Knoxville Divorce Lawyers
Knox County Divorce Attorneys
With the help of the right Knoxville divorce lawyer, you can end a bad marriage and begin a new and better life for you and your family.
When the divorce journey begins, people are usually sad, afraid, and angry. We find it particularly rewarding to watch our clients become independent, strong, and happy people at the end of their divorces. Divorce may be one of the most difficult experiences of your life emotionally and financially.
Don’t Start This Journey On Your Own
Our Knoxville divorce attorneys work hard to make the divorce process more manageable and less stressful for you. Divorce is never an easy process – our lawyers understand that you are having a difficult time, and we work hard to help you get through it.
How Can a Knoxville Divorce Lawyer Help You in Tennessee?
It is important to understand that each divorce is unique. Tennessee recognizes two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. A contested divorce requires proof of grounds for divorce. An uncontested divorce is generally based on irreconcilable differences.
What are Irreconcilable Differences?
An irreconcilable difference requires the parties to wait at least sixty (60) days. These divorces require a written Marital Dissolution Agreement which makes a fair and equitable distribution of your property. In turn, the court must approve the agreement.
When children become involved, the divorce process takes longer and becomes more complicated. A divorce case will take at least ninety (90) days. In addition, you will also need to create a Parenting Plan. The plan should include adequate provision in writing for parenting time and support of your children. “Support” of your children means financial support. Parenting plans include child support orders, which are calculated through a form provided by the state.
A traditional contested divorce requires proof of grounds for a separation.
The grounds for divorce include:
- Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs since the marriage
- Living separately and apart for two (2) years with no minor children
- Inappropriate marital conduct (sometimes referred to as “cruel and inhuman treatment”)
- Willful or malicious desertion for one (1) full year without a reasonable cause
- Conviction of a felony and sentencing to the penitentiary
- Pregnancy of the wife by another before the marriage without the husband’s knowledge
- Willful refusal to move to Tennessee with your spouse and living apart for two (2) years
- Malicious attempt upon the life of the other
- Lack of reconciliation for two (2) years after the entry of a decree of separate maintenance
- Impotency and sterility
- Bigamy or Indignities offered by one spouse to the other
- Abandonment or refusal or neglecting to provide for spouse although able to do so
Our divorce attorneys in Knoxville TN can help you with:
- ASSET & DEBT DIVISION
- BUSINESS VALUATION & DISTRIBUTION
- COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE
- CONTESTED DIVORCE
- PROPERTY DIVISION
- UNCONTESTED DIVORCE
WE CAN HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THESE COMMON FAQ’s
What is the cost of a divorce?
Divorce costs can be both fixed and variable. Fixed costs include filing fees for divorce, and fees paid to have divorce papers served on your spouse. Additional fees can be incurred for document preparation and legal representation. Depending on the complexity of the case, attorney fees can vary.
Who pays for a divorce attorney(s)?
Divorce requires that each party pay their own lawyer’s fees. Legal fees can be ordered to be paid by one spouse to the other under certain circumstances.
How do I file for divorce?
The divorce process begins with the filing of a divorce petition. Your spouse is sent a copy of the same and will have a few days to respond. The case will proceed based on the response of your spouse, or lack thereof.
What is the divorce process in Tennessee and what is the best divorce process for me?
In the state of Tennessee, the divorce lawsuit begins with filing a complaint. The one who files the divorce is the plaintiff. The divorce lawyer can mail another lawyer or individual a lawsuit and the receiver can acknowledge the lawsuit by mail. At this point, the recipient can choose to answer or file a countersuit. Depending on how the receiver responds – the divorce process can end in a mutual agreement, divorce trial or settlement.
To find the best divorce process for you, please get in touch with a trusted Knoxville divorce lawyer.
What are the residency requirements for a divorce in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, a divorce may be granted if the plaintiff or defendant have lived in the state for six months prior to the filing of the complaint.
What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, we have two types of divorces: uncontested, which is usually due to irreconcilable differences, and contested, which requires proof of grounds. In a contested divorce – parties cannot agree and must go to court. Most cases are settled and granted on the basis of irreconcilable differences. Your attorney will talk to you extensively about grounds, burden of proof, and other available defenses if your case is unlikely to settle.
What should I do to prepare and plan for a divorce?
A pre-divorce plan is all about making smart choices with a clear mind. Additionally, if you fear your current income will not sustain you when you become single, you should start re-planning for your career. It is important to plan for your finances before a divorce so that after a divorce you put yourself in the best position possible financially and emotionally.
How long does a divorce take?
A number of factors can affect the amount of time it takes to get a divorce, some of which vary by state.
What are the steps to change your name after a divorce?
Following a divorce, changing your name is usually a straightforward procedure since your former spouse has no right to contest it.
How can I divorce amicably?
First – your marriage failed for a variety of reasons, but don’t blame one another for it. You and your partner should engage in good faith negotiations in which you and your spouse should openly disclose all assets, debts, income, tax returns, bank accounts, etc. to determine what issues need to be discussed and resolved. An amicable divorce is possible with good faith negotiations.
Do I need a divorce lawyer?
The advice of a lawyer is usually wise when it comes to major life events or changes, such as divorce. They can guide you in protecting your rights as well as your children’s rights.
Do I have to be separated from my spouse for a certain amount of time before I can get divorced?
The state of Tennessee does not require you to be separated from your spouse for a period of time before filing for divorce.
Is it possible for a divorce attorney to represent both parties?
In a lawsuit, you and your spouse are opposing parties. It would be considered a conflict of interest for an attorney to represent both of you at the same time.
How are assets and property divided in divorce in Tennessee?
A divorce action divides marital property; separate property is not. The term “property division” is used by courts and lawyers to describe this process. To divide property, all assets must be identified, classified, and valued.
