What Happens to Land in a Divorce?
You and your spouse are getting a divorce. You are going through the assets, and there is land involved. How does it get divided? Do you and your spouse each get half of it?
Not necessarily. While you could technically split your land in half, that is not what usually happens due to the rigmarole involved. It is not like you can just draw a line down the middle. There are a lot of steps you would need to take, and in most cases, the spouses would not want to split the land anyway, especially if the parcels were next to each other.
So what happens to land in a divorce? It is treated just like any other asset in a Tennessee divorce. Tennessee follows equitable distribution rules, which means marital property is split fairly (not necessarily equally). But this begs the question: is the land marital property?
Separate vs. Marital Property
Marital property pertains to assets that are acquired while the couple is married. This can include anything from houses to vehicles to bank accounts to stocks to furniture. Separate property, on the other hand, refers to assets that the party had before getting married. Inheritances are also considered separate property, even if a person acquires them during the marriage. So, if you acquired the land as an inheritance and it sat there untouched until your divorce, then it would remain yours.
However, there are a couple of exceptions. Commingling is the big one. This refers to assets being used for marital purposes. For example, if a person receives an inheritance and uses it to renovate the marital home, it has become commingled, and it is no longer deemed separate property. So if you bought the land before marriage, but your spouse improved it by building a road, shed, house, or other structure or improvement on it, then the land would now be considered marital property.
Another exception would be if there is a prenuptial agreement in place. If your prenup clearly states that you get the land in the event of a divorce, then that’s what would happen to it.
When the Land is Marital Property
If the land is, in fact, marital property, then you and your spouse can decide how it will be split. Or maybe neither if you want it and decide to sell it. You can come to an agreement on your own. However, if you two cannot come to an agreement, then the court can decide. The judge will decide based on how the land was acquired and if any improvements were made to it.
Contact Us Today
Property is split equitably in a Tennessee divorce, so any land you have would be treated the same way. It will depend on how it was acquired and what, if any, improvements were made to it.
A Murfreesboro divorce lawyer from The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you understand asset division in Tennessee and ensure you are treated fairly. Call (615) 896-7656 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.