Few life events are as emotionally or financially difficult as a divorce. At Stacey and Ballew, our promise is to make this process as easy as possible for you. We begin each consultation by providing you an opportunity to tell us in your own words, how your story and your life circumstances are changing. Every situation is unique. By learning about your specific situation we create a strategy that will best suit you.
Take your first step
Divorce isn’t about revenge or hurting your spouse, it’s about protecting your financial future and your right to parent your children. We assertively protect your rights as you start the next phase in your journey. Call Stacey and Ballew, today, to arrange a free initial consultation, and to find out how we can help you.
As Family Law Attorneys, Stacey and Ballew understands that family matters are complex, private, and sensitive matters. We can help guide you and your family in the areas of:
- Child custody
- Parenting plans
- Child support
- Property division
- Modification of court orders
- Enforcement actions
- Other family law matters, just ask!
Solutions for your problems
Every case is different and I will work with you develop a plan to find, evaluate, and divide the marital assets; determine whether alimony may be appropriate; use discovery; calculate the appropriate amount of child support; and decide whether your case can best be resolved through mediation or at a trial.
The end of a marriage is heartbreaking, confusing, and emotionally draining. You may have years worth of assets and debts that need to be divided, you need to know whether or not alimony is appropriate, and you need to know how you will share parenting with your spouse.
Since 2006 I have helped hundreds of people like you through this process, so you can worry less and start moving on with your life. Let me deal with all the procedures, documents, and various legal requirements, so you can start planning your new future.
Your case may be very straightforward, or it may be very complicated. You might already have an agreement with your spouse, or maybe you only agree that you can’t stand each other. Either way, I will tailor my style to your needs. Whether we settle your case by agreement or fight it out in front of a judge, I’ll be there to protect your rights so you can start moving on.
If you have kids, it may be that the biggest issue will be how the parenting time will be divided between you and your spouse. Tennessee law says that the parenting plan should allow both parents to participate in the children’s lives as much as possible, and there is no preference on whether the children live with the mother or father most of the time.
The judge will give the parties a lot of freedom to come up with their own schedule, but if the parents can’t agree, the court is required to consider several factors when creating a parenting schedule. Some of those factors are:
- The relationship the child has with each parent
- Each parents’ past performance of parenting responsibilities
- How likely each parent is to provide the child with food, clothing, education, etc.
- The moral, physical, and mental fitness of each parent
- Evidence of abuse to the child or other parent
- Each parent’s employment schedule
- Any other factor the court sees as relevant
Tennessee law says that all of the things you and your spouse acquired during the marriage belongs to both of you and should be divided “equitably” (which does not necessarily mean “equally”) when you divorce. There are some exceptions to that rule, and it may be that there are some assets your spouse can’t have.
I will help you identify what property is likely to be split up, which isn’t, and how exactly that will be handled. As with the parenting schedule, a judge will give the parties a lot of freedom to work out a settlement on their own. If we are not able to come to an agreement, the court will divide the property after considering many factors. Some of those are:
- Each parties’ age, health, and ability to earn income
- The contribution one party made to the education of the other
- Whether either party caused any growth or loss of marital assets
- The current financial needs of each party
- Any tax consequences of maintaining or selling the property
- The social security benefits available to either party
- Any other factors the court believes is relevant
Courts in our state are required to calculate child support using a complex equation that takes into account the gross income of each parent and the number of days each parent spends with the children. The calculation is not very flexible, but it depends on having accurate information for the support to be set correctly. You need to make sure the numbers are accurate, that you are given all of the credits you are entitled to, and that any additional expenses are legitimate.
We also handle enforcement of child support and modification of child support. Courts can compel a person to make their support payments with the threat of time in jail, removal of driver’s license, wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or by placing liens on property.
Child support should be modified anytime there is a substantial change in the parties’ incomes, child care schedule, or a change to certain expenses. If you believe your child support payments are incorrect, it’s worth a quick calculation to see if the support should change. Whether you want your support payments changed or oppose a change the other parent is requesting, we can help you.
There are four different types of alimony in Tennessee. They all last for different periods of time; some can be modified, some can be stopped if your situation changes, and some have to be paid and can’t be modified or terminated early.
Unlike child support, there is no set method to calculate how much alimony should be paid and no definite rules on when alimony is even appropriate. When a court determines if alimony is to be paid, several factors will be considered. Some of those factors are:
- The income potential and expenses of each spouse
- Each parties’ education and experience
- The need of either party for additional education or training
- Whether either party should not work in order to care for the children
- The contributions of both parties to the marriage
- The parties’ current standard of living
- Any other factors the court deems important
Even when they seem simple, divorce, custody, and child support cases can be surprisingly complex. If your situation involves any of these issues, either call us at (615) 244-1018 or use our contact form to find out how we can help you.