Misty D. Parks Attorney at Law            
P.O. Box 1720 Spring Hill, TN 37174   Initial Consultation Free (615) 255~9155
                        

FAMILY LAW OVERVIEW

 

Columbia, TN & Franklin, TN Divorce  Attorney serving Maury County and Williamson County, Tennessee.

Divorce:  

     Divorce can be one of the most difficult times in life, whether ending a short term or long term marriage.  If there are children this decision can be even more complicated due to the concerns of child custody and child support.  It is important to find an attorney to aggressively represent your interests and who will work to resolve your domestic issues both advantageously and expeditiously.  In both contested and uncontested divorces, an attorney is essential to guide you through the process and procedure to obtain a divorce from your husband or wife, and prevent easily avoided post divorce issues.  Misty D. Parks is a lawyer experienced in handling a wide variety of domestic matters in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, as well as, counties throughout Middle Tennessee.  For a free initial consultation regarding any domestic or family law issue, please contact Misty D. Parks at (615) 255-9155 to schedule an appointment.

Misty D. Parks has advocated for and guided numerous individuals through the challenges of both Contested and Uncontested Divorce, contact Ms. Parks at (615) 255-9155 for a free initial consultation to see how she can protect your interests.

How a Divorce Works: 

       A divorce action is began by the filing of a Complaint for Divorce with the appropriate court, there is a filing fee associated with filing a Complaint.  If your spouse has already filed a Complaint for Divorce you will have thirty days to file an Answer in response to this Complaint.  Tennessee is a fault based state for divorces, meaning that unless the parties can agree as to property division and parenting times, if there are children, there must exist some ground or reason for the divorce.  These grounds are set out in Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-101.  If both parties can come to an agreement regarding property and shared parenting, then the parties may proceed with an Irreconcilable Differences divorce, which is commonly referred to as an uncontested divorce.

       There are statutory waiting periods for a divorce.  If the parties have no children then the waiting period is sixty days, which means that even if you have an agreement with your spouse you must wait at least sixty days to finalize your divorce, or that if you are going to have a trial in your divorce that cannot occur before sixty days.  If there are minor children, then the waiting period is ninety days.  Additionally, when there is a divorce between parents of minor children, both parents must attend a Parenting Seminar, which deals with teaching parents how to parent apart in a way that is in the best interest of the child or children. 

       After a Complaint and Answer have been filed, then the parties may conduct discovery if needed.  Typically, this occurs when the parties are unable to  reach an agreement and need to proceed with a Contested Divorce.  Discovery consists of written questions that the other party must answer called Interrogatories, written requests that a party provide certain documents called Request for Production of Documents, and possibly Depositions which are questions that are answered under oath usually with both parties and their attorneys present. 

      Usually after the completion of discovery a case will either settle through an agreement or the parties will find that they must have a trial to settle their issues.  Before a case can be scheduled for a trial in front of a judge, the parties must attend mediation to attempt to settle their dispute.  Mediation can be waived in certain limited circumstances, but the vast majority of the time the court will require an attempt to reach an agreement through a mediator before allowing your divorce to be scheduled for a trial.     

      There are essentially two major components to a divorce.  The first which is applicable in any situation is property division.  This can entail the division of assets, as well as, debts. This division can have serious implications for both parties.  A good attorney, such as Misty D. Parks, will take the time to get a clear picture of your family’s financial situation, and work to make the transition less traumatic financially. 

      The second component is that of child custody, which of course only applies if the parties have minor children, or in some cases a disabled adult child.  When there are minor children of a marriage, the parties must eventually enter into a Permanent Parenting Plan, whether it is through a negotiated settlement agreement or after a trial.  A Permanent Parenting Plan allocates each parent’s respective parenting time and includes which holidays the child/children will spend with each parent, as well as, such things as which parent will carry health insurance for the children and which parent will receive a tax deduction for the child/children.   Importantly, the Permanent Parenting Plan also sets out the rights of both parents.   

 

Child Custody & Support: 

      Most often the greatest concern during divorce proceedings is the issue of child custody and visitation. You should know that when making a determination regarding custody and visitation a judge's primary concern is the best interest of the child.  Naturally, every parent strives to minimize the impact of divorce on their child/children and make the transition to a two household living arrangement as smooth as possible. Misty D. Parks is experienced in working with clients to determine an arrangement that will be in the best interest of the child/children and the family, and experienced in litigating this issue.

     Additionally, child custody may need to be modified after a divorce has already occurred.  There is a two pronged test to determine whether child custody can be modified, that is 1) a material change in circumstance and 2) the best interest of the child/children.  If you are considering asking the court to modify the custody arrangement between you and your ex-spouse contact Misty D. Parks for a free initial consultation.

     Child support is based on several factors including: the income of each parent, the number of days each parent spends with the child/children, the number of children, daycare expenses of each parent, health insurance costs for the children for each parent, any other children that a parent is paying child support for (whether the child lives with that person or in another home). You may download a child support calculator from the department of human services at http://www.tennessee.gov/humanserv/is/isdownloads.html.


Alimony: 

      Another often contested issue in divorce is that of alimony.  Tennessee Law provides for 4 different forms of alimony: 1) Alimony in Solido, 2) Alimony in Futuro, 3) Transitional Alimony, and 4) Rehabilitative Alimony.  Each form of alimony carries its own unique implications for both the party paying alimony and the party receiving alimony.  Whether you will be required to pay alimony, or entitled to receive alimony is determined by many factors. An attorney experienced at handling divorce proceedings, such as Misty D. Parks, can help determine if you will be entitled to receive or obligated to pay alimony and calculate which form of alimony is best suited to your particular situation. Call (615) 255-9155 to discuss your alimony and divorce concerns.    

 
Serving clients in Franklin, TN; Williamson County, TN;
Fairview, TN; Columbia, TN; Maury County, TN; Spring Hill, TN;  Nashville, TN; Davidson County, TN; Mt. Pleasant, TN; Brentwood, TN; Hickman County, TN; Centerville, TN; Ashland City, TN; Marshall County, TN; Lewisburg, TN;  Clarksville, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Rutherford County, TN;  Giles County, TN; Pulaski, TN; Gallatin, TN; Lewisburg, TN;  Marshall County, TN; Cheatham County, TN; and surrounding Middle Tennessee area.

By Misty D. Parks