Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the divorce process typically take in Nashville, TN?

The duration of the divorce process in Nashville, Tennessee, can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, whether it is contested or uncontested, and court schedules. Typically, uncontested divorces may be finalized more quickly, while contested divorces may take several months or longer to resolve. Uncontested divorces, meaning the parties are in agreement for all of the terms of the divorce, have a 90-day waiting period when there are minor children of the marriage and a 60-day waiting period when there are no minor children of the marriage.  The clock starts ticking on the day the divorce complaint is filed.

What factors does the court consider in determining child custody in Davidson County, TN?

When determining child custody in Davidson County, Tennessee, the court considers various factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, the child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse. Our Nashville child custody attorneys can help you present evidence and arguments to support your case for custody.

Do I need to attend parenting classes as part of the divorce process in Nashville, TN?

In Nashville, Tennessee, courts may require divorcing parents to attend parenting classes as part of the divorce process. These classes cover topics such as co-parenting strategies, communication skills, and the effects of divorce on children. If the parties are amicably divorcing, which means that the divorce is uncontested, our Nashville courts will often allow parents to waive the requirement to attend the seminar for divorcing parents. Our divorce attorneys in Nashville can provide information about available parenting classes and help you fulfill this requirement.

How are marital assets divided in a divorce in Davidson County, TN?

Marital assets in Davidson County, Tennessee, are typically divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, in divorce proceedings. Factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions, and their respective earning capacities are considered when dividing assets. Working with a Nashville asset division lawyer can assist you in negotiating a fair division of marital property or represent you in court if necessary.

What are my rights regarding spousal support (alimony) in Nashville, TN?

In Nashville, Tennessee, spouses may be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony, depending on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial needs and resources, and their respective earning capacities. Spousal support may be awarded temporarily or permanently. Get help from a Nashville alimony lawyer to understand your rights and pursue fair spousal support arrangements.

How can I protect my assets during a divorce in Nashville, TN?

Protecting your assets during a divorce in Nashville, Tennessee, involves several strategies, such as maintaining detailed financial records, considering prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, and seeking advice from experienced attorneys. Nashville prenuptial agreement lawyers at our firm can assess your situation and recommend the most appropriate asset protection measures tailored to your needs.

What are the grounds for divorce in Davidson County, TN?

In Davidson County, Tennessee, divorces can be granted on both fault and no-fault grounds. Common grounds for divorce include irreconcilable differences, adultery, abandonment, cruelty,  substance abuse, imprisonment, impotence at the time of marriage, bigamy, the wife being pregnant with another man’s child at the time of marriage, refusal of the spouse to relocate with you to the State of Tennessee, among others. Our attorneys can explain the legal grounds for divorce and help you determine the most suitable approach for your case.

Can I modify child custody arrangements after divorce in Nashville, TN?

Child custody arrangements in Nashville, Tennessee, can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances affecting the child’s best interests. Such changes may include relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or concerns about parental fitness. Our attorneys can assist you in seeking modifications to custody orders and representing your interests in court proceedings.

What documentation do I need to provide for a divorce in Davidson County, TN?

When filing for divorce in Davidson County, Tennessee, you will typically need to provide various documents, including  financial statements, tax returns, mortgage information, retirement account statements, and other documents. Our attorneys can help you compile the necessary documentation and ensure that your divorce petition is complete and accurate.

How can I find the right divorce attorney in Nashville, TN?

Finding the right divorce attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, involves research, referrals, and consultations. Look for attorneys with experience in family law, positive reviews from clients, and a personalized approach to your case. Schedule consultations with potential attorneys to discuss your situation and assess their compatibility with your needs and goals.

Are consultations with your Nashville divorce attorneys free of charge?

Yes, we offer free initial telephone consultations to prospective clients in Nashville and the surrounding areas and in-person consultations for a small fee that is applied toward the retainer should you decide to hire Burdine Law to represent you. During the consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case with one of our experienced divorce attorneys. We’ll provide an assessment of your legal options and answer any questions you may have about the divorce process.

What are the typical fees for your divorce services in Nashville, TN?

Our fees for divorce services in Nashville vary depending on the complexity of the case and the services required. We offer transparent pricing and will discuss our fee structure with you during the initial consultation. Our goal is to provide high-quality legal representation at a fair and reasonable cost.