How is Alimony / Spousal Maintenance awarded in Tennessee?
Alimony must be awarded at the time of divorce. Tennessee recognizes four types of alimony: alimony in futuro, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and alimony in solido. In Tennessee, the two most important factors in alimony determination are need and ability to pay.
Courts must consider the following factors in deciding alimony:
- The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party
- The relative education and training of each party, the ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training, and the necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve such party’s earning capacity to a reasonable level
- The duration or length of the marriage
- The age and mental condition of each spouse
- The physical condition of each spouse including physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic or debilitating disease
- The extent to which it would be not desirable for a spouse to work outside the home because that spouse will be responsible for a minor child of the marriage
- The separate assets of each spouse
- Marital property division
- The standard of living the spouses established during the marriage
- The extent to which each party has contributed tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage, such as monetary contributions and homemaker contributions, and tangible and intangible contributions to the education, training, and increased earning power of the other party
- The relative fault (who is more to blame) of the parties in cases where the court deems it appropriate to do so
- Other factors, including the tax consequences to each party
What is a parenting plan in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, a PPP “Permanent Parenting Plan” is needed for parents to get divorced. The Permanent Parenting Plan (or PPP) outlines the rights and responsibilities of each parent. However, these plans can be created to fit your families’ needs. The plan will lay out which parent has decision-making authority. Parents may share decision-making authority or only one may decide. Children will spend time with their parents during the weekdays, weekend, and holidays, according to the PPP plan. PPPs also stipulate how parents will settle disputes regarding PPPs. In addition, the PPP lists each parent’s rights, which include the right to speak to their children over the telephone, the right to view their medical records, and the right to see their school records. Ask your attorney about your other parental rights if you would like to learn more.
In Tennessee, is it legal for a couple to live together as man and wife (common law marriage)?
Tennessee does not recognize common law marriages. If, however, a party has been legally married in a sister state that recognizes common law marriage, Tennessee will recognize their marriage.
Six Factors To Research Before Choosing A Divorce Attorney in Knoxville, TN
Does The Lawyer Have Divorce & Family Law Experience?
Families should search for attorneys that concentrate in family law. The laws governing divorce vary from state to state, it is important that you work with an attorney that has family law experience – we all know that experience and past results matter. To get the best result possible a divorce / family law attorney should have detailed knowledge and experience with the laws in their state and counties they practice in.
Choose A Local Family Law Lawyer
Family law attorneys with local experience will be more familiar with the local family law judges and other local family law attorneys. Additionally, local lawyers will know the unique tendencies and the unique personalities of the local family law judges.
Quality of Assistance, Service & Compatibility
Divorce cases often require the support of not only your attorney, but also the attorney’s support staff. You need to ask if your attorney will be accessible and available to you from the start of your case to the finish. How long do you take to return phone calls? How do I get a hold of you if there is an emergency? The best divorce lawyer for one person, may not be the best divorce lawyer for you – you need to be able to trust, and feel comfortable with your attorney.
Reputation & Reviews
When choosing any business or service for help – it is important to check Google reviews and other online reviews. The internet is your friend – research family law lawyers in your area by reading their website(s) and reviews.
Disposition and Strategy
You will also need to decide what type of personality you are looking for in a divorce lawyer. Just as in any profession, some lawyers can be more contentious and confrontational by nature. These characteristics may come in handy during litigation, but may not be well-suited for an amicable divorce.
Cost & Finances
Last, but not least – there is the issue of money. The attorney you choose should be upfront about the expected costs associated with your case. In a divorce, there no way to predict every possible situation that may arise so a dollar-specific estimate is not always reasonable. However, if your lawyer has handled many other divorce cases – he or she should be able to give you a ballpark idea of the costs associated with your particular case and circumstances.
- How will you charge me?
- What is your hourly rate?
- What is your retainer up front?
- What other costs may be involved – will we need a private investigator or forensic accountant, etc.?
Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing Their Divorce Lawyer
Avoid Hiring A Divorce Attorney That Does Not Have Time For You
A good lawyer will make time for you and answer any questions that you may have. An unresponsive lawyer is a major red flag when it comes to hiring a divorce lawyer.
Not Starting Your Divorce Search Soon Enough
If you or your spouse are considering divorce, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Meeting with an attorney early on will help you plan, and it will also give you ample time to search around and find an attorney that meets your personality and needs.
Failure To Make A Realistic Budget
Despite the fact that most people know divorce can be expensive, many still fail to fully realize how much it costs to obtain the legal assistance necessary for a successful outcome. A spouse who relies on the other for financial support often faces this challenge. Ensure you understand and have an idea about the costs associated with your divorce case before hiring a lawyer so that you can set aside funds for when you are ready to commit.
Arriving Unprepared For The First Consultation
Divorce can be a difficult topic to discuss with another person. In order to evaluate specific qualities in a lawyer, you should come prepared with a list of important questions. You should not only inquire about the firm’s legal services, but also learn about the lawyer’s personality and gauge your comfort level with this person.
Hiring An Experienced Lawyer
Family law can be complex – your family law attorney should be a skilled negotiator. Experienced family law attorneys use litigation techniques designed to protect the things that are important to you — your children, your assets and your financial needs both during and after the divorce. All cases are different, and each case involves varying levels of complexity.
CONTACT A KNOXVILLE DIVORCE LAWYER
Are you ready to speak to a top divorce lawyer in Knoxville TN? No matter what your Tennessee family law matter entails, you can be rest assured that our Knoxville law firm has the knowledge and skill needed to represent you. We focus exclusively on family law and are prepared to provide the tailored representation and counsel that you need to get the best possible results. Set up your consultation today!