Divorce in Tennessee

How Divorce works in Tennessee

Divorce in Tennessee has many factors to consider

For some individuals, seeking a divorce might seem like the best option. To others, divorce may be a difficult period of life that they’ve been thrust into. To some, it may even be both. There is a wide range of reasons that can drive married individuals to seek a divorce, and in some cases, individuals may need to contend with a divorce that they didn’t want. The truth is, for nearly anyone, divorce can be a big challenge.

Divorce can be a difficult and challenging process. It can be emotionally and mentally taxing. For those going through a divorce or seeking a divorce in Tennessee, finding a Nashville divorce attorney with the experience and drive to advocate for their rights and help them understand how the law can pertain to their case can be an important step in navigating the divorce process. Divorce can be complex and individuals may need to consider a host of related processes.

Factors to Consider in Divorce

There’s a lot to consider in divorces. During the course of a marriage, individuals can find that their lives become intertwined in many ways. During the course of a divorce, there are many considerations to take. Among these, importantly, are often the division of assets between the two individuals divorcing, the matter of child custody and child support, the matter of spousal support if applicable, and in some cases, even an order of protection.

This is one of the reasons individuals may find that seeking representation and counsel is an important part of the divorce process. An experienced divorce attorney can help individuals going through a divorce better understand the process and how the law may apply to their case and can advocate for them and fight for their rights in court.

Distribution of Property

In Tennessee, when two individuals divorce, the matter of assets can become an important consideration. It can also become a difficult point of contention. In the event that two individuals who are divorcing are unable to agree on a division of marital assets outside the court, the court may step in and carry out the division of assets.

In Tennessee, courts operate under the doctrine of equitable distribution when it comes to divorce. This differs from a “community property” approach that some other states might take.

Essentially, what this can mean is that, in Tennessee, if the court steps in to divide marital assets,  the court will seek to divide up the marital assets in a manner that is as fair and equitable as possible to both parties, rather than simply dividing those marital assets down the middle equally as community property. In some instances, this can lead to marital assets being distributed unevenly—though in a manner that the court sees as equitable and fair.

Child Custody and Child Support

In Tennessee, child support and custody are also important considerations. They can significantly impact the lives of children and divorcing spouses.

If the court is required to determine child custody arrangements, in Tennessee, the court will aim to create an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child while still allowing both parents to participate as much as possible in the child’s life—and will consider factors including the relationship between the child and parents, the fitness of the parents in their abilities to parent, the preferences of the child if they’re over the age of 12 years and others.

Individuals going through a divorce may file an order for child support or may receive an order for child support. Child support amounts are typically set based on Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, except in instances where a judge determines that it would be inappropriate. Tennessee Child Support Guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model, and take into account factors such as how much income each parent is able to earn.

Spousal Support

In Tennessee, there are many factors that can go into determining spousal support or alimony. The court can award a few different types of alimony and will consider a lot of factors when determining which to. Courts often will try to, when possible, award rehabilitative alimony, which aims to empower the economically disadvantaged spouse to achieve an earning power that can enable them to enjoy a standard of living comparable to that they had before the divorce.

However, the court also may determine that doing so would be infeasible, they also might award alimony in futuro—which is on a long-term basis— either in addition to or in the place of rehabilitative alimony. Courts also can award transitional alimony in order to help the economically disadvantaged spouse adjust economically after a divorce, and courts can also award alimony in solido, or lump sum alimony. In addition to being able to award these different kinds of alimony, courts can award them in various combinations.

Additional Considerations

While we’ve discussed some of the notable and prominent issues that arise around divorce, there are numerous other considerations. For example, divorces may also involve orders of protection in instances where there is domestic abuse. What’s more, some of these issues—such as child support and custody, can become further complicated by matters such as a lack of established parentage. Divorce can be an extremely complex ordeal, and can involve a host of other considerations. That’s why it can be so important for individuals navigating or seeking a divorce to consult with an experienced family or divorce attorney.

The Bottom Line

No matter the reason for one, a divorce can be highly complicated. There’s a lot to consider, and those going through a divorce may need to navigate several related issues, such as the matters of child support and custody, spousal support, division of assets, and much more.

For these and many other reasons, individuals going through a divorce or preparing for divorce may find that it can be important for them to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. In addition to providing legal expertise and guidance, an experienced attorney will also be able to represent you in court and advocate for your best interests.

If you’re seeking the services of an experienced divorce attorney in Tennessee, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation. At the law office of J. Ryan Johnson, we take the approach of aggressive representation, and we have the expertise, drive, and know-how to fight for your rights.

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