Do you offer payment plans for divorce cases in Davidson County?

Yes, we understand that divorce can be financially challenging, and we offer flexible payment plans to accommodate our clients’ needs. Our goal is to make quality legal representation accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. We’ll work with you to develop a payment plan that fits your budget.

What factors are considered in determining child support in Nashville, TN?

Child support in Nashville is determined based on several factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children, childcare expenses, healthcare costs, and the child’s standard of living before the divorce. Our attorneys will ensure that child support calculations are accurate and fair.

Can grandparents petition for visitation rights in Davidson County, Tennessee?

Yes, grandparents may petition for visitation rights in Davidson County if it is in the best interests of the child and if certain conditions are met. Our attorneys can provide guidance on grandparents’ rights and help you navigate the legal process.

What is the difference between mediation and litigation in divorce cases in Nashville?

Mediation involves both parties working with a neutral third party to negotiate a settlement outside of court. Litigation, on the other hand, involves resolving disputes through the court system. Mediation is often faster, less expensive, and more amicable than litigation, but it may not be suitable for all cases.

How can I protect my assets during a divorce in Davidson County, TN?

There are several steps you can take to protect your assets during a divorce, including gathering documentation of your assets and debts, considering prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, and consulting with a qualified divorce attorney. Our attorneys can help you develop a strategy to safeguard your financial interests.

What happens if my spouse refuses to cooperate in the divorce process in Nashville?

If your spouse refuses to cooperate in the divorce process, it can complicate matters and prolong the proceedings. However, there are legal remedies available to address non-cooperation, such as requesting a default judgment or pursuing alternative dispute resolution methods. Our attorneys will advocate for your rights and help you navigate any challenges that arise.

What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Davidson County, TN?

To file for divorce in Davidson County, Tennessee, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. Additionally, your spouse must be a resident of Davidson County, TN or you and your spouse resided in Davidson County, TN at the time of the separation. Our attorneys can verify your eligibility and guide you through the filing process.

What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce in Nashville, TN?

In a contested divorce, spouses cannot agree on all issues related to the divorce, such as property division, child custody, or spousal support. In an uncontested divorce, spouses have reached agreements on these issues and can proceed with the divorce without court intervention. Our attorneys can assist you with both contested and uncontested divorces.

Can I change my name as part of the divorce process in Davidson County, Tennessee?

Yes, you can typically change your name as part of the divorce process in Davidson County. If you wish to revert to your maiden name, you can include a request for a name change in your divorce petition. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal requirements for changing your name.

What is the role of a Guardian ad Litem in child custody cases in Nashville, TN?

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a court-appointed advocate for the best interests of the child in custody cases. The GAL conducts investigations, interviews, and assessments to provide the court with recommendations regarding custody and visitation arrangements. Our attorneys can explain the GAL’s role and advocate for your parental rights.

What are the advantages of hiring a divorce attorney in Davidson County, TN?

Hiring a divorce attorney can offer several advantages, including legal expertise, advocacy, and guidance throughout the divorce process. An attorney can protect your rights, negotiate favorable settlements, and ensure that your interests are represented in court. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

Is a Divorce Financially Worth It? 

While the decision to divorce is primarily driven by personal and emotional factors, there are several financial reasons why divorce can be a beneficial step. It’s important to consider these aspects, especially if you are in a situation where the marriage is detrimentally affecting your financial health.

  1. Financial Independence: Divorce can provide an opportunity for financial independence. This is particularly relevant if your partner has problematic financial habits like excessive spending or poor investment decisions that negatively impact your shared financial health. Post-divorce, you have full control over your finances and can make decisions that are best for your future.
  2. Asset Protection: Divorce proceedings often bring to light assets that one spouse may not have been fully aware of. This process can ensure a fair division of assets and protect you from future liabilities connected to your spouse. It’s an opportunity to reassess and reorganize your assets in a way that secures your financial future.
  3. Elimination of Joint Debt Liability: If your spouse is accumulating debt, you are potentially liable for these debts as long as you are married. Divorce can limit your liability for any future debts your spouse incurs, protecting your credit score and financial health.
  4. Career Opportunities: In some marriages, one partner may sacrifice their career for the family. After divorce, people often find new motivation to pursue career opportunities, further education, or entrepreneurial endeavors, leading to potential increases in personal income and financial independence.
  5. Better Financial Planning: Being single allows you to plan and budget based on your needs and goals without compromise. This can result in more efficient financial planning, savings, and investments that are tailored to your individual long-term financial objectives.
  6. Emotional Relief and Productivity: The stress of a troubled marriage can take a toll on your work performance and overall productivity. Divorce, although emotionally challenging, can lead to emotional relief and increased productivity, indirectly benefiting your financial situation.

