Divorce Law Appeal Case
Memphis Germantown Divorce Lawyer

Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jaqueline S. Bolton

Loretta M. Gaither v. Michael Deleon Gaither
Divorce Action

This is a divorce action involving the proper classification and division of the parties’ assets. The trial court found one asset, a baby grand piano, to be the wife’s separate property as it had been a gift to her from the husband. All other assets were determined to be marital. The most valuable asset was the parties’ marital residence, which was appraised at a value of $475,000. Although the trial court awarded the marital residence to the wife rather than ordering it to be sold, the trial court deducted twenty percent from the home’s equity value for the associated costs had it been sold. The trial court subsequently fashioned a nearly equal percentage distribution of the marital assets and debts, which included an allocation of a portion of the equity in the home to the husband. The husband has appealed. We determine that the trial court correctly classified the piano as the wife’s separate property. We also determine that the trial court improperly deducted the costs associated with a hypothetical sale of the marital residence from its equity value. We therefore modify the trial court’s award of equity in the home to the husband to effectuate the trial court’s ostensible overall percentage distribution. We affirm that equitable distribution in all other respects. We decline to award the wife attorney’s fees on appeal. See the complete case

Background: Tennessee Law on Prenuptial and Antenuptial Agreements

Tennessee prenuptial agreements document a couple’s agreement in advance of marriage to protect them in the event of a divorce. The Prenuptial Agreement can address property ownership, property division, alimony, and many other legal issues which must be determined in the unfortunate circumstance of divorce. In Tennessee and Arkansas, these agreements can be enforced. A properly drafted, negotiated, and executed agreement may be very difficult to set aside. To set aside a Prenuptial Agreement, there must be proof that the process was flawed, such as the existence of duress, coercion, or a failure to disclose or properly value assets. Today, Prenuptial Agreements are very popular between individuals who have been married before or those with meaningful estates. The main advantage is knowing ahead of time what will happen if the marriage ends. Some provisions however, such as those relating to custody and child support, will not be enforceable, even if a Prenuptial Agreement lists the parties’ desired outcome. Courts always have the authority to look after the best interest of children. See the remainder of our page on Prenuptial Agreements

More information on divorce, custody, support, and asset division.

Alimony Basics
Grounds for Divorce
Divorce Financials
Funding Family Law Actions.
Planning for Divorce.
After Divorce Name Change.
Divorce Protective Order.
Annulment instead of Divorce.
Divorce Parenting Plan.
Child abuse claims during Divorce.
Post Divorce Parenting Plan Change.
Social Media & Divorce.
Paternity claims.
Divorce Flow Chart
15 Divorce tips
Tennessee DIY Divorce Information
Tennessee Divorce Mediation Process
Tennessee Child Custody Law
Tennessee Child Support Law
Tennessee Child Adoption Law

Hire an Experienced Family Law Lawyer

At The Burdette Law Firm we are competent, and caring lawyers and parents ourselves. When dealing with family law matters, and will provide excellent legal advice. We give our clients a great deal of information on divorce so they can have the proper understanding to make important legal decisions. Divorce law is an emotional process, and we always strive to ease the stress during this difficult situation.

Contact our family law lawyers for more information

After reviewing the above if you have questions and need our assistance in a family law matter, please call us at (901) 756-7878 or use the contact form to the right.

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Christina Burdette