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Spouse’s Home Held Marital Property As soon as Titled in Each Events’ Names

Tennessee case abstract on transmutation of property in divorce.

Samuel Jace England v. Amber Leigh Lowry

The husband and spouse on this Cumberland County, Tennessee, case have been married in 2014 and had one youngster earlier than they each filed for divorce in 2017.  In December of that yr, the spouse was granted non permanent possession of the house and each events have been awarded equal parenting time.  Because the common decide was not current in court docket on the time of trial, the matter was heard by legal professional Brett A. York, appearing as a particular decide.

The events owned two homes, one in all which was owned by the spouse previous to the wedding.  Through the marriage, she had put it in each of their names.  The court docket held that the home had transmuted into marital property as a consequence of the way it was titled, and the substantial contributions by the husband through the marriage.  After different points have been determined, the spouse appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals.  She first argued that the particular decide lacked authority.  She additionally argued that the property shouldn’t have been transmuted.  As an alternative, she argued, the home ought to have been her separate property.

The appeals court docket first turned to the difficulty of the particular decide’s authority.  A Tennessee statute governs the appointment of a particular decide within the case of a decide’s absence.  Usually, this ought to be one other decide or a retired decide, but when a kind of individuals isn’t out there, it may be a lawyer on an inventory beforehand accredited by the judges of the county.

On this case, the appeals court docket discovered that the spouse had not objected previous to the attraction.  For that reason, the difficulty was waived, and the appeals court docket as a substitute turned to the transmutation difficulty.

The spouse argued that her funds had been used to pay for renovations.  Nonetheless, the husband testified as to the bodily labor he had carried out on the property.   As well as, the appeals court docket famous that when property is titled in each names, there’s a presumption that it was a present to the marital property.  On this case, the spouse had not rebutted this presumption, the appeals court docket held.  After reviewing the proof, the appeals court docket agreed that the property was correctly thought-about to be marital.

The court docket additionally reviewed different elements of each the property division and parenting preparations, and located no error in how the decrease court docket had decided these points.

For these causes, the Court docket of Appeals affirmed the decrease court docket’s judgment.

No. E2019-01660-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 29,  2020).

See authentic opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see Transmutation in Tennessee Property Division Divorce Law.

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