While divorce should not be viewed purely as a financial decision, it’s important to recognize that in some cases, it can lead to a healthier financial future. It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor and a divorce attorney to understand the full implications of divorce on your personal finances.

Navigating Your Finances During Divorce: A Path to a Brighter Future

Going through a divorce can be a challenging journey, especially when it comes to managing your finances. However, this period also presents an opportunity for growth, resilience, and a fresh start. Here are some things you can do to make sure you have financial stability during and after your divorce.

  1. Create a New Budget: Your financial situation is changing, and so should your budget. Start by assessing your new income and expenses. Be realistic and include legal costs, living expenses, and any debts. This will give you a clear picture of where you stand and help you make informed decisions moving forward. We can help you work through your budget.
  2. Understand Your Assets and Liabilities: Take stock of all your assets and liabilities. This includes property, investments, savings, and debts. Understanding what you own, what you owe, and what you’re entitled to is crucial in navigating the financial aspects of your divorce. We can help you take stock of all of your assets and liabilities.
  3. Prioritize Your Financial Goals: What are your financial priorities post-divorce? Whether it’s securing a home, saving for retirement, or investing in your career, having clear goals will guide your financial decisions and motivate you to stay on track. We can help you plan your goals by listening to what is going on with your situation and showing you how we can get you where you want to be by using our years of experience helping many people like you to get you to think about and include things you might not even be thinking about.
  4. Build Your Credit: If you don’t have credit in your name, now is the time to start building it. Apply for a credit card, and make small, manageable purchases that you can pay off each month. Good credit will be invaluable in your new life and can help improve your credit score.
  5. Seek Professional Advice: Don’t hesitate to seek help from financial advisors, especially those experienced in divorce finances. They can offer valuable insights and strategies tailored to your unique situation. If you don’t know where to find a financial advisor, don’t worry.  We know plenty who are willing and able to help you.
  6. Cut Unnecessary Expenses: Look for ways to reduce expenses. This might mean downsizing your home, reevaluating subscriptions and memberships, or simply being more mindful about spending.
  7. Invest in Yourself: This could be the perfect time to enhance your skills or pursue further education, increasing your potential for better job opportunities and income.
  8. Embrace a Positive Mindset: While challenging, divorce can mark the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in your life. Embrace the changes and stay positive. Your attitude can have a profound impact on how you handle financial challenges.
  9. Build an Emergency Fund: Aim to build an emergency fund that can cover at least three to six months of living expenses. This will give you a financial cushion and peace of mind.
  10. Plan for the Long Term: Finally, start planning for your long-term financial future. This includes retirement planning, investments, and estate planning. We will listen to what you want to achieve and can provide suggestions and tips on how to help you achieve your goals.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Many have navigated this path and emerged stronger and more financially savvy. With the right approach and legal team on your side, this period of transition can set the stage for a thriving and secure financial future. Stay focused, stay positive, and embrace the opportunity for a fresh start.

Is It Better to Divorce or Stay Unhappy?

The decision to stay in a marriage or to divorce is deeply personal and varies significantly from one individual to another. It’s important to consider several factors before making this decision.

Understanding the Core Issues: First, it’s crucial to understand the root causes of unhappiness in your marriage. Are these issues resolvable through communication, counseling, or other interventions? Sometimes, external help like marriage counseling can provide new perspectives and paths to improvement. However, if you are suffering financial, emotional, mental or physical abuse, it is best to cut your losses and move on.  Abusers never change their spots, and if you continue to stay with an abuser, this only emboldens the abuser to become even more harmful to your financial, physical, or mental health.

