Marriage Tips

Working on your marriage can be difficult,

but the rewards may prove to be invaluable.

Divorce should be your last option.

Marriage is filled with challenges.  However, working past your challenges with your spouse to maintain a healthy, strong marriage requires a determined effort by you and your spouse.  A solid sense that both parties are committed to making the marriage work is a key ingredient to making a marriage last forever. If you and your spouse commit to implementing the following tips, they will likely help you carry on through the years, growing stronger as a couple:

 

  1. Build trust into your marriage. It takes hard work and effort to build trust in a marriage. Building trust in a marriage often requires being respectful of your spouse’s fears and concerns and making sacrifices.  This may include limiting your relations with people of the opposite sex, agreeing to stick to a budget, or making your call log available for your spouse’s viewing.   This may seem somewhat overbearing, but a happy marriage requires sacrifice. Sometime those sacrifices includes letting go of past friends and losing privacy.  Trust is the foundation of a happy marriage and it’s something you need to work at and make sacrifices for.

  2. Show respect by paying attention. Listen to your spouse when he or she talks to you. Mutual respect is vital for a happy marriage. When you give your spouse your undivided attention it shows your spouse that you respect them and value what they have to say. If your spouse talks to you when you’re in the middle of something important, explain that you want to hear what they have to say and suggest a time when you’ll be able to pay better attention.

  3. Do fun things together. Find thing that you enjoy doing together and then make time to do them. Exercise together, go on walks, or take on mutually enjoyable projects together. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you both have fun doing it. Spending time together enjoying each other’s company will help strengthen your marriage and add another meaningful dimension to your relationship.

  4. Learn from your experiences. Figure out when to do, or not do, certain things. For example, if you find that you tend to be tense and cranky when you’re hungry, minimize your conversation with your spouse during those times. Similarly, if you see that your spouse gets worked up whenever you mention the name of a certain person, don’t mention that person’s name unless absolutely necessary. Build a happy marriage by being smart enough to learn from the past.

  5. Be polite to your spouse. I know this concept may seem somewhat elementary, however, remembering to actively be polite is often taken for granted amount people who have been married for a while. When you speak with your spouse, remember to use phrases like please and thank you. Being polite should not be viewed as a formality. It is a way that we honor our spouse and it helps them to feel appreciated and respected.  Being courteous is like the oil that helps a marriage run smoothly and reduces unnecessary friction. If you can be polite to a stranger, then it should be even more important to be polite to your spouse.

  6. Never say “I told you so.” Strike the phrase “I told you so” from your vocabulary.  They already know that you told them so, why rub it in? Saying so only creates ill will between you and your spouse. We all mess up from time to time. And when we do having it rubbed in our face doesn’t help. A little support and encouragement will do a lot more toward building a happy marriage than taking a shot at your spouse when they are already feeling bad.

  7. Don’t keep score. People tend to go into marriage with the idea that it is 50/50.  However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Marriage requires each party to give 100% of themselves.  Marriage is not a contest so don’t walk around with a watchful eye making sure your spouse carries their share of the load. Instead, take the view that it doesn’t matter if you end up doing more than half of what needs to be done. Trying to make your relationship a fifty-fifty proposition will cause a lot of unnecessary tension and you don’t need that. So unless your spouse is a total slacker, recognize that in order to have a happy marriage, both spouses will need to try to help each other carry the load.

  8. Try not to sweat the small stuff. As a divorce attorney, it is not uncommon to see couples divorcing over seemingly very trivial things. Wouldn’t it be ironic if a marriage was strong enough to stand up to all the big challenges, but couldn’t get past the minor irritations of daily life, such as your spouse leaving their dirty clothes on the floor? In marriage, it is important to work on viewing your spouse’s little quirks as entertaining rather than irritating.

  9. Greet your partner with a smile. We all want to know that our spouse is happy to see us. Well, when they greet us with a smile it reassures us of that, and our smile does the same for them. A smile can do so much and requires so little effort. It has the power to lift someone’s spirits and it sets the stage for a pleasant reunion after a long and perhaps difficult day. If you want a happy marriage, lead with your smile and let that be the first impression you make when you greet your spouse.

