partial view of couple at table with divorce documents

Clarksville Divorce Lawyers

When facing the challenging journey of divorce in Tennessee, it’s essential to have a compassionate and knowledgeable team of divorce lawyers in your corner. Fendley & Etson is a family law firm based in Clarksville, Tennessee, and we’ve proudly represented clients in the area for decades. We care about you, your family, and your future. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.

Montgomery County, TN Divorce Lawyers | Helping You Get a Fresh Start

Divorce is a complex issue that, for many, is the most significant legal issue they’ll ever face. If you’re about to go through a divorce, you need a team of Clarksville family lawyers you can depend on to fight for the well-being of you and your children. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you have come to the right place. Fendley & Etson stands ready to fiercely advocate for your best interests.

Common Divorce-Related Issues

Divorce is a life-changing issue that involves various issues. Some of the issues you’ll need to resolve are as follows:

  • Child Custody: Tennessee courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. Factors such as the child’s age, parent’s stability, and their wishes may be considered. Fendley & Etson has extensive experience advocating for parents and their children to ensure their needs are met.
  • Child Support: The state of Tennessee holds that both parents are responsible for contributing financially to raising their child. Unfortunately, child support is also among the most hotly-contested divorce-related issues.
  • Property Division: Tennessee follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. If you’re about to go through a divorce, you need a lawyer in your corner who can effectively fight for your hard-earned assets.
  • Alimony: Alimony may be awarded based on factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation, and contributions to the marriage. If you’re seeking alimony or wish to dispute the amount of alimony your spouse is asking for, you can depend on the lawyers here at Fendley & Etson to fight for the outcome you need.

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce

There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to agree on one or more key issues, leading to litigation. The court intervenes to make decisions on matters like child custody, property division, and alimony. On the other hand, in an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce. This type of divorce typically involves less time, cost, and emotional stress. As you can imagine, uncontested divorces are also relatively uncommon.

Importantly, you’ll need a competent divorce lawyer in your corner regardless of whether your divorce is contested or not. Divorce is an involved and document-heavy process. A lawyer can handle all paperwork on your behalf and ensure everything moves along as smoothly as possible. Additionally, uncontested divorces can quickly become contested. If your divorce turns contested, you’ll need a lawyer in your corner who is already familiar with the specifics of your case and who can turn on a dime and go on the offensive.

Fault Grounds & Fault-Based Divorce vs. No-Fault Divorce in Tennessee

Tennessee recognizes both fault-based and no-fault divorce. This means that divorcing spouses can choose to cite fault grounds or not when initiating a divorce. The difference between the two is as follows:

  • Fault-Based Divorce: Grounds for fault-based divorce include cruelty, adultery, abandonment, and drug/alcohol abuse. Proving fault may influence property division and alimony decisions, but not always.
  • No-Fault Divorce: In a no-fault divorce, spouses don’t need to prove wrongdoing by either party. The grounds are typically “irreconcilable differences” or “living apart without cohabitation” for at least two years.

Importantly, choosing no-fault divorce does not mean that your divorce is inherently uncontested; you can still disagree on the terms of your divorce but not cite specific fault grounds.

The Divorce Process in Tennessee

Divorce proceedings in Tennessee can be complex, but understanding the process can help alleviate some of the stress. Below is a step-by-step outline of how divorce typically unfolds in the state:

  1. Filing a Petition for Divorce: The process begins with one spouse filing a petition for divorce in the county where they reside. The petitioner must meet Tennessee’s residency requirements, which entail living in the state for at least six months before filing.
  2. Serving the Divorce Papers: Once the petition is filed, the other spouse (the respondent) must be served with the divorce papers, providing them with notice of the proceedings. This can be done through a process server, sheriff, or certified mail.
  3. Response from the Respondent: The respondent typically has 30 days to respond to the divorce petition. They may choose to contest the divorce or agree to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
  4. Temporary Orders and Mediation: If there are disputes over child custody, support, or property division, temporary orders may be issued. Mediation is often encouraged to help couples reach agreements outside of court.
  5. Discovery and Disclosure: Both parties exchange information about their finances, assets, and liabilities during the discovery phase. This step is crucial for a fair division of marital property and debts.
  6. Court Proceedings: If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the case goes to court. A judge will hear arguments, review evidence, and make decisions on issues like property division, alimony, child custody, and support.
  7. Final Decree of Divorce: Once the court has reached a decision, a final decree of divorce is issued. This document legally terminates the marriage.

Contact Our Montgomery County Divorce Lawyers

Navigating divorce requires careful consideration of various factors, including the type of divorce, fault grounds, and the legal process. With the guidance of an experienced Tennessee divorce lawyer, you can confidently move forward while safeguarding your rights and the well-being of your family. At Fendley & Etson, we are dedicated to helping you through this challenging time with compassion and skill. Contact our Clarksville, Tennessee divorce lawyers for your initial consultation today so you can tell us your goals and so we can begin making those goals a reality.