Frequently Asked Questions—Family Law

Family law addresses key aspects of your personal and financial life. Our skilled Murfreesboro family law attorneys answer your most common questions

Family law involves legal issues pertaining to the family structure. This includes your marriage and your children. Decisions relating to family law have extensive implications for your life. Before you enter the family law arena for anything, be sure to know your rights. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to family law.

How is property divided in a Tennessee divorce?

As an equitable distribution state, the family court will decide how property is divided in a divorce based on the concept of what is fair. To determine what would be considered fair, the court will weigh several factors including:

    • Length of marriage;
    • Relative age and health of each spouse;
    • The financial situation and earning ability of each spouse; and
    • How the property was acquired.

How long does a divorce take?

The length of the divorce process largely depends on the nature of the divorce. An uncontested divorce, where both spouses agree to the divorce and all essential terms of the divorce can be completed as little as 60 days after filing of the divorce petition if there are no minor children involved. If there are minor children involved, an uncontested divorce may still be completed 90 days after the divorce paperwork has been filed. A contested divorce can take quite a bit longer to be completely resolved. The length of time it takes to complete a contested divorce will depend on the issues that need to be resolved. Contested divorces involving complex assets or children can take a long time to resolve.

How is child custody established?

Child custody is one of the most hotly contested issues incident to divorce. In the absence of an agreement between the two parties, a family law judge will determine custody based on a best interests of the child standard. Determining the best interests of the child will rest on factors such as:

    • Each parent’s income;
    • Each parent’s desire and ability to provide for the child;
    • The health and nature of each parent’s relationship with the child;
    • If old enough, the child’s wishes as far as custody structure goes; and
    • If any, history of abuse or neglect.

When can a child support order be modified?

Many people worry about what will happen to their child support obligations should they lose a job. In the event that your financial circumstances substantially change, you may petition the court for a modification of your child support obligations. In the meantime, you may seek a temporary stay until you are able to secure gainful employment. When you get another job, you may still be required to make up for the missed payments, but, if you are being paid less at your new job, you may be able to obtain a permanent modification of your support payments from the court.

These frequently asked questions are just the tip of the family law iceberg. This area of law is filled with complex issues that can deeply affect your future. The knowledgeable Tennessee family law attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley have the answers you need. Contact us today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a consultation.