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Breaking up a family is a difficult decision any couple has to make. It means tearing up a life into two. It’s a stressful time filled with questions: Who gets the house? Will I have to pay spousal support? How often will I get to see my children? The Nashville divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC are aware of how difficult this time is for your family. For decades, we’ve been helping families across Nashville, Springfield, and Middle Tennessee get through the divorce process as quickly and as painlessly as possible. With compassion and expertise in the latest Tennessee laws, our family lawyers will make sure the split is as amicable as possible and are ready to fight for your rights in the courtroom.
Divorce in Tennessee: What You Need to Know
In Tennessee, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree the marriage has failed usually because of irreconcilable differences. Sometimes these types of divorces don’t even have to go to court; they can reach a settlement through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Click here to learn more about divorce mediation.
A contested divorce is the opposite — both parties cannot agree and must go to court. In a contested divorce, you and your spouse will need to show there are sufficient grounds for your divorce. These include the following:
Habitual abuse of narcotics or alcohol
Separation for two years with no minor children
Inappropriate marital conduct
Desertion for one year without reasonable cause
A felony conviction
The malicious attempt upon the life of another
A lack of reconciliation for two years after the entry of a decree of separate maintenance
Abandonment, refusal, or neglecting to provide for spouse although have the ability to do so
The Aspects of a Divorce
Before a final divorce decree is decided by the court, you will need to create a Marital Dissolution Agreement. This will divide all the assets and debts that accrued during the marriage, such as property, loans, and credit card debt. If spousal support is agreed upon, this agreement will also explain the terms and type of alimony.
If children are involved, you will also need to create a Permanent Parenting Plan. This will lay out a plan on child-related decisions such as a parenting schedule, visitation and custody, and support.
If you and your ex cannot settle on these matters, then you will have to go to trial where these matters will be determined by a judge.
Why You Need to Hire Our Nashville Divorce Attorneys
Yes, it is possible to get an uncontested divorce without using an attorney. However, unless you and your spouse have already developed a fair agreement addressing multiple issues like child support and property rights, a divorce without an attorney often results in more work and diminished legal protection in the eyes of the courts. This is why it’s so essential to get a divorce lawyer in Nashville who knows what forms you will need and can argue on your behalf on important matters such as spousal support, child custody, and division of property. For decades, our Tennessee divorce attorneys have fought for our clients’ rights in and out of the courtroom. We are sensitive to your needs and will do what we can to take the anxiety and frustration out of the process.
If you are considering a divorce and need legal advice, let us help. Contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today for more information.