Personal Well-being and Happiness: Your well-being and happiness are paramount. Staying in an unhappy marriage can have long-term effects on your mental and emotional health. It’s essential to consider whether the marriage is detrimental to your overall well-being and if there are pathways to restore happiness within the relationship.

Impact on Children (if applicable): If children are involved, their well-being and future must also be a priority. While a stable, two-parent home can be beneficial, children also thrive in environments where there is less conflict and more happiness. It’s a misconception that staying together for the sake of the children is always the best option.

Financial and Social Considerations: Divorce can bring significant changes in your financial and social life. It’s important to evaluate these aspects and prepare for the adjustments that come with them.

The Possibility of Growth and Change: Consider the potential for personal growth and change. Sometimes, leaving an unhappy marriage opens doors to personal development, new relationships, and a more fulfilling life.

Seeking Professional Advice: It’s often helpful to seek guidance from therapists, counselors, or legal advisors who can provide professional and unbiased advice tailored to your situation.

Listening to Yourself: Ultimately, the decision to divorce or stay in a marriage should come from a place of self-reflection and understanding of your needs, values, and long-term happiness.

Whether to divorce or stay unhappy is a deeply personal decision that depends on many factors unique to your situation. It’s essential to weigh these factors carefully, seek support, and make a decision that aligns with your well-being and long-term happiness.

Is Tennessee a 50-50 Divorce State?

Tennessee is not a 50-50 (or community property) state when it comes to divorce. Instead, it is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that in a divorce, marital property is not automatically divided equally between the spouses. Instead, the division of assets and debts is based on what the court deems as fair and equitable, which may not always result in an exact 50-50 split.

In determining equitable distribution, several factors are considered, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The earning capacity and financial resources of each spouse
  • Contributions to the marriage, including homemaking and childcare
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the division
  • Whether one of the spouses has dissipated (hidden) assets, among many other factors

It’s important to understand that equitable does not necessarily mean equal. The court’s goal is to reach a fair division of assets and debts based on the individual circumstances of each case. For specific guidance on how this might apply to your situation, it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can provide advice based on the particulars of your case.

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?

At Burdine Law Firm, we understand that the divorce process can feel like embarking on an uncertain journey. One of the most common questions we receive from our Nashville, Tennessee clients is, “How long does a divorce take?”

The duration of a divorce can vary widely depending on several factors, and our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way. In Tennessee, there’s a mandatory waiting period of 60 days from the date the divorce complaint is filed if there are no minor children of the marriage, and the waiting period is 90 days if there are minor children of the marriage. This waiting period is in place to allow couples time to consider reconciliation and ensure that the decision to divorce is certain.

Beyond this waiting period, the timeline of your divorce can be influenced by factors such as the complexity of your case, the level of cooperation between you and your spouse, and the court’s schedule. Some Middle Tennessee counties are more efficient than others.  For example, Nashville and Sumner County courts tend to run their divorce dockets efficiently; whereas, more rural counties tend to take longer, because they have yet to implement electronic filing and other modern technology.

Generally, regardless of what county the divorce case takes place, uncontested divorces, where both parties agree on all major issues, tend to be resolved more quickly and can often be finalized within a few months.

However, if your divorce is contested, involving disputes over matters like property division, child custody, or alimony, the process may take longer. These cases require careful negotiation and, in some instances, litigation to reach a resolution.

In Nashville, you get two at-bats to try to resolve the issues arising from the divorce through negotiations.  First, a private mediator will be enlisted to help if you and your spouse cannot agree without one.  If mediation is unsuccessful, you will have a Judicial Settlement Conference with the judge’s Special Master, who will try to help you reach an agreement.  Only after both of those avenues have been exhausted will you have to go to trial.

The good news is that the vast majority of cases DO NOT go to trial, because they are resolved at mediation.

While we always strive to minimize conflict and expedite proceedings, our priority is to ensure that your rights are protected and that the final outcome serves your best interests.

At Burdine Law Firm, our dedicated team of divorce attorneys is committed to providing compassionate, strategic guidance and advocacy tailored to your unique situation. We’ll work tirelessly to navigate the legal complexities, keep you informed at every stage, and pursue a resolution that sets the foundation for a brighter future.

If you’re considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team. Let’s discuss your goals, address your concerns, and chart a course toward a successful resolution. Together, we’ll navigate the path ahead with confidence and clarity.