A daily podcast dealing with Tennessee family law issues by answering questions commonly asked by family law consumers to Tennessee family law attorneys. The show covers a wide range of family law topics from divorce to adoption and everything in between.
How is child support calculated in Tennessee?
No one really likes to pay child support. It is, perhaps, one of the most contentious issues in cases involving children. In my practice, I have discovered several reasons for this.
First, when child support is paid, it is paid to the other parent. The greater the animosity between the parents, the more difficult it is to make those payment. It creates the illusion that the person paying the child support is actually paying the money for the benefit of the other parent and not the children.
In Tennessee we have a comprehensive set of guidelines used to determine the amount of child support that will be paid. Based upon the guidelines, the appropriate figures are inserted into Tennessee’s Child Support Worksheet by using a child support calculator supplied by the state. The result is a dollar amount that is used as child support.
The following are the five factors that go into the child support formula in Tennessee:
The income of each parent The amount of time each parent spends with the child The amount paid for health insurance and recurring medical expenses Childcare expenses Credit for other children As always, it is important to seek out a professional for help with issues involving child support. It is also important to understand and be educated in the way child support is calculated in Tennessee.
Tennessee Child Support Guidelines
Tennessee Child Support Calculator
Understanding the Tennessee court system
A good understanding of the court system is essential for both attorneys and for consumers of the judicial system. Additionally, it is important to know which courts in your county have jurisdiction over which type of cases.
In this episode, we discuss the structure of Tennessee’s judicial system.
Understanding Your Court System
Tennessee Judicial District Map
How is property divided in Tennessee divorce cases?
In Tennessee, courts are required to equitably divide marital property between the parties in a divorce. The court will usually attempt to determine the value of all marital property and then attempt to determine the proper division of that property. Tennessee is a dual property state as opposed to an all property state. In a dual property state, the court may only divide property this is considered marital property.
Once the marital property is identified, the court will determine the division of the property based on eleven factors set forth in the divorce statutes. In the vast majority of divorce cases, the equitable division of marital property between the parties is a simple process of dividing the property in half. In other words, in most cases the court will make a 50/50 division between the parties. Nonetheless, there are situations where the court will be forced to consider the equities and make other than an equal division of the property.
What rights do Grandparents have in Tennessee?
In most families, grandparents play a significant role in the lives of grandchildren. I have some great memories spending time with my grandparents growing up in Nashville. I was lucky to have both sets of grandparents until I was well into my twenties. In some families, however, grandparents are at odds with the parents and the relationship between the grandparents and the grandchildren is affected. When this happens, the grandparents may be required to resort to the courts in order to spend time with their grandchildren.
As a general rule, parents have the right to parent their children as they see fit. This includes the right to decide with whom the children will associate. The right to parent one’s children is founded on the right to privacy contained in the United States Constitution. Before the court can abridge that right, it must be shown that the failure to do so would result in severe emotional harm to the children.
In Tennessee, grandparents have a right to visit with their unmarried minor grandchildren, but only if the parents refuse to allow grandparent visitation and that refusal results in severe emotional harm to the children.
The laws regarding grandparent visitation are complicated. If you are considering filing a grandparent visitation case, it is imperative to hire an attorney knowledgeable in the area of grandparent visitation rights.
What is adultery in Tennessee and does it really matter?
Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone not the spouse of that married person. In Tennessee, adultery can be proven by circumstantial evidence as well as by direct evidence.
There are several defenses to adultery. The first is called recrimination and occurs when the spouse alleging adultery has also committed adultery. The second defense is referred to as condonation. The defense of condonation occurs when the innocent spouse, knowing of the adulterous conduct, takes the guilty spouse back and engages in intercourse. The final defense is connivance. This defense is based upon the knowledge and acquiescence by the innocent spouse in the adulterous spouses’ conduct.
There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to adultery in divorce. First, the adulterous conduct of a parent cannot form the basis of a denial of parenting time. In other words, unless the conduct directly affects the children, it cannot be used by the court when fashioning a custody arrangement. Second, having sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse after separation is still adultery. Third, adultery has no bearing on the division of property in a divorce case.
Adultery is just one of sixteen grounds for divorce in Tennessee. However, it is the ground that causes the most anger and resentment. From a purely legal standpoint, adultery is no different than any other of the fault based grounds for divorce. Keeping that in mind will hopefully help quail the emotions that seem to run high in cases involving adultery.
Can I get Alimony in Tennessee?
Alimony is available in Tennessee in appropriate divorce and legal separation cases. A number of factors go into determining an award of alimony. The most important factor is the need of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay the alimony.
There are four types of alimony in Tennessee.
Alimony in futuro, also referred to as periodic alimony Rehabilitative alimony Transitional alimony Alimony in solido, also called lump sum alimony There are a number of factors that go into an alimony decision. When facing a case involving alimony, make sure you seek the advice of an experienced Tennessee family law attorney.