Family Law FAQs
Feb. 1, 2023
Navigating the family law system can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. However, understanding some of the basics can help make the process easier. If you need help with a family law matter in Murfreesboro or Berry Hill, Tennessee, contact McCarter | East PLLC.
Our family law attorneys assist clients with divorces, child custody, alimony, property division, and a wide range of other family law issues. Conveniently, our Murfreesboro office is just a few blocks from the courthouse.
FAQs About Family Law
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about family law issues.
What Are My Next Steps if I’ve Been Served With Divorce Papers?
If you have been served with divorce papers, it is crucial that you take action right away as there is typically a limited time period within which you must respond. In Tennessee, you have only 30 days to file your answer. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected and all paperwork is filed correctly is to speak with an experienced family law attorney before responding to divorce papers.
How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?
The amount of time it takes to get divorced depends on several factors, including how quickly both parties can agree on details such as property division and child support, how quickly all paperwork is filed with the court, and whether the parties can work out their differences without the court’s involvement. On average, however, divorces take from three months to a year or longer.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee?
Tennessee law recognizes fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. A no-fault divorce is based on “irreconcilable differences” between spouses. When seeking a no-fault divorce, spouses do not need to prove any wrongdoing on the other’s part. A fault-based divorce means that a spouse alleges that the other’s wrongdoing led to the divorce. The fault-based grounds for divorce in Tennessee include adultery, alcohol or drug abuse, bigamy, impotence, and cruel and inhuman treatment, among others.
Who Can Be Awarded Alimony in a Divorce?
Alimony (also known as spousal support) is designed to provide financial assistance for one spouse after a divorce or legal separation. Whether alimony will be awarded depends on several factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s respective income levels and earning potential, among others. An experienced alimony attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible for alimony payments.
What’s the Difference Between a Legal Separation and Divorce?
A legal separation is essentially an agreement between two spouses that outlines their responsibilities towards each other while they are living apart but remain legally married. Unlike some other states, Tennessee law permits couples to legally separate instead of getting a divorce.
On the other hand, a divorce completely terminates a marriage and allows both parties to remarry in the future if they choose to do so. Speak with an attorney for more information about which option best suits your specific situation.
When Is Mediation a Good Option in Family Law Matters?
Mediation is often used as an alternative dispute resolution method when couples are unable or unwilling to reach agreements through traditional negotiations or settlement proceedings. In mediation, both parties work with an impartial third party—the mediator—to discuss their differences and attempt to come up with mutually beneficial solutions that both sides can agree on without going through court proceedings. A family law attorney can provide helpful advice regarding when mediation might be appropriate for your specific case.
Do You Need an Attorney for Your Divorce?
Getting legal counsel can protect your best interests during your divorce. With an attorney, you are more likely to reach a favorable resolution of your divorce. Your attorney will help you avoid pitfalls when ending your marriage and ensure that the divorce process goes as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Understand Your Rights and Options
As these FAQs illustrate, there are many different aspects of family law that individuals need to consider when facing issues such as divorce, alimony, child custody, and others. Seeking professional and personalized advice from an experienced family lawyer can help ensure that your rights are properly protected throughout the entire process. Contact our family law attorneys at McCarter | East PLLC to discuss your specific situation in detail. We provide a free consultation.