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Tennessee case abstract on classification in divorce.

Vernell Lynn Carptenter Lewis v. William Billy Lewis

The husband and spouse on this Shelby County, Tennessee, case started courting in 1995.  They each had youngsters from earlier marriages.  Whereas they had been nonetheless courting, the spouse bought a four-acre property that included a residence.  A few yr later, the husband moved in, and varied enhancements had been made.  At one level, the events signed an settlement agreeing to pay half the mortgage, utilities, and maintenance.  Eight months later, they had been married.  Shortly thereafter, the husband fairly his job, and the spouse paid the mortgage along with her earnings.  After ten years of marriage, each events filed for divorce.  The trial court docket,

Choose Valerie L Smith, made varied rulings, together with ruling that the home was the spouse’s separate property.  The husband appealed that concern to the Tennessee Supreme Courtroom.  The appeals court docket first famous that the difficulty was a truth query which might be reviewed de novo, with no presumption of correctness.

The decrease court docket had primarily based its resolution upon the truth that the spouse owned the property in the course of the marriage, had it in her title alone, and paid the mortgage and bills in the course of the marriage along with her earnings.  However the appeals court docket identified that different elements ought to have been thought-about.

For instance, the appeals court docket identified that the husband had carried out a number of upkeep duties.

Notably essential was the truth that the events had used the property as their marital residence.  Additionally, although the spouse used her earnings to pay the mortgage, these had been marital earnings.  Right now, the husband was making an attempt to start out a enterprise.  The truth that he was finally unsuccessful didn’t imply that her earnings weren’t a part of the marital belongings.

Because the property was a marital asset, the Courtroom of Appeals held that the decrease court docket would wish to determine its disposition.  For that purpose, it remanded the case to the decrease court docket to equitably divide the complete property.

The appeals court docket additionally reviewed a decrease court docket order by which the husband had been granted sanctions towards the spouse’s legal professional.  It affirmed that order.

For these causes, the Courtroom of Appeals affirmed partially, reversed partially, and remanded the case.  The appellate court docket’s resolution was penned by Choose Frank G. Clement, Jr.

No. W2019-00542-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11,  2020).

See unique opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see Property Division in Tennessee Divorce.

- A word from our sposor -

Home Marital Property Regardless of Being Purchased Earlier than Marriage