Tennessee Divorce Information Center
Concerns after a
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Concerns after a Divorce in Tennessee Overview
We are here to assist you with your concerns after divorce. Below you will find some of the post-divorce matters we handle.
Whether the issues in your divorce are settled by you and your spouse or are decided by a judge, some things in your judgment can be modified (changed) by a judge after a hearing. Usually, child support, alimony, child custody, and child visitation can be modified, but only if one of you can show that there has been a change in circumstances. Examples of a change of circumstances are losing your job, inheriting substantial sums of money, or remarriage. Grounds to change child custody orders can include someone moving away, or the needs of the children changing as they grow older.
Some orders are not modifiable. Usually the division of your property is not subject to modification. And, if you and your spouse have agreed that alimony shall not be modifiable, the courts of most states will follow that agreement.
In some cases it may be difficult to get your ex-spouse to comply with the court’s orders. You should consider trying to work out small differences yourself. The bigger problems, however, need to be brought to be taken more seriously. For example, if your ex-spouse does not pay child support, refuses to give visitation as ordered, or violates an order, there are a number of steps you can take to try and force compliance. One possible step would be to ask the court to find your ex-spouse in contempt. Contempt findings can ultimately lead to jail time if the judge believes that your ex-spouse is intentionally refusing to comply with a lawful court order.
Another possibility would be an income assignment order. If your spouse is at least a month behind in child support and is employed, you may be able to get an order that will take the child support directly out of your ex-spouse’s pay and require the employer to pay it to the court clerk. (It will show up as a deduction on the employee’s paystub). The clerk will then pay this money over to you. Catching up on delinquent support gets more and more difficult the further behind the payor gets. Therefore, if you are not receiving child support that you should, you should consider taking steps to enforce the child support order before it gets too far behind.
If you or your ex-spouse willfully fails to comply with an order that the court makes in your divorce judgment, those orders may be enforceable through a contempt proceeding. Examples of failing to comply with a court order are failure to pay support, failure to turn over property that was awarded, and refusal to allow the visitation that was ordered.
Orders to pay money can be enforced by garnishing wages or bank accounts or by having the sheriff or marshall seize and sell property belonging to the person who hasn't paid. A motion for contempt will need to be prepared and a summons will need to be served on the ex-spouse who is in contempt ordering that person to appear in court. After a hearing, the judge can put the person in jail or impose a fine as necessary to make the person obey the order.
Omission of Property
If there is marital property that is not awarded to one or both spouses in the divorce judgment, you may be able to initiate an additional proceedings to divide those assets. Sometimes this can be done by making a motion in the divorce case and sometimes it requires a separate lawsuit. You should consider attempting to negotiate the division of the omitted property with your ex-spouse prior to initiating a legal proceeding.
Estate Planning after Divorce
The last thing that is on most people's mind after going through a divorce is estate planning. However, after your divorce, you need to take steps to update your estate plan. If you don't update your estate plan, your ex-spouse could possibly inherit from you, have the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf, and/or make life and death decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. We can assist you with updating your estate plan, so that you can have peace of mind in knowing you and your loved ones will be protected and provided for in the event of your death or disability.
The Four Core Areas of Divorce
Throughout the divorce process, you will have to make many decisions that may have an immense effect on you, your finances, and your children. There are four core areas that you will have to make decisions regarding. They are child custody and visitation, child support, the division of marital property, and spousal support. Click the links below to learn more about each of the core areas of a divorce.
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12 important steps to take when contemplating divorce,
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How child custody is determined in Tennessee,
How child visitation is determined in Tennessee,
How child support is determined in Tennessee,
How alimony is determined in Tennessee,
How property is divided in a Tennessee divorce,
How to maintain control throughout the divorce process,
How to reduce tension between you and your spouse,
How to protect your finances throughout the divorce process, and
How to protect your children throughout the divorce process.