Going through a high asset divorce seems daunting. If you and your spouse have acquired substantial assets during your marriage, you may be concerned about the impact of a divorce on those assets. Tennessee statutes require that the court divide your assets equitably if you cannot reach an agreement outside of court through mediation or negotiation. The statutes list the factors that the court must consider in order to equitably divide marital assets and debts.
T.C.A. 36-4-121 (c) provides that the following factors shall be considered:
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, employability, earning capacity, estate, financial liabilities and financial needs of each of the parties;
- The tangible or intangible contribution by one (1) party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
- The relative ability of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
- The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, depreciation or dissipation of the marital or separate property, including the contribution of a party to the marriage as homemaker, wage earner or parent, with the contribution of a party as homemaker or wage earner to be given the same weight if each party has fulfilled its role;
- The value of the separate property of each party;
- The estate of each party at the time of the marriage;
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective;
- The tax consequences to each party, costs associated with the reasonably foreseeable sale of the asset, and other reasonably foreseeable expenses associated with the asset;
- The amount of social security benefits available to each spouse; and
- Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.
REACHING AN AGREEMENT
There are different methods of reaching an agreement on the division of your assets. Mediation is one option. Collaborative law is another option. In a high asset divorce, it important to obtain accurate values of the assets. If you and your spouse do not agree on the value, it may be necessary to get an appraisal. This becomes extremely important if either party owns a business.
Another factor that has to be considered is the tax impact of division if you are considering the distribution of pre-tax assets versus post-tax assets. Depending on the length of your marriage, there may also have to be analysis on whether any portion of an asset is separate property.
At Held Law Firm, we will work with you to formulate a plan to achieve an equitable division. Please give us a call if you would like to set up a consultation to discuss your divorce.
Melanie Hogg is an attorney at Held Law Firm.