Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. If you have questions about divorce, child custody, child support or alimony, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney for straightforward answers.
Middle Tennessee Divorce And Property Division Attorneys
Tennessee's divorce and marital property division laws are complex.
At Hale and Hale, PLC, we can help you understand the legal rights and options you have under Tennessee law. In fact, individuals and businesses in Middle Tennessee have been relying on our firm to provide accurate information and effective representation for more than 30 years. To learn more about this area of our practice or to speak with a lawyer about your specific concerns — call our Franklin, Tennessee, law offices at 615-794-1312 and schedule an appointment.
The following articles present a general overview of divorce and marital property issues.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
Q: What is a legal divorce?
A: Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. After divorce, both parties are free to remarry. During typical divorce proceedings, the couple's assets and debts will be divided and the care and custody of any children will be determined. Each state has its own distinct divorce laws.
Q: What are "fault divorce" and "no-fault divorce"?
A: In the past, divorce generally had only been granted on the basis of marital misconduct called "fault" (adultery, abandonment, mental cruelty, physical abuse or another wrongful act). There were also defenses to these faults. In these divorces, the spouse at fault often received a smaller portion of the marital settlement as "punishment" for his or her wrongful acts. In a no-fault divorce, the parties merely need to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that the couple has irreconcilable differences. Neither spouse is automatically penalized for some misconduct, though that can be considered when it comes time to divide property and award spousal support/alimony. Every state has some form of no-fault divorce, but the particulars of the laws can differ markedly from state to state.
Divorce - An Overview
Contemplating divorce is difficult.When you are deciding whether or not you want to end your marriage, it can be helpful to learn more about the basics of divorce law. A divorce is a judicial decree by which a valid marriage is dissolved. From a legal standpoint, the divorce process will divide a couple's assets and debts; determine the future care and custody of their children; and give each person the legal right to marry someone else. Should you conclude that divorce is the right step for you, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney at Hale and Hale, PLC in Franklin, Tennessee.
Division of Property
If a couple has little or no marital property, no children and have reached an agreement on whether spousal maintenance/alimony is appropriate, their divorce usually can be finished quite quickly. Most couples, however, particularly those who have been married for a long time, have numerous issues to work out during the divorce process. These issues may involve children or significant marital property, including: personal property, real estate, a family business, large or concealed debts, trusts, real property in other states, joint and separate accounts, investments, insurance, pensions and other assets.
Questions to Ask During Divorce
Whether to end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever have to make. This is an emotional matter, but it is still important to approach certain aspects of it from an analytical perspective. Once you review the following list of questions, you may reconsider your goals for your divorce, and you may be better prepared to move forward while working with an attorney. Contact an experienced family law attorney to help during this difficult time.
Dealing with Divorce
For some, divorce may be liberating and the start of a new beginning. For most, however, it is not so straightforward. The end of a relationship as important as a marriage can be, at times, bittersweet, frightening, exciting and anxiety-provoking. Indeed, recovering from a divorce is similar to the grieving process one experiences when a loved one dies. There are five stages of grief: shock/denial, anger, ambivalence, depression and acceptance/recovery. Not everyone experiences these emotions in the same way or in the same order. You may move in and out of a phase more than once, even experiencing more than one phase at a time. It is a difficult and time-consuming process. Family counselors advise that it may take as long as one or two years to fully recover from the end of a marriage, particularly a long-term one.
An Amicable Divorce
Divorce is often an intensely emotional experience. The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one, and often it is accompanied by anger, fear or resentment. The negative emotions associated with divorce are responsible for more than hurt feelings; they affect the legal process and its outcome as well. When children are involved, the negativity can have a huge impact on them, causing additional upheaval and distress. It is in your family's best interests to approach divorce from an amicable perspective if possible. This can spare you a great deal of time, money and heartache. An experienced family law attorney can help you deal with your situation clearly and objectively.
Divorce Resource Links
Medline Plus: Divorce
National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health information on overcoming the stresses and conflicts of divorce.
Divorce and Separation: An Overview
An overview of divorce law from Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute.
IRS: Publication 504 - Divorced or Separated Individuals
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) help for separated or divorced tax filers who have questions about preparing their returns.
IRS: Topic 452 - Alimony Paid
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document detailing tax treatment of alimony payments.
Family Law in the Fifty States
Tables and summaries of family law matters such as child support and property division in each state.