Personal Relationships & the Law

Tennessee Divorce Basics, Continued

  • Property acquired during the marriage is divided by the court between the two spouses, no matter whose name is on the title. The court considers many things:
    • The length of the marriage; both spouses’ age, health, ability to work, financial situation; how much each spouse contributed to the education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse; the value of each spouse’s own property; the financial situation of both spouses.
    • Alimony: One spouse can ask the court for one big support payment and get it over with, or they can ask for many support payments (usually monthly, long term or short term) from the other spouse.
  • It can be quite a battle. People need to NOT use these issues as just a means to torment each other.
  • Child support: Tennessee courts calculate child support payments using a state child support schedule.
    • In Tennessee, an order for child support means an automatic order for assignment of wages. If child support is not paid, the state takes it from the paycheck.
  • Every divorce in Tennessee awards child custody based on the child’s best interests; the divorce must include a formal parenting plan. If there are kids, the relationship is not over!
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