How Debts Are Divided in a Tennessee Divorce

When you’re in the beginning stages of the divorce process, it’s natural to feel a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future and how it will all pan out. One thing that’s on the mind of many at this point is their financial future. If you have concerns about how your debts will be divided in your divorce, we hope today’s blog post will give you a clearer idea of what to expect.

Will debts from before my marriage be divided in the divorce? 

No. Any debt you or your spouse already had at the time of your marriage will remain with the person who had it originally and will not be divided. Only “marital debts,” or in other words those that came into existence during your marriage, will be divided in your divorce.

How do Tennessee courts decide how to split the marital debts?

When debts are associated assets, such as a home or vehicle, the spouse that takes the asset will usually also be assigned the associated debt. Tennessee courts also take into consideration who incurred the debt, who benefited from the debt, and who is more capable of repaying the debt.

What about credit card debts?

Credit card debt tends to be the most complicated to divide. Even if the card was only in one party’s name, courts tend to assume that the purchases made on the card were made for the benefit of the family as a whole and the debts tend to be split 50/50.

Is Tennessee a 50/50 state for property division?

No. Tennessee is considered an equitable distribution state for property division in divorces.

How can I make sure that I am treated fairly in the division of debts and throughout the rest of my divorce?

Although Tennessee courts make every effort to be fair in property and debt divisions, it is wise to have a family law attorney by your side throughout your divorce to represent your best interest and advocate for you. At Piper McCracken, we have extensive experience helping our clients in matters like these. If you have any questions about debt division or the divorce process, or if you’re ready to get started on your case, please contact us today!

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Piper McCracken, PLLC

Our firm began as a belief that things could be done better—in both the practice of law and in the working lives of lawyers. Founding partners, Heather Piper and Joanna McCracken, met while working as attorneys at a large, regional firm. They honed their skills as litigators on a broad range of cases from medical malpractice and product liability, to real estate and entertainment law. But it was their mutual desire to help people on a more personal level that inspired them to begin a family law practice.

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