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Hamilton County Law Blog

What to do with your family business when you divorce

If you and your spouse are thinking about getting a divorce but own a family business in Tennessee, one of the major decisions you must make is how to divide the business’ value between you as part of your property settlement agreement.

What you decide to do most likely will depend on a number of factors such as the following:

  • Do both of you operate the business together?
  • Does one of you run it while the other keeps its books and pays its bills?
  • Does one of you not participate in the business at all?
  • Do neither of you run it, but have business partners and/or employees who do?

How to find hidden assets during divorce

Are you worried that your cheating spouse is also cheating you out of marital property you rightfully have a claim to? Or that your spouse is attempting to hide assets to get revenge or to avoid a high payment of child support and alimony?

Whatever the reason, hiding assets is common in divorce, so you need to know what to do if you find it happening to you. The one thing not to do is respond by also withholding property. Doing so can get you into major legal trouble, so follow these tips instead.

What you need to know about Tennessee divorce mediation

In most contested divorce cases, Tennessee courts require couples to participate in divorce mediation. Understanding how this process works can help you reap its benefits.

While mediation involves fewer formalities than litigation, it is wise to have an attorney with you through this process. The decisions you make can have long-reaching consequences, so it is important to have someone on your side to provide legal advice and other assistance.

What exactly is a contested divorce?

It was love at first sight. When the two of you locked eyes, you knew. The courtship was sweet and romantic and when the two of you said, "I do" you both genuinely believed it was for a lifetime. You settled into married life and had a couple of kids, but things changed--almost imperceptibly at first. Suddenly your spouse started withdrawing.

The close conversations you used to have became less and less frequent. Where alcohol was never a part of your lives before, suddenly there is beer and wine and whiskey and you worry about raising kids that way. Where sweet talk and tenderness once prevailed, it has now been replaced with anger, hostility and nasty remarks. You worry it could end up with you or the kids being hit--or worse.

Checklist: Things that need to be done post-divorce

Your divorce is final. The divorce decree has been approved and a judgment rendered. You feel a sense of relief knowing this obstacle is behind you and are ready for the next chapter of your life. But before you can officially turn the page on your divorce, there's a few things that need to be taken care of.

I want to keep the marital home. Can I do that in divorce?

In most divorce cases, it's not difficult to see why property division is so contentious. Partners who have been married for many years may have accumulated considerable assets, many times including a valuable marital home. Most people are not inclined to simply walk away from their fair share of these assets. This raises a number of questions about dividing and keeping marital property.

One question commonly asked during Tennessee divorce is: Can I keep the marital home? To answer this question, we first need to look at how Tennessee law deals with property division.

How long should I wait after divorce to remarry?

Most people see divorce as a way to start over fresh. In some cases, this even means starting over with someone else. But remarriage too quickly after requesting a divorce can actually create more problems, especially if you do not wait the pre-requisite number of days after filing your divorce petition.

So how long does one have to wait after requesting a divorce? This depends on the state in which you live. Let's take a look.

How is property divided in a divorce?

We've all seen a television show where two characters have gone through a divorce. When it comes time to divide the character's property, the writers often depict an even 50/50 split of belongings, assets and debts, which leads a lot of people to believe that this is always the case in divorce, regardless of what state you live in.

But is this really true? Do all state laws allow for an even 50/50 split of marital property and debts? Some may be surprised to learn that the answer is: No. To better understand how property is divided in Tennessee, we need to look at the two ways in which marital property is divided in U.S. divorces.