to pursue a divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional decisions
you will ever make, particularly when children are involved. Divorce
also involves business and legal questions that must be resolved.
It can be an emotional and stressful process. The negative emotions
associated with divorce are responsible for more than hurt feelings;
they affect the final outcome of settlement negotiations. More importantly,
if children are involved, they will suffer. It is in your best interest
to approach divorce from an amicable perspective. This will allow
you to approach negotiations from a financial viewpoint, which is
critical for reaching a successful settlement. It will also allow
you to focus on your most important asset, your children, which
is critical for helping your children through this difficult process.
We can help you understand the basic issues of family law, and provide
answers to your questions.
about Property Division?
you and your spouse are able to agree on how to divide your property,
then the agreement will be documented with what is called a Marital
Dissolution Agreement. If you are unable to agree, you will go to
court, and the judge will decide and order an equitable distribution
of your property.
considered in deciding property division?
duration of the marriage;
age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, employability,
earning capacity, estate, financial liabilities and financial
needs of each of the parties;
tangible or intangible contribution by one (1) party to the education,
training or increased earning power of the other party;
relative ability of each party for future acquisitions of capital
assets and income;
contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation,
depreciation or dissipation of the marital or separate property,
including the contribution of a party to the marriage as homemaker,
wage earner or parent, with the contribution of a party as homemaker
or wage earner to be given the same weight if each party has fulfilled
value of the separate property of each party;
estate of each party at the time of the marriage;
economic circumstances of each party at the time the division
of property is to become effective;
tax consequences to each party, costs associated with the reasonably
foreseeable sale of the asset, and other reasonably foreseeable
expenses associated with the asset;
amount of social security benefits available to each spouse; and
other factors as are necessary to consider the equities between
considered in deciding debt division can be difficult to determine.
Tennessee law states that the Court will consider the following
party incurred the debt;
party benefited from incurring the debt; and
party is best able to repay the debt.
about Child Custody?
parents have the right to visitation with their children regardless
of divorce. The laws of Tennessee require that one parent be designated
as the primary residential parent of the child or children. The
most common types of visitation arrangements include:
weekend visitation with non-residential parent.
of the child or children according to Fall, Spring and Summer
week or weekday visitation.
telephone and mail communications.
The determining factor in all child custody cases is what is in
the best interest of the children. Factors to include in the determination
of the child's best interest include:
love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents
and the child.
disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing,
medical care, education and other necessary care and the degree
to which a parent has been the primary caregiver.
importance of continuity in the child's life.
stability of the family unit of the parents.
mental and physical health of the parents.
home, school and community record of the child.
reasonable preference of the child if twelve years of age or older.
of physical or emotional abuse to the child or to the other parent.
character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents
parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting
of these factors are considered by the Court when making custody
determinations. Children need both parents in their lives. Generally
if parents can agree on visitation schedules that are in the best
interest of the children, the Court will consider the agreement
of the parents.
about Child Support?
help both mothers and fathers. Questions of concern when contemplating
divorce include: Can you get the support you need to keep living?
Will you have to pay alimony? How is support calculated?
You should know that alimony, or support, can be awarded to either
spouse. Employment possibilities and earning capacity of the spouses
tend to cause the greatest influence on the decision. We will provide
answers and assist you in understanding what type of support you
can expect to receive or support obligations you may owe. Many factors
are considered in determining child support including both parties
income, ability to earn income, and the number of days your child
spends with each parent. Divorce can be a complex process, and we
are here to help you through it.
couples have a difficult time reaching an agreement about how to
divide their property or the custody arrangement with their children.
Because the specific rules in each state vary significantly and
because the division of property depends on the complexity of your
assets and liabilities, it is important to consult with an experienced
family law attorney for assistance if you anticipate the division
of property is likely to be contentious in your divorce. Contact
Keeton & Perry, PLLC., so that we can start listening.