Every Tennessee divorce requires dividing up of the property you and your spouse have accumulated during the marriage, so you have to know what there is and how much it’s worth in dollars. In other words, when you are divorcing, each piece of property will get translated into a dollar value to make it easier to divide the property fairly.
Real estate, most automobiles and financial assets (e.g., business interests, retirement plans, stock options), must be appraised. Their values may be estimated informally when the parties agree and it is appropriate to do so.
When evaluating the martial estate, many people do not realize that they have to subtract the debt associated with any piece of property, as well as any credit card or personal debt. So, for example, if your house is worth $500,000, but you still owe $300,000, the appraised value of that particular asset for the purpose of dividing up in the divorce is not $500,000, but rather $200,000.
When the total martial estate is evaluated, the sum of all asset values is off-set by the sum of all debt still owed. For more information on handling debt in divorce, please see TN Law Topics on the Division of Debt on this web site.