If you have made the difficult decision to end a marriage the next step is to go through the divorce process. Even the most amicable divorce can be stressful for everyone involved. When a divorce turns adversarial it can wreak havoc with your life until it is over. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side will minimize the negative impact that a divorce has on you and your loved ones.
At Bennett | Michael | Hornsby, Attorneys at Law, the divorce attorneys understand the emotional and financial impact a divorce has on both parties. If you are considering a Murfreesboro, Tennessee divorce, or have already been served with a Complaint for Divorce, we can help.
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Common Issues in a Divorce
Because of the emotional nature of divorce, it is very easy to get side-tracked from the more important issues. The goal of any divorce is for the parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement of all issues; however, an agreed settlement isn’t always possible. Some of the most commonly contested issues in a Tennessee divorce include:
- Asset Division – the martial assets must be divided in the divorce. This may include anything from the marital residence to pensions, 401 k’s, and retirement funds.
- Debt Division – all debts of the marriage must also be allocated to ensure that someone remains responsible for the debt after the divorce is final. This can be tricky if a party is considering bankruptcy or if there is concern that the other party will default on a debt, such as a credit card balance.
- Child Custody/Visitation – if there are minor children involved custody and visitation must be decided. These issues are normally the most difficult to work through or litigate.
- Child Support – child support will also be an issue if there are minor children involved.
- Spousal Support (Alimony) – not all divorces include a spousal support order; however, you could be ordered to pay or receive spousal support (alimony) in a Tennessee divorce proceeding, either on a temporary basis while the divorce is in progress, or for a period after the divorce is final.
The Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and La Vergne, Tennessee Divorce Process
The divorce process begins when one spouse files a Complaint (sometimes called a Petition) for Divorce. The other spouse is then served with the Complaint and Summons, and has a limited period of time (30 days) to file a formal response with the court, called an Answer. Failing to file an Answer to the Complaint could cause you to lose important rights in the divorce. Once the Complaint and Answer have been filed, the parties will attempt to reach an out of court agreement. If the parties cannot reach a settlement the court will eventually have to decide the contested issues in the case.
If it is clear that the parties are not in agreement regarding important issues from the outset of the proceedings, a temporary hearing can also address issues while the divorce is in progress. Possession of the marital residence and custody of the children, for instance, may be decided at this temporary hearing pending the final outcome of the case. This is an important hearing because the judge will not always change his or her mind about such issues at a final hearing
The outcome of a divorce will likely have a significant impact on your life for years to come. At Bennett | Michael | Hornsby, Attorneys at Law we are committed to ensuring that your rights in a Murfreesboro, Tennessee divorce are protected throughout the proceedings. Contact us today at 615-898-1560 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and La Vergne, Tennessee divorce attorneys.