Marital Property v. Separate Property: (And, Why They Matter)

Marital property v. separate property. More than likely, the words speak for themselves. Without question, separate property may be real and personal property you owned before you married or after your divorce. Just about everything else is marital property – with a few exceptions. For example, if you acquired property by way of inheritance, Tennessee law considers it to be separate property. Why is this even important? T.C.A. § 36-4-121 provides the details on dividing property after couples divorce or legally separate. In fact, the law specifically deals with the distribution of marital property. The reason? Separate property remains apart from the distribution. As you can see, the distinction between marital and separate property becomes critical when you pursue a divorce. In addition to the items already described, the law also defines separate property to include: Assets held in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) before marriage Property acquired in exchange…

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