Divorce Attorneys in Nashville
Experienced & Compassionate Legal Representation in Middle Tennessee
Divorce is often one of the most challenging and painful experiences you can face. The decision and the following process can be an emotional rollercoaster and fraught with uncertainty. While dealing with the psychological fallout of divorce, you may also be overwhelmed by the intricacies of Tennessee divorce law and its impact on you and your children.
At Flexer Law, our dedicated team guides you through every step, providing the legal assistance you need with the empathy you deserve. We understand the emotional, financial, and other personal implications of divorce. We can act as your ally and advocate in reaching settlement terms that protect your rights, your interests, and the best interests of your children.
Understanding Divorce in Tennessee
Tennessee allows for both fault and no-fault divorce filings. Regardless of the type of divorce you choose, you and your spouse must agree on the issues relevant to your case. These include dividing marital property and debt, child custody and visitation, child support, and whether alimony (spousal support) will be provided to a spouse and, if so, its amount and duration.
You and your spouse can decide these matters independently and present your divorce terms to the court for approval. If you cannot agree, you can engage in divorce mediation to reach a settlement agreement. Should this fail, it will be left up to the court to decide after hearing both sides of the case.
Discuss your case in a confidential consultation with a Nashville divorce lawyer by contacting Flexer Law online or at (615) 805-6374.
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Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
No-fault divorce represents a modern approach to marital dissolution, where the need to prove wrongdoing by one party is eliminated. In Tennessee, a no-fault divorce can be sought on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” a broad term that encompasses any conflict that the spouses cannot resolve, indicating a breakdown in the marriage beyond repair.
Opting for no-fault divorce can simplify and expedite the process because it doesn’t require you or your spouse to present evidence or defense of fault. Without the need for these court hearings, the no-fault process tends to be less adversarial, thus fostering more amicable settlements.
Grounds for Divorce in a Fault-Based Divorce
Fault-based divorces can become more complex and time-consuming, as they require the accusing spouse to prove the alleged misconduct of the other.
Fault-based grounds in Tennessee can include:
- Adultery: Engaging in sexual relations with someone who is not your spouse.
- Desertion: One spouse abandoning the other for a certain period without an agreement.
- Felony conviction: When one spouse is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to prison.
- Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotics: This pertains to a consistent problem with alcohol or drugs that started after the marriage.
- Cruel treatment: Abuse or the infliction of fear of physical harm against a spouse.
- Willful or malicious desertion: This must occur without reasonable cause for one whole year.
- Bigamy: Being married to another person prior to and during the marriage.
- Impotence: Unable to reproduce after being married.
- Pregnancy of the wife by another: This occurs at the time of the marriage without the husband’s knowledge.
- Refusal to move to Tennessee: A spouse who has purposefully avoided residency in the state with their new spouse for two years.
- Indignities: Offering such indignities to the spouse's person as to render their position intolerable.
- Attempt on the life of the other: Malicious attempt by a spouse to take the life of the other.
- Living apart: Without cohabitation for two or more years when no minor children are involved.
Before filing for divorce in Tennessee, residency requirements must be met to ensure that the state has jurisdiction over the case. At least one spouse must have resided in Tennessee for at least six months before filing.
Additionally, if the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Tennessee, the plaintiff (person filing) must have been a state resident when the grounds arose. If the grounds for divorce occurred within Tennessee, no residence duration is required if the plaintiff is a resident when the action is filed.
Equitable Division of Marital Property & Debt in Tennessee
Tennessee law dictates that marital property and debts must be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, upon divorce. Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title.
This can encompass real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, vehicles, boats, other personal belongings, and even businesses. Marital debt, similarly, includes liabilities such as mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts incurred during the marriage.
Flexer Law understands that the division of property and debt is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. We strive to facilitate a fair and equitable division based on court policy, which considers various factors. These factors can include the duration of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, their contributions to the accumulation of marital property, and their respective earning capacities.
When a simple 50/50 split does not equate to fairness, we are prepared to advocate vigorously for a division that favors our client's best interests. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys have developed the knowledge and skills to handle complex property divisions, aiming to ensure financial security for our clients post-divorce.