Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN

Dividing possessions after a separation is never easy. You may believe if you are an unmarried couple that splitting up will be easier then if you were married, but if the parties can not come to a mutual agreement then it can be just as complicated. There may not be judges, lawyers, or divorce papers necessary during a split, but in a circumstance where the unwed couple isn’t coming to a mutual understanding, then you still could end up in a court of law.

In Tennessee, an unwed couple that is not having a clean break does not qualify for divorce court. Even if your state recognizes common law marriages and domestic partnerships, this does not necessarily mean that your state will recognize this a “divorce.” Tennessee does not recognize common law marriage, but the state’s legal system will uphold a man and woman’s common law marriage if they lived together long enough to be accepted in another state.

The rule of thumb for unmarried couples in court is called Separate and Sole Property

A one-half ownership interest is presumed on any property that may be jointly owned. However, a court may not follow that rule, or it may not be considered if it can be proven that one of the parties made a disproportionate contribution to the ownership of the property. Otherwise, it’s presumed that an unmarried couple each owns separate and sole property, which may include a joint banking account, investment accounts, or a home titled to both parties.

In some relationships, unwed couples like you will have an agreement made called a cohabitation property agreement, which is similar to a prenuptial agreement. These kinds of agreements can be made to set guidelines on how various properties and assets are managed or divided if there were to be any future separation. A dispute resolution provision, the term for the clause that helps dictate what the parties want to have done with the co-owned properties in case of separation, should show liability for debts in your cohabitation property agreements. Anything relating to the property’s inheritance should be expressed via a will or living trust.

What about your children?

All separations, whether married or unmarried, can be complicated. Property is important, but at the Law Office of Yancy Belcher, we understand that an equally important factor can be the care of your children. In Tennessee, juvenile courts have jurisdiction over custody, support, and visitation. Disputes, therefore, would have to be addressed by separate actions or petitions. Unwed couples often can end up with multiple court cases, increasing time and expense spent on trying to recover or have a clean break.

Experienced separation lawyer in Nashville

Whether you are married or unwed, the choice to separate is hard. Your separation is a complex situation that is unique to you and your ex-partner. Yancy Belcher understands that. He’s been practicing family and divorce law proudly in middle Tennessee for 20 years. The Law Office of Yancy Belcher are here to serve your needs, understand your troubles, and get you on the road to living the life you want. Contact our office today at (615) 773-2889 to schedule a consultation if you live in the Nashville area, including Hermitage and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.


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