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Child-free doesn’t mean complication-free when it comes to divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2018 | family law

There is no doubt that some of the most contentious aspects of divorce revolve around children. Between custody and support matters, there is a lot for divorcing spouses to argue about.

However, if you are divorcing without children, you should not make the mistake of assuming your divorce will be free of complications. There are numerous challenges that can arise for couples divorcing without children.

Property division

In Tennessee, property is divided in accordance with equitable distribution laws which state that marital property will be divided fairly. While many people ultimately divide marital property roughly in half, the laws do not require it to be equal.

Issues with categorizing separate and marital property, quantifying marital contributions and assessing each person’s financial needs can arise and complicate the process. Further, spouses may not agree on what is “fair.”

Spousal support

Spouses who will be at a financial disadvantage after divorce and unable to support themselves may be eligible for spousal support. This can lead to disputes when two people disagree on whether spousal support is appropriate, how much it should be and how long it should last.

Dividing pets

Discussions over who gets a pet and whether a pet custody plan may be feasible can become complicated and contentious. In the eyes of the law, pets are property and should be subject to equitable distribution. However, pet owners typically consider their pets to be members of the family. This disconnect often creates problems and confusion.

Post-divorce behaviors

It is not unusual for people to have orders of protection, social media clauses or non-disparagement clauses involved in their divorce. These measures can all impact what spouses can or cannot do after a divorce, so they have the potential to trigger bitter disputes.

It is certainly possible to have an amicable divorce, particularly if you are not battling over custody and other child-related issues. However, these and other issues can present legal complications regardless of whether children are involved, so it can be wise to prepare for them and discuss them with an attorney.