Family Law Attorneys | Franklin Family Law Attorneys
At Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, our Franklin, Tennessee, family law attorneys provide counsel and representation in a variety of family law matters. Having to consult an attorney about a family issue is seldom positive and is usually very stressful. Our attorneys ensure that clients understand their options and guide them through the legal process. Knowing that they have strong and caring advocacy is a great relief to many of our clients.
We help people in matters such as:
- Divorce: Whether your divorce is hotly contested or you agree with your spouse about everything, it is important to consult a family law attorney to learn about your rights and responsibilities.
- Child custody and support: Issues related to children are among the most disputed in divorce. Our attorneys help you resolve problems so as to minimize the impact of divorce on your children.
- Division of property and alimony: The law requires that marital property be divided equitably. Our lawyers will protect your rights during the property division process while helping you achieve a fair outcome. Our family law attorneys also advise clients about paying and receiving alimony also known as spousal support.
- Relocations and post-divorce modifications: Even after your divorce is final, you will almost certainly need to work with your ex-spouse to deal with changes in your circumstances or those of your children.
Whatever your issue, our family law attorneys provide personal attention and the ability to help you resolve disputes that could affect you and your children for many years to come. Our lawyers’ experience and deep knowledge of Tennessee family law has made a difference in the lives of many Middle Tennessee parents and children.
Contact a Williamson County family law lawyer to learn more about divorce and related matters in Tennessee.
Tennessee Uncontested Divorce Attorney
If you find yourself facing the possibility of a divorce, the first place you should turn is to a legal professional. An experienced domestic relations attorney will be able to answer all of your questions in a confidential manner and help you understand your options. Going through a divorce is highly emotional time; having the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can help make the process less stressful.
Legal Help With Uncontested Divorce
At Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, our Franklin, Tennessee, lawyers review each step with you so that you are prepared for everything that might arise. Even if you think you agree with your spouse about everything and are planning an uncontested divorce, it is important to have a detached review of your situation to prevent mistakes that could be costly in the months and years to come.
Temporary Restraining Orders
After one party files for divorce, the court will issue a standard temporary restraining order. This order prevents either spouse from making changes, such as closing bank accounts, moving out of state, quitting his or her job, or making any other changes that could affect the outcome of the divorce proceedings. We will review this order with you to ensure that you do not accidentally violate its terms and make your situation even more complicated.
Child Custody and Child Support
We also make sure that clients who are parents complete the seminar required by the state of Tennessee to help mothers and fathers work together for the benefit of their children, even though they are divorcing. They will need to establish parenting plans and visitation schedules; being able to work together on these matters despite their divorce will make them more effective parents. We help clients work through the state’s child support calculator to arrive at the appropriate amount of child support to be paid or received.
Property Division and Alimony
We also help clients protect themselves during the property division phase of divorce. In some instances, one spouse may be required to pay alimony, also known as spousal support. We make sure that the divorce court has all the information it needs to make a fair determination in each of these areas.
Contact our Franklin divorce attorneys to learn more about contested and uncontested divorce in Tennessee.
A long, drawn-out legal battle is not the only way to achieve your goals in a divorce. Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, advocates what is known as the collaborative approach. It permits divorcing spouses to address their family’s unique needs without the acrimony and stress that typically accompanies a traditional divorce.
In the end, the final outcome is the same as with traditional divorce; there is no negative impact on the divorce agreement.
Collaborative divorce works particularly well in many cases because of the relationships thefamily law attorneys in the association build with clients. Attorney and client work as a team to achieve a positive outcome. However, a collaborative divorce is a viable option only if you can negotiate calmly and fairly.
Collaborative dissolutions are beneficial for several reasons:
- They typically are more cost-effective than litigating in court.
- Resolution is often faster.
- The parties have control of the outcome.
- Family stress can be greatly reduced.
Divorce with dignity and respect
In collaborative divorce, each spouse hires an attorney, and all parties agree to resolve the divorce out of court. Your collaborative divorce attorney cannot represent you if the effort fails and traditional divorce litigation is required. Therefore, all parties are motivated to negotiate a resolution.
The process involves a series of sessions attended by the spouses and their attorneys. All issues such as asset and debt division, alimony, child custody and child support are discussed and an agreement is reached about each. The attorneys then prepare a document to present to the court.
Sometimes, other experts, including financial advisors, psychologists and family counselors participate in the process.
Collaborative divorce is only viable when you and your spouse have agreed on a number of issues and want a streamlined resolution to your divorce. If collaborative resolution is not right for you, the divorce lawyers will skillfully represent you in traditional divorce litigation. The association also has considerable experience resolving divorce through mediation with the in-house Rule 31 mediators.
Attorneys achieving meaningful, long-term results
Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, is a strong supporter of more amicable resolutions, when possible. Contact the attorneys online for a free initial discussion about your case.
Tennessee Alimony Awards
How alimony is awarded is often a mystery to clients. At Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, our lawyers answer your questions about alimony, also known as spousal support. We determine whether you are eligible for alimony or will have to make payments. We talk about the factors the court uses in determining an alimony award.
