Tennessee Divorce Information Center
Contested Divorce in Tennessee
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The Walls Law Firm provides representation in contested divorces in Shelby County, Tennessee (including Memphis, Cordova, Germantown, Cordova, Lakeland, Shelby Farms, Collierville, Millington, and other surrounding cities). The contested divorce process is generally longer and more expensive than an uncontested divorce. Going through a contested divorce can be difficult, but it does not have to be devastating. Generally, what determines whether or not your contested divorce is going to be lengthy, expensive, and hostile is how you approach your contested divorce. The manner in which you choose to approach your contested divorce can facilitate your spouse to be reasonable and remain amicable throughout the divorce process or send them into a seemingly never ending downward spiral of vindictiveness and hostility.
What is a Contested Divorce in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, a contested divorce is a divorce in which divorcing spouses have not reached an agreement on one or more issues relating to the divorce.
You do not have to have a highly litigated divorce just because your divorce is contested. There are numerous alternative dispute resolution methods that can be utilized to assist divorcing spouses in reaching a fair and reasonable agreement. These alternative dispute resolution methods typically save divorcing spouses an immense amount of money that would have been spent on legal fees. In addition, they also help to reduce the hostility between divorcing spouses. This is very important if you and your spouse have minor children as you will need to be able to work together to co-parent your children. You may learn more about how you can resolve your contested divorce without litigation by clicking on the following link: Divorce Options.
At the Walls Law Firm, we approach contested divorces very differently than most family law firms. The traditional divorce litigation process usually results in increasing the hostility between the parties. At the Walls Law Firm, we utilize a combination of divorce mediation and collaborative divorce principles to help divorcing spouses negotiate a divorce settlement. The Walls Law Firm's approach to contested divorces is aimed at reducing hostility between the divorcing parties so that they can work together to reach a fair and reasonable divorce settlement. Please note that the goal of a fair and reasonable divorce settlement is to get what you are entitled to, and not "make your spouse pay". Attempting to "make your spouse pay" will likely only result in you paying more in legal fees and being stressed out beyond measure. The Walls Law Firm serves a unique type of client...people who are looking to obtain a divorce with dignity. Choosing to divorce with dignity means being willing to put forth a good faith effort to negotiate a fair and reasonable divorce settlement with your spouse. It also means being willing to remain amicable and treat your spouse with the respect and compassion you wish to receive throughout the divorce process.
To get your contested divorce started, you will need to schedule a Divorce Planning Session with our Memphis Divorce attorney. During the divorce planning session, our divorce attorney will listen to your concerns, and help you develop a divorce strategy to meet your goals. If you decide to move forward with us representing you during your contested divorce, then our divorce attorney will provide you with an Attorney-Client Agreement that details the terms of our representation.
Once litigation has been filed, we expect that your spouse will answer our pleadings and perhaps file a counter-suit. We will respond to these documents and place calls to your spouse’s attorney to determine whether an early resolution will be possible. If not, then we will proceed to prepare your case for trial.
Proceeding with a litigated contested divorce is likely to be long, expensive, stressful, and risky. If the case has to be resolved by a contested divorce trial, then there is the possibility that you may receive more or less than what you and your spouse may have been able to agree on. As part of preparing for a contested divorce trial, it may also become necessary to conduct additional “discovery” to uncover additional financial information from your spouse, their employer, banks or other financial institutions, etc. Preparing your case for trial is a lengthy process that may involve hiring expert witnesses (accountants, consultants, child custody evaluator, etc.) or a Guardian ad Litem, (if there are children involved), taking depositions of key witnesses or your spouse, conducting additional discovery, and requesting and conducting pre-trial hearings. At some point, we will send the Court a notice that your case is ready for trial. Soon thereafter, the Court will conduct a “Pre-Trial or Scheduling Conference”. At that time, the trial will be scheduled. In the weeks that follow, we will (if we haven’t already) gather additional evidence, meet with key witnesses, and conclude the final preparation for and conduct a contested divorce trial.
Please note that contested divorces that are litigated in which formal discovery, pendent lite hearings, and/ or a contested trial is necessary average $15k to $30k in legal fees. Thus, prior to deciding to litigate your divorce, it is important that you take time to consider whether or not a litigated divorce is something that you can take on emotionally and financially. When you schedule a divorce planning session, we can help you develop a unique divorce strategy that takes into account your goals and finances.
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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How child visitation is determined in Tennessee,
How child support is determined in Tennessee,
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How property is divided in a Tennessee divorce,
How to maintain control throughout the divorce process,
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