TN Court of Appeals Divided over Applicability of Prenuptial Agreement: Heaton v. Heaton

Facts: Husband and Wife divorced after seven years of marriage. Prior to the marriage, the parties entered into a written prenuptial agreement, which recites, inter alia, that the parties desired for all separate property obtained by them during the marriage to remain separate. The agreement also provides that the only property to be considered jointly owned […]

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In Divorce, Who Gets Custody of the Debt?

The article by Charlie Wells in the Wall Street Journal may be of interest to readers of this blog. In Divorce, Who Gets Custody of the Debt? For many young couples today, marriage means more than loving, honoring and cherishing each other—it also means taking on a spouse’s student loans. And not only does educational […]

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Divorce Advice: Dividing Assets and Liabilities

Dividing Assets and Liabilities Most assets acquired by the parties during the marriage are considered joint or marital property. Likewise, most debts incurred during the marriage are considered joint obligations. Assets received as gifts, inheritance, or assets owned by the parties before the marriage are typically considered that spouse’s separate property. Tennessee has statutes that […]

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Equitable Division Splits Court in Bradley Co., TN Divorce: Hoggatt v. Hoggatt

Facts: The parties divorced after 13 years of marriage. Husband worked throughout the marriage until he became disabled approximately four years before the divorce. Wife did not work until around the time Husband became disabled. In 2006, Wife inherited money that she deposited into the parties’ joint checking account each quarter when it was received. In […]

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Dispute Over Property Classification and Equitable Division in Memphis Divorce: Luttrell v. Luttrell

Facts: Prior to the beginning of this 25 year marriage, Wife’s grandparents made her the beneficiary of a substantial trust fund. Throughout the marriage, Wife kept the trust assets in investment accounts titled solely in her name. Because of Wife’s considerable wealth, Wife was able to be a stay-at-home mother while Husband worked. At various […]

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Postnuptial Agreement Upheld and Enforced in McMinnville: Rickman v. Rickman

Facts: After 14 years of marriage, Husband and Wife entered into a postnuptial agreement in which both parties waived their rights to the property of the other spouse. Specifically, the postnuptial agreement provided: “Each party hereby waives and releases all rights including, but not limited to statutory allowance; distributive share: right of election against Will; […]

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Classification of Marital Property Reversed in Cookeville Divorce: Huddleston v. Huddleston

Facts: Husband and Wife were married in 1969. Husband entered the marriage owning a farm as his separate property. The proof showed that through most of the marriage Wife maintained the marital home and performed the duties of homemaker such as laundry, ironing, cleaning, cooking meals, gardening, canning and freezing food from the garden, raking […]

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Classification of Marital Appreciation of Separate Property Reversed in Brentwood Divorce: Telfer v. Telfer

Facts: During the marriage, Wife’s father gave her ownership interests in two family companies in order to avoid the payment of gift and inheritance taxes upon his death. As a result, the parties had significant tax liabilities. Income from the companies was included in the parties’ joint income tax returns. However, the parties received no […]

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Unclean Hands Leads to Loss of Property in Sparta Divorce: Jolley v. Jolley

Facts: After 28 years of marriage, Wife filed for divorce. Husband and Wife owned a piece of property with unrelated Third Party. A few months after the divorce was filed, Husband transferred his interest in the property to his sister and brother-in-law. Third Party then filed a partition action that named Husband and Wife as […]

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Annuity Acquired During Marriage Classified as Separate Property in Jefferson City Divorce: Willocks v. Willocks

Facts: The parties separated after 13 years of marriage. Husband accumulated a sizeable estate prior to the marriage, mostly through an inheritance.  The trial court divided the marital estate and awarded Wife alimony in futuro. The only issue of interest to me is the annuity valued at $202,000. Husband purchased the annuity during the marriage […]

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Separate Property Classification Reversed in Tennessee Divorce: Hayes v. Hayes

Facts: The parties were married for six years. Prior to the marriage, Wife owned the house that became the marital residence. During the first few years of marriage, the parties had a joint checking account from which the mortgage on the marital residence was paid. After approximately four years, Wife established a separate account into […]

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Transmuation of Separate Property in Tennessee Divorce: Sandford v. McKee

Facts: Two years before the marriage, Husband purchased a 63-acre farm consisting of a 10-acre portion with a house and a 53-acre portion with a barn. During the marriage, Husband converted the barn into a guesthouse. Husband testified he performed most of the work himself. Wife testified that she helped by assisting with the design […]

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