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Accomplished Murfreesboro Family Law Attorneys Answer Your Most Common Questions

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Family law involves legal issues related to the family structure, including divorce, child custody and support matters. The decisions that are made during family law cases have the potential to affect the rest of your life and the lives of your children. The middle Tennessee lawyers at Dotson & Taylor, Attorneys at Law are committed to ensuring that you are knowledgeable about aspects of family law.

What are the grounds to get a divorce in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the only no-fault ground is that the couple has been separated for at least two years and they have no minor children. Other grounds are based on the fault of one or both parties, including:

Irreconcilable differences


Cruel and inhumane treatment




Conviction of a felony or an infamous crime

Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse

How is property divided in a divorce?

During a divorce, the couple must have their property divided. They can either agree on how to divide their property or ask the court to divide it in a manner it considers fair. If the court is tasked with this responsibility, it considers several factors in making a decision, including:

The duration of the marriage

The age, health, earning capacity and financial status of each spouse

How the property was acquired

In Tennessee, the division of property does not have to be 50/50. However, it must be “equitable.” Spouses who do not want the court to decide what is fair can reach their own agreement and present it to the court for approval.

How is child custody established?

Parents going through divorce in Tennessee are required to attend a four-hour parenting class, during which time they are encouraged to enter into a parenting plan that outlines who is the primary residential parent or if there will be equal parenting time. If the parents do not reach an agreement at this time, they can try to reach one during mediation. However, if they are still unable to agree on custody matters, the family law court can make these important decisions by using factors such as:

The relationship between each parent and the child

The child’s preference if he or she is old enough to reasonably express it

Any history of domestic violence, abuse or neglect

The likelihood of the parent encouraging a relationship with the other parent

The ability of each parent to provide for the needs of the child

The family law judge makes decisions by considering what would be in the child’s best interest.

When can I modify my child support order?

Either parent can petition the court to modify a child support order when either party’s financial circumstances change substantially. A parent can also request a temporary stay during a period when he or she cannot afford child support, such as after unexpected unemployment. The parent may be required to make up the missed payments after he or she secures employment, but the stay can prevent collection efforts and other negative consequences.

Contact an experienced Murfreesboro family lawyer for assistance

These are just some of the many family law questions that the experienced family law attorneys at Dotson & Taylor, Attorney at Law receive on a regular basis. Our knowledgeable Murfreesboro family law attorneys can answer any questions that you have during a free initial consultation. Contact us online or call us at 615-890-1982 to get started on your case today.