Enduring a divorce is always an emotional and highly disruptive time in a person’s life. However, perhaps nowhere is this truer than when a divorce involves a couple with significant assets. These people must take special care to understand the laws of the state concerning marital property, equitable distribution, and temporary injunctions.
A party who fails to understand and abide by these laws could find themselves sacrificing significant wealth as well as seeing a forced sale of a home or business. Making matters worse, a failure to follow a court’s injunction could lead to allegations of contempt and a sacrificing of rights to certain property.
A Chattanooga high-asset divorce lawyer could help people to navigate a divorce while protecting their financial future. They can explain how the property distribution laws in Chattanooga work and take the necessary steps to preserve an individual’s right to their property.
Two people who marry obtain certain rights and obligations. Oftentimes, these rights and obligations are intertwined. For example, one major right of married parties is to the marital property of the couple. Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-121(b)(1)(A) defines marital property as all real and personal property that a couple acquires from the date of marriage to the final divorce decree. Naturally, this can include real estate, a share in a business, bank accounts, and retirement funds. It is essential that parties to a divorce take great care to delineate the differences between marital property and personal property.
This is especially important considering that Chattanooga is in an equitable property distribution state. Under Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-121(a)(1), this means that courts have the authority to distribute marital property as they see fit in an equitable way. This does not mean in an equal manner. A Chattanooga high-asset divorce lawyer could provide more information about the marital property laws and how they affect divorces in Chattanooga.
As soon as one party files a complaint for a divorce, a seriesof legal edicts go into effect. Known as temporary injunctions, a court requires all parties to a divorce to refrain from participating in certain acts. Most relevant to parties in a high-asset divorce is the prohibition against the transferring, assigning, concealing, or in any way disposing of any marital property. According to Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-106(d), these orders go into effect immediately upon the receipt of a complaint for divorce.
These rules exist for the purpose of allowing proper discovery. Discovery is the process of exchanging evidence between the two parties to the litigation. Because a court must make an equitable distribution of marital property, the court must have an accurate accounting of those assets and debts.
All parties to a divorce must undergo a mandatory mediation session. This is a chance for the parties to attempt to come to a settlement agreement that avoids the need for a trial. For high-asset couples, it is essential to be honest during these sessions and to come to the table with good intentions to reach a settlement. A Chattanooga high-asset divorce lawyer could help individuals to follow all legal requirements during a divorce and to engage in effective discovery practice to bring all marital assets forward for proper distribution.
A divorce is always a seismic change in a person’s financial life. Especially in situations where the parties do not have a marital agreement, a divorce may see the sale of real estate, the liquidation of a business, and the splitting of bank accounts.
It is essential that people who are facing this prospect understand their rights and obligations under the law. This includes the equal right to marital property, the ability to claim property as personal property, and the obligation to refrain from disposing or altering marital property.
A Chattanooga high-asset divorce attorney may be able to help. They can work with individuals to catalog their assets, to discover any assets held by their current spouse, and to fight for a fair and equitable distribution of property during mediation sessions and trial. Contact a Chattanooga high-asset divorce attorney today to schedule a consultation.