Our attorneys discuss the different types of alimony:
- In futuro, or periodic alimony, generally awarded in cases of lengthy marriages
- Rehabilitative alimony, generally to help spouses improve their ability to earn a salary
- In solido, or lump sum alimony, generally used to compensate for one-sided property division
Alimony is decided at the time of the divorce and cannot be awarded later as a modification. This is why it is important to have an attorney to advocate for you if you are seeking alimony or trying to avoid paying it. The court looks at factors such as the length of the marriage, age of the parties, fault in the divorce, the contributions of each party to the marriage and many other considerations.
Property Division in Tennessee Divorce
Tennessee is an equitable division state. This means that the division of marital property does not have to be equal; rather, it must be fair. If the parties are unable to agree on the division of their marital assets, they must go to court to have a judge rule on a settlement.
Marital property is defined as anything jointly acquired during the marriage; determining the extent of marital property, as opposed to separate property, is the first task. Once the marital property has been defined, it can then be divided.
Clients ask questions such as:
- Does fault in the marriage affect property division?
- Is my inheritance considered marital property or separate property?
- What are the tax consequences of a proposed division of property?
- I worked a part-time job so my spouse could get an MBA. Does this contribution affect property division?
- Do I have to give up the presents my spouse gave me?
We answer questions such as these and advocate for fair property settlements, recommending mediation as an effective way to save time, legal fees and stress.
Contact our Franklin alimony attorney to learn more about property division and spousal support in Tennessee.
Child Custody and Support
Tennessee Child Support Attorney
Child custody and support are often the most contentious issues in a divorce. Parental battles over child custody and support carry the very real risk that children will suffer undue stress and trauma. To address this, Tennessee law requires parents to attend a parenting seminar within 30 days of filing for divorce. The statute also provides the opportunity for parents to participate in mediation sessions to address all issues related to the welfare of their children.
Helping Parents Protect Their Children
We believe that parents should select their legal counsel carefully to minimize the negative effects of child custody and support disputes. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping clients resolve matters related to these sensitive topics in a way that protects and serves the best interests of their children.
Developing Child Custody and Support Proposals That Work
Unless parents can agree on issues, a judge will impose rulings on parents without full knowledge of the situation. This is not the judge’s fault. It is impossible to have a complete understanding of a family’s dynamics and circumstances. That is why our lawyers try to address all the important issues before the matter goes to trial, minimizing the negative impact on the children and arriving at a proposed agreement that is workable for the family.
Issues in Child Custody and Support Cases
Issues that are often part of child custody and support disputes include:
- Where will the child live and for how long? This is also called a parenting plan or a child visitation schedule.
- Who gets the children for holidays?
- Who pays for health insurance?
- Who pays for medical items not covered by health insurance, such as dental bills, counseling or uncovered medications?
- Who pays for extras such as music lessons, summer camp and school trips?
- Which parent takes the tax deduction for the children?
- Who pays for life insurance? Who are the beneficiaries?
- Which parent pays child support? How much and for how long?
Each family is unique and what works for one may be unsuitable for another. Tennessee has guidelines, worksheets and a calculator to help estimate child support payments. We advise our clients about these tools and help them complete the worksheets.
Contact a Franklin child custody attorney to learn more about establishing Tennessee child support and custody.
Relocations and Post-Divorce Modifications
Learn About Modifying Family Law Orders
When your divorce becomes final, you may think that you will never have to deal with your ex-spouse again. Although, in some instances, this is indeed the case, in many others you will have to resolve issues that arise months and years after the marriage formally ended. Known as post-divorce issues, these generally involve children, money or both.
Modification of Child Support and Alimony
At Story, Abernathy, Campbell, Ashworth, McGill, and Walters, An Association of Attorneys, our lawyers help clients resolve post-divorce issues. From our office in Franklin, Tennessee, we help clients with matters such as:
- Modifying child support
- Modifying alimony
- Modifying the visitation/parenting time schedule
Post-Divorce Issues Related to Children
Issues related to children often involve the desire of one parent to relocate out of the area. If approved by the court, the relocation will probably require a change in the visitation schedule. It may also result in changes to the child support amount paid or received, especially if the relocation is due to a job change.
Relocation represents a significant change in the circumstances of one of the parents. This standard is used by the court to evaluate all modification requests. When the modification involves children, the court also determines whether the proposed change is in the best interests of the child or children.
Changes to Alimony/Spousal Support
People seeking to modify alimony paid or received may have lost a job, remarried or retired. The request can be to terminate payments or change the amount of time that alimony will be paid.
Another category of post-divorce issues is enforcement. We assist parents who seek to enforce the visitation schedule, child support payments or property division agreements. It can also involve one parent not paying for school tuition, enrichment programs or medical bills as agreed in the final order. Refusing to abide by the terms of the divorce decree can be grounds for a jail sentence, although this seldom happens. The threat of jail often encourages compliance. We also defend people charged with failing to obey court orders involving child support, parenting time, alimony and property issues.
Contact us to learn more about modification of Tennessee child custody and support orders.