget won’t allow you to repurchase certain items or that you paid more toward your lifestyle than your spouse. Doing this may help convince a judge to award you more than your spouse to help you balance your life after the divorce.
Every case is different, so you’ll want to put together a strong strategy for negotiating a fair divorce settlement.