Filing for Divorce in Tennessee

In Tennessee, divorce petitions are generally filed in the county where the spouse filing for divorce lives. For all causes of action for divorce, the complaint must be on file for 60 days before the hearing if the parties have no minor children, and 90 days if they do. This is often called the “cooling off period,” and these periods are mandatory.

The two most common grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital induct. For irreconcilable differences, both parties must agree on all issues and must do all of the work in prosecuting their divorce, the judge merely approves or not. In an uncontested divorce, the parties usually execute a marital dissolution agreement (MDA) that contains the complete agreement between the parties as to all issues, including equitable (not necessarily even) division of all marital property and debts, support and alimony provisions if applicable, and, if there are children, the MDA includes an agreed upon parenting plan resolving all parenting issues. Once this process is complete, an ex parte hearing is usually held and divorce is granted.

Inappropriate marital conduct is a catch all ground which includes many other specific grounds for divorce. It is frequently pleaded as an alternative to irreconcilable differences and can include any series of misconduct which makes cohabitation unacceptable.

Every divorce is unique, as is every family, which is why we do not resolve divorce cases with cookie-cutter solutions. Our experienced Memphis divorce attorneys will give their full attention to your divorce matter. We offer personalized strategies and solutions that are in your family’s best interests. Many of our clients come to the Working Law Firm not only from Memphis, Germantown and Collierville, but from counties and cities throughout Tennessee.

Child Custody Lawyer

The Working Law Firm has helped many parents come up with satisfactory child custody and visitation arrangements in the wake of their divorce. We have also helped many families successfully deal with modification and enforcement of stipulated custody orders.

As long as it is in “the child’s best interests,” Tennessee courts will generally allow the parents to come up with a suitable custody arrangement for their child. As your Memphis child custody attorney, we can help you negotiate a child custody agreement that takes into account the appropriate living arrangements and visitation schedules, as well as delineates which parent gets physical and/or legal custody. Parties may opt to share joint legal and/or physical custody of the child or they may decide that one person will be given sole legal custody. A Tennessee court will generally approve the custody arrangement unless the child’s best interests require a different arrangement.

If the parents are unable to agree on a custody arrangement, a Tennessee court will often grant joint legal custody to the mother and father, unless the child’s best interests dictate otherwise. If joint custody is granted, the parents or the judge must present a joint custody implementation plan to show how this type of custody agreement will be executed. Our Memphis child custody attorneys are known for the sensitivity and the skill they use to successfully negotiate child custody matters. But make no mistake, in the event we must litigate your child custody dispute in order to protect your child’s best interests, we have no reservations about fighting for their rights in court.

In certain child custody cases, one party may decide that it is necessary to modify a stipulated custody order due to a “change in circumstances.” For example, one parent may no longer be fit to parent a child or the current custody arrangement places a son or daughter in danger because of a domestic violence dispute. Our experienced Memphis child custody attorneys are committed to seeking justice for our clients, and we have helped many parents prove to a judge why the modification is justified and necessary. We have also helped many mothers and fathers convince a court to take the steps to enforce their stipulated custody agreements when the other parent refuses to follow the agreed upon terms.

Unless found by a court not to be in your child’s best interest, Tennessee law entitles you to spend time with your son or daughter. Our Memphis child visitation attorneys are committed to seeking justice for our clients. We have helped many parents with the modification or enforcement of their visitation rights.

Child Support Lawyer

It is important that your children receive the financial support they deserve. Tennessee considers it the responsibility of both parents to support their children, regardless of whether a couple is divorced or never married. The Memphis child support lawyers at the Working Law Firm represent both mothers and fathers in the negotiation, modification, and enforcement of child support agreements.

Unless parents are able to reach a suitable child support agreement on their own, a Tennessee court will use statutory child support guidelines to determine the amount of monthly support each child should receive. Calculating child support can be a complicated process and there are exceptions to the guidelines, which are determined on a case-by-case basis. This is why it is so important that you are represented by an experienced Memphis child support attorney that has a thorough understanding of Tennessee’s child support guidelines and can make sure your children receive the correct support payments.

Sometimes, modifications to a Tennessee court approved child support order are necessary, such as when one parent becomes unemployed or another parent gets a higher or lower paying job. If you believe that an increase in child support is warranted, one of our Memphis child custody lawyers can petition the court to request a modification to your existing child support order. Likewise, if you would like to defend against a child support modification petition, the Working Law Firm can protect your rights and enforce the existing child support agreement.