Learning more about what to expect going into a separation or a divorce can make the process easier. It is important to be aware of some of the most prevalent misconceptions and myths about getting a divorce.
1. Getting a Divorce Is Always a Legal Battle
Even when divorcing spouses are having serious trouble agreeing on financial issues such as property division or spousal support, it doesn’t mean that they have to spend hundreds of hours preparing for contentious litigation. Pursuing a collaborative divorce with firms like the Knoxville Family Law Center could be an avenue to work out issues that you aren’t seeing eye to eye on. Trying to reach a mutual agreement about divorce terms may make the process less contentious and help people retain a sense of control.
2. Divorce Law Is Black and White
Every divorcing couple’s situation is unique, and the judiciary recognizes that there is no single formula for determining what property each party to a divorce should walk away with. Statutory law governing divorce procedures sets general guidelines for courts, but the way that courts apply them can vary greatly depending on unique circumstances.
When you’re looking for the best divorce attorney in Knoxville to assess your individual position and discuss your priorities, look for help from someone whose primary concentration involves representing clients in family law and divorce matters. In general, it is preferable to seek representation from someone who has an intensive understanding of how local courts interpret and apply state law.
3. Couples Who Are Getting a Divorce Have to Split Half of Everything They Own
Property division is not always a 50-50 split in divorce proceedings. The first thing that courts have to do when they are dividing property is determine which property is divisible. Property that individuals own before they marry usually remains theirs and is not part of a marital estate.
There are a few other exceptions exempting property that individuals acquire over the course of marriage from inclusion in the marital estate. Gifts and inheritances, for instance, could be categorized as separate.
Tennessee’s statutory law compels courts to apply the legal principle of equitable distribution in awarding property. According to this doctrine, courts must split marital assets between spouses in an equitable manner. This framework does not define equity in terms of parity but rather reasonableness and fairness to both parties.
4. No-Fault Divorces Means Fault Is Irrelevant
In Tennessee, irreconcilable differences are the most common grounds for divorce. People who are availing this no-fault approach to end a marriage may conclude that wrongdoing in the relationship is not going to have any impact on the outcome of litigation. However, there are several situations in which conduct that contributed to the breakdown of a marriage might play a role in the proceedings. Squandering assets or using them towards an extramarital affair, for example, could bear on a ruling.
Ultimately, it is helpful to go into a divorce understanding that you may need to get more information about relevant law and logistical considerations in order to proceed with confidence. Learning more about your rights and remedies will equip you to make well-informed decisions.