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Best Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN
You need an experienced Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN who understands that your divorce is more than just another case; this is your entire life. Most issues that require the assistance of a family law attorney are stressful, expensive and usually disrupt the lives of all parties involved. It is important to find a lawyer who will not only vigorously represent your interests but one who will help you navigate through these emotional times and explain your rights every step of the way.
An experienced family law attorney can help your family through a wide range of legal issues including divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, division of assets, protection from abuse, prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, adoptions, and name changes. Through negotiation, mediation, and collaboration, a skilled family law attorney can help you work out a settlement that best fits your needs but they will also be prepared to aggressively defend your rights in a court of law.
Most people do not enter into a marriage with the plan of one day getting divorced. As situations change and people grow apart, sometimes divorce is the best option. But regardless of the reasons, it can still be overwhelming. The involvement of children can make the situation even more complex. A family law attorney can explain the steps in the divorce process and help you navigate them effectively for your unique situation.
The typical steps in a divorce include the following.
• One spouse will file for a divorce.
• As required by Tennessee law, the couple will undergo 60 days, but 90 days if the spouses have children. During this time, the divorcing spouses can arrange for a division of assets. Child custody, child support, and spousal support can also be negotiated at this time, but these agreements are filed separately.
• After the waiting period is completed, the divorce can then be finalized.
It is essential to find an experienced Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN who will secure you the most beneficial outcome in your divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation
Most often, child custody and visitation are the most contentious aspects of a divorce. These sensitive matters require the utmost care and attention to detail when seeking a resolution. Custody and visitation agreements can be negotiated out of court. If this route is not successful, a family law attorney can present your case to a judge. When the Tennessee courts are evaluating child custody matters, they take into consideration the following factors.
• Safety of the child
• Maintaining continuity in the child’s education, family and community
• Each parent’s ability to perform parental duties
• Each parent’s availability to perform parental duties
• Proximity of the parent’s homes to each other
Working with a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN, who can effectively and amicably resolve your child custody disputes, will allow you and your children to heal and move forward.
To determine proper child support, Tennessee uses the Income Shares Model, based upon the net monthly income of both parents. The court will estimate what the family would spend on the child, were it not divorcing. That amount is then split between the parents based upon their percentage of the intact family monthly income. While this method seems simple, there are other contributing factors that can make child support decisions more complex.
• Child care costs
• Medical needs, including health insurance costs
• Earning capacity, if a parent is not currently working to their full income potential
• Support for children in multiple households – children from prior relationships
Child support payments affect a significant portion of your household budget. It is important to seek a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN who can assure those payments are calculated properly.
Receiving financial assistance from the marriage’s bigger wage earner used to be common practice but, in recent years, it has become rare. When awarded, this assistance is based upon one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. There are four types of alimony In Tennessee there are four types of alimony.
- periodic alimony
- transitional alimony
- rehabilitative alimony
- lump-sum alimony
If you are seeking spousal support in your divorce, hiring a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN can help you ensure your financial needs are met.
Division of Assets
Under Tennessee law, any property that was obtained during the marriage is considered marital property. Property that was brought into the marriage but gained value during the life of the marriage may also be considered marital property, and therefore also subject to division. The equitable division of this property will be based upon a variety of factors. It is important to note that, under the law, equitable does not mean equal, but “fair.” Some of the factors considered in the division of assets include the following.
• Length of the marriage
• Child custody arrangements
• Standard of living during the marriage
• Each spouse’s earning capacity
• Each spouse’s age and health
• Tax ramifications
The decisions made in the division of assets can be one of the most unpredictable facets of your divorce. Choosing a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN who is firm, yet reasonable can increase your chances of a favorable result.
Protection from Abuse
Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders can help you and your children escape a dangerous situation and stay safe. Tennessee law grants PFA’s in cases of physical and verbal abuse, stalking, harassment, assault, and threats of violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, a PFA can affect your divorce in many ways.
• Prohibit the person from contacting you
• Give you possession of the family home
• Change a child custody agreement
• Require the person to turn in any weapons
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN can help you file a Protection from Abuse order to keep you and your children safe and gain peace of mind.
Sometimes as an attempt to gain leverage in divorce proceedings, accusations of domestic violence are falsely reported. These allegations can greatly impact not only your standing in the divorce but limit your contact with your children and remove you from your home.
If you have been wrongly accused as a domestic abuser, a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN can help you build a strong defense to avoid the ramifications of an unjust PFA.
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy. Without a prenuptial agreement, any increased value gained from property owned before the marriage will be subjected to equitable division should a divorce take place. A prenuptial agreement can act like an insurance policy for your assets; safeguarding them in the event of a divorce. People who may most benefit from a prenuptial agreement are:
• Individuals with children from a previous relationship
• Individuals who have achieved financial success
• Individuals who own a business or intend to own a business
• Individuals who expect to receive a sizeable sum of money or inheritance during the marriage
If you believe your impending marriage would benefit from a prenuptial agreement, contact a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN to safeguard your premarital assets.
You and your spouse may be facing a difficult time in your marriage but are not yet ready to file for divorce. A separation agreement can protect your assets and rights while you decide if you would like to continue or end your marriage. A separation agreement might also be preferential to a divorce in cases of complicated asset situations, maintaining health insurance, complex tax ramifications or religious reasons.
A signed separation agreement is a legally binding contract in Tennessee. This agreement can help expedite a divorce and, in turn, make it less costly. It can also be terminated if both parties choose for the marriage to continue.
A Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN can help you create an effective separation agreement that suits your unique situation.
Adoptions and Name Changes
While stepparent adoptions can be a happy time for a family, they can become bittersweet with the termination of parental rights. If a biological parent is having their rights terminated, legal petitions and hearings will need to take place. Some conditions that allow the termination of biological parental rights include:
• Abandonment of the child
• Failure to provide financial support for the child
• Abuse or neglect of the child
Tennessee law requires the stepparent be legally married to the active biological child. Additionally, children over the age of 12 are required to sign their consent to the adoption.
When the adoption is finalized, the child will be issued a new birth certificate with a name change, if desired. This new birth certificate will list the newly-adoptive parent as the biological parent.
With the assistance of a Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN, you can take the next step in creating your new family unit.
You need a family law attorney who will support and advise you through these challenging times. Most circumstances in need of family law assistance are multi-faceted. A skilled Family Law Attorney Chattanooga TN can help you navigate through the complexities of the situation, recommend your best course of action, be your trusted adviser and your strongest advocate.
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