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 kids from earlier marriages.  Whereas they had been nonetheless courting, the spouse bought a four-acre property that included a residence.  A couple of 12 months 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 courtroom,

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 courtroom first famous that the problem was a truth query which might be reviewed de novo, with no presumption of correctness.

The decrease courtroom had primarily based its resolution upon the truth that the spouse owned the property through the marriage, had it in her identify alone, and paid the mortgage and bills through the marriage along with her earnings.  However the appeals courtroom identified that different components ought to have been thought of.

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

Significantly 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.  Presently, the husband was trying to start out a enterprise.  The truth that he was in the end 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 courtroom would wish to resolve its disposition.  For that cause, it remanded the case to the decrease courtroom to equitably divide the complete property.

The appeals courtroom additionally reviewed a decrease courtroom order wherein the husband had been granted sanctions in opposition to the spouse’s lawyer.  It affirmed that order.

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

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

See authentic opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To be taught extra, see Property Division in Tennessee Divorce.


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