Children, Support, and Property

Do the other issues – child support, child custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

Yes, all issues must be decided before a judge approves the final divorce decree. If the parties settle, a Marital Dissolution Agreement will divide all assets and debts. If alimony is awarded, the Marital Dissolution Agreement will also identify the type and terms of the alimony. A Permanent Parenting Plan will decide child related decisions. The Permanent Parenting Plan will designate a parenting schedule and make other provisions for any minor children. If the parties do not settle, a divorce trial will determine all issues.

Can I get maintenance or will I have to provide maintenance to my spouse?

In Tennessee, we refer to maintenance as “alimony.” There are several different types of alimony. The factors for determining alimony are: In determining whether the granting of an order for payment of support and maintenance to a party is appropriate, and in determining the nature, amount, length of term, and manner of payment, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including: The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, profit sharing or retirement plans and all other sources; The relative education and training of each party, the ability and opportunity of each Read more

What if my wife tries to move the kids out state?

Neither party can relocate out of the state while a divorce is pending. After the divorce, the primary residential parent can relocate after giving the appropriate notice to the other parent. For the alternative residential parent to defeat a relocation of the child by the primary residential parent, the parent must prove a substantial risk of harm to the child if custody remained the same.

Do courts favor the mother over the father?

No, in Tennessee gender is not a de juris factor in awarding custody. In years past, the court favored awarding mother custody if the children were of tender years. However, the “tender years presumption” no longer exists in Tennessee.

Can my child decide which parent to live with?

Under Tennessee statute, the court shall consider the reasonable preference of the child over the age of 12. The court may choose to hear the preference of a child under the age of 12. The preference of the child is one factor that the court will consider in determining the best interests of the children.

If both parents share custody does anyone pay child support?

Yes, in Tennessee child support is based off the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. If parents share 50-50/equal parenting time, child support is based upon each parent having one hundred eighty-two and one-half (182.5) days of parenting time.

Who will get custody of our child?

If you and your spouse can agree to a custody arrangement, you will decide which spouse gets custody of your children. If you and your spouse do not agree, the court will determine the custodial arrangement based on the best interest of the child.