Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

Jackson Family Law Attorneys Answer Your Questions

If you are going through a divorce or dealing with a stressful family law issue, it is important that you find a reputable firm to represent you. Having the right family law attorney in Jackson on your side can make a marked difference in the outcome of your case. At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC, we are here to answer your questions and ensure you make the best decisions for you and your family.

  1. How long will it take to get a divorce?
  2. How much does divorce cost?
  3. What are the ground for divorce in the State of Tennessee?
  4. What is child support based on?
  5. Will I be entitled to child support payments?
  6. What is alimony, and will it be involved in my divorce case?
  7. How are alimony payments calculated?
  8. What is mediation, and will my spouse and I have to go through mediation prior to getting divorced?
  9. What information will I need to bring to my attorney to file for divorce?
  10. Can the same attorney or law firm represent both parties in an uncontested or no-fault divorce?
  11. Can I gain custody of my children?
  12. I'm worried about losing my assets in divorce, what can I do?
  13. Why should I hire an attorney for a divorce case?
  14. Do I have to take a parenting class or seminar to get divorced?

1. How long will it take to get a divorce?
A: There is no uniform answer to how long your divorce case will take. In Tennessee, there are mandatory waiting periods in divorce cases, which are sixty (60) days if there are no minor children and ninety (90) days if there are minor children. These mandatory waiting periods run from the date the divorce is filed with the court. Therefore, even in agreed, no-fault divorces, any time spent negotiating or getting paperwork drafted and signed, prior to the filing of the divorce, will be in addition to the mandatory waiting periods of sixty (60) or ninety (90) days. In contested divorce cases, the same minimum mandatory waiting periods apply; however, contested divorces ordinarily take longer to bring to conclusion. You can expect your contested divorce to take six months to a year to complete in most cases.

2. How much does divorce cost?
A: At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, we understand that every divorce case is unique and that what works for one client may not work for the next. We offer reasonable flat-fee pricing for no-fault or uncontested divorces, and we offer reasonable retainer fees for contested divorces. We would be happy to discuss fees and payment arrangements with you at your initial consultation. If you have specific questions about costs that you would prefer answered prior to making an appointment, simply fill out the information request form on the Contact Us page. Someone will respond to your questions shortly.

3. What are the ground for divorce in the State of Tennessee?
A: There are a number of grounds for divorce in the State of Tennessee; however, most divorces are filed on the grounds of Irreconcilable Differences, otherwise known as an uncontested or no-fault divorce, and Inappropriate Marital Conduct, which might encompass too many behaviors to mention here. Our attorneys can further explain the different grounds for divorce at your initial consultation, or if you would like more information about grounds, please feel free to make an inquiry on our contact us page.

4. What is child support based on?
A: A party’s child support obligation is based upon a number of factors, as set forth in the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines.

Some of those factors include:

  • The number of days each parent is spending with the child(ren);
  • Both parents’ gross incomes;
  • Any amounts spent by either parent for health insurance for the child(ren);
  • Any amount spent by either parent for childcare for the child(ren);
  • Other biological children from prior relationships living in either parent’s home;
  • Other biological children from prior relationships for whom either parent is paying child support to another parent.

Child support computations are made using a Microsoft Excel Worksheet, which is available for no cost online. For more information about child support, please feel free to call our offices or submit an inquiry on the contact us page.

5.Will I be entitled to child support payments?
A: In most cases, the primary custody holder can receive child support payments from the other parent based on need. There are specific factors considered to ensure you receive the fair amount of child support.

6. What is alimony, and will it be involved in my divorce case?
A: Alimony is a form of support paid from an advantaged spouse to a disadvantaged spouse. Generally, there are four types of alimony in Tennessee, including alimony in solido, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and alimony in futuro. Whether you can make a successful claim for alimony largely depends on two key factors: Need & Ability to Pay. The spouse who makes less money must have a need, which is almost always the case, and the spouse who makes more money must have the ability to pay. You will have an opportunity to discuss alimony options with your attorney at the initial consultation.

7. How are alimony payments calculated?
A: There are many different factors considered in whether alimony is awarded and how much will be awarded. This includes the length of marriage, what each party contributed, and each party's income.

8. What is mediation, and will my spouse and I have to go through mediation prior to getting divorced?
A: Mediation is a process in which both parties meet, ordinarily at the mediator’s office, and a mediator goes back and forth between the parties in an attempt to resolve any disputed issues involved in the divorce. The process may or may not involve attorneys. You may be in the same room with your spouse, or you may be kept in separate rooms. Mediation is a voluntary process, where the parties ultimately have all the decision making authority. The mediator is not a judge, and he or she cannot and will not make a decision for you; they are simply a neutral party trying to facilitate settlement between you and your spouse.

Mediation is ordinarily not involved in uncontested or no-fault divorce cases, because the parties have agreed, or intend to agree, on all of the issues. Under certain circumstances, a pre-filing mediation may be utilized to attempt to make a potentially contested divorce uncontested.

If your divorce is contested, you will almost certainly be required to attend mediation prior to a final hearing or trial of your case.

9. What information will I need to bring to my attorney to file for divorce?
A: There is certain statistical information that must be included in a Complaint for Absolute Divorce in Tennessee. The form below lists the required information that will be needed to draft your Complaint for Absolute Divorce. Please feel free to print the form and fill it out prior to coming for your appointment. Click here for the statistical form.

10. Can the same attorney or law firm represent both parties in an uncontested or no-fault divorce?
A: Clients often ask if our firm can represent both parties in a divorce action, and the answer is no. A divorce, even when uncontested, is an adversarial proceeding, with a Plaintiff and a Defendant. We cannot represent both parties, because our allegiance is to our client. If you would like a more detailed explanation, please feel free to call our offices or submit an inquiry on our contact us page.

11. Can I gain custody of my children?
A: If you are concerned about getting primary or joint custody of your children, this is something we can address as we prepare your case. Ultimately, the decision will be up to the judge during litigation.

12. I'm worried about losing my assets in divorce, what can I do?
A: If you are involved in a high-asset divorce, there may be particular assets that you are worried about losing. We can work with you to ensure your assets are divided fairly or equitably.

13. Why should I hire an attorney for a divorce case?
A: Having a divorce lawyer representing you in all hearings and litigation is important. You want to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of and that all matters are handled fairly.

14. Do I have to take a parenting class or seminar to get divorced?
A: As you may have heard from friends or relatives, the State of Tennessee now has a law requiring divorcing parents to attend a mandatory parenting seminar prior to being divorced. The seminar may be taken in person at an approved provider, or in some instances, it may be taken online. The organization hosting the parenting seminar will charge a fee for the seminar, which is usually between $35.00 and $50.00. That fee must be paid by you and your spouse to that organization. Most parenting seminar providers do not require divorcing parents to attend the same class session; therefore, you and your spouse may go on different days and times if you wish. Once you and your spouse have taken the required parenting seminar, you will each receive a certificate of completion. That certificate must be filed with the court where your divorce is being filed.

If you would like to set up a free consultation, please give us a call today. Proudly serving Clarksville, Jackson, and throughout Tennessee.

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