Is Tennessee a no-fault divorce state?

No. While Tennessee does have options for no-fault divorce, both partners must agree to a no-fault divorce in order for the divorce to be granted by the court. If one partner does not agree that there are “irreconcilable differences” and wants to repair the marriage, it may be necessary to demonstrate cause for an at-fault divorce. These causes can include but are not limited to divorce or infidelity.

Can you modify a divorce agreement after the fact in Tennessee?

Yes, you can sometimes modify certain terms of the divorce agreement, such as child support, child custody, and alimony, but only if you can demonstrate unexpected material changes to your situation, typically involving a loss of income or medical emergency.

If my spouse and I agree on the terms of our divorce, do I really need a lawyer?

While you don’t need a lawyer, you absolutely should get one. Even if you and your spouse think you agree on every aspect of your divorce, you might not actually agree in practice. Moreover, the legal agreements in divorces are often difficult to understand, so while you may think you are agreeing to one thing, you may in fact be agreeing to something completely different. A skilled divorce lawyer is the only way to ensure that your interests are protected in the many agreements that result from your divorce.

How long does a divorce usually take to complete?

The length of time a divorce takes is highly variable. There is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days after filing for couples without children and 90 days for couples with children. After that, however, most divorces take about one year.

How does the court determine child custody?

The court will assess child custody based upon each parent’s relationship with the child and their role in the child’s life. The closer of a relationship that you can demonstrate with your child, the more likely it is that you will receive custody. Generally, courts favor shared custody whenever possible.

Is alimony permanent?

No. Alimony agreements have a set time limit. In addition, they generally become invalid if the party receiving alimony payments remarries.

I’ve been charged with a crime. Can’t I just represent myself?

Technically, you can, but you definitely should not. Representing yourself is always a mistake, doubly so if you have been charged with a crime. The law is complicated and any prosecutor’s number one goal is to get a guilty conviction. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to go when it comes to defending yourself in court.

Does Tennessee have a three strikes law?

Yes. In Tennessee, people convicted of three felonies can be sentenced to life without parole. If you have been charged with a felony, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What is a mechanic’s lien?

A mechanic’s lien is a temporary claim of ownership that a contractor can place over your property if you fail to pay them for their services. If your property has been placed under a lien, you cannot sell your property, use it as security for a loan, or make further modifications to the property until the lien has been lifted. Liens exist to give contractors recourse against individuals who fail to pay for contracted work.

My contractor says they’ve met the terms of our contract, but I disagree. How can we resolve our problem?

Contracts are tricky, and that’s why business attorneys work so hard to create contracts with language that is as explicit as possible. Unfortunately, even well-written contracts can sometimes leave room for interpretation. With poorly-written contracts, it’s even worse. So you and your contractor may look at the same agreement and each have your own idea of the obligations it outlines. When disagreements like this occur, a business lawyer can help you negotiate with your contractor to achieve a settlement by mutual agreement out of court, or, if necessary, litigate the case in court.