  10. Respect your spouse’s privacy. Don’t go through your partner’s things out of curiosity or in an effort to check up on them. We all want our privacy to be respected and when someone violates that it feels offensive. Don’t let a sense of insecurity cause you to become overly suspicious of your spouse. On the other hand, being secretive can create suspicion. A marriage should be built on open and honest communication. So, if there is something you need to know, ask, don’t snoop.

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Click the button below to get a FREE copy of our

divorce guide entitled "Divorce with Dignity." 

 

Learn what you need to know NOW to protect yourself, your finances, and

your children throughout the divorce process!

By reading Divorce with Dignity, you will learn:

  • 12 important steps to take when contemplating divorce,

  • How to determine whether or not you need a divorce lawyer,

  • How to choose the right divorce lawyer for you,

  • How to save on attorney fees and court costs,

  • 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.

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.

 

Our Divorce Packages

     Our Tennessee Divorce attorney offers three affordable flat fee divorce packages to  cater to your unique needs: Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, and Contested Divorce.  We also offer flexible payment plans that fit almost any budget. 

 

     The Do-It-Yourself Divorce package is available to anyone in the state of Tennessee. The Uncontested Divorce and Contested Divorce packages are limited to people in Tennessee who would like there divorce processed in Shelby County.  Click on a divorce package below to learn more about that particular Tennessee divorce package. To learn more about Tennessee divorce, check out our Tennessee Divorce FAQs below.

This Tennessee divorce package is for the person who  is comfortable representing themselves and just need a little help getting started.  When you purchase this Tennessee divorce package, here is what you get:

  • We begin with a confidential  Divorce Planning Session;

  • We draft your divorce documents;

  • We provide you a copy of your divorce documents in pdf format; and

  • We advise you on how to proceed.

Starting at $250

Do-It-Yourself

Divorce 

This  Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee divorce package is for the person who has reached an agreement with their spouse regarding the terms of their divorce and would like to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney representing them throughout the divorce process.  When you purchase this Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee divorce package,  here is what you get:

  • Everything included in the Do-It-Yourself Divorce

PLUS

  • We file your paperwork;

  • We schedule your final hearing;

  • We represent you in court during your final hearing; and

  • We provide you and your spouse copies of your divorce documents in pdf format.

Starting at $750

Uncontested

 Divorce 

This Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee divorce package is for the person who need help negotiating the terms of their divorce and would like to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney on their side to ensure that their rights and best interests are being protected.  When you purchase this Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee divorce package, here is what you get:

  • Everything included in the Uncontested Divorce;                         PLUS

  • Representation from a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney to assist you with negotiating the terms of your divorce.

Starting at $2400

Contested

 Divorce 

 

The Tennessee Divorce Process

Divorce Planning  Session

Protect yourself, your children, and your finances by planning ahead.

When considering a divorce, it is important that you become informed about your legal rights and responsibilities so that you can plan properly for your divorce.  We offer a low cost divore planning session to provide you with an indepth analysis of your situation, helpful legal information, and a divorce strategy tailored to your particular situation to save you time, money, and stress.  The cost of our divorce planning session is $100.  If you decide to retain us, your divorce planning session fee will be credited towards the overall cost of your legal services, making it free in effect.  Our divorce planning sessions can be completed in our office, via phone, or via video conference.  You may choose the method that is most convenient for you. You can expect your divorce planning session to last from 45 minutes to one hour.

 

We want the time you spend with us to be meaningful and valuable.  That is why our attorney will email you a welcome packet when you schedule your divorce planning session that will inform you how to prepare for your divorce planning session.  In addition it will contain a questionnaire that you will need to complete prior to your divorce planning session. 

 

During your divorce planning session, our divorce attorney will:

  • Review your questionnaire and other relevant documents to gain a thorough understanding of your particular situation;

  • Talk with you to learn more about your situation, your concerns, and your goals;

  • Share with you our thoughts regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your position;

  • Provide you with information relating to alimony, spousal support, distribution of marital assets, distribution of marital debt, child custody, visitation, and child support;

  • Collaborate with you to set realistic goals and develop a legal strategy tailored to your unique situation and goals;

  • Provide you with an estimated cost of your divorce services; and

  • Discuss your payment options.

 

In addition to providing you with legal information, another objective of our divorce consultation is to determine whether or not you and our firm are a good fit for each other.  There are many reasons why we might decide not to represent you, but if we make such a decision, it should never be taken personally. 

 

If we decide you are a good fit for us and you feel likewise, we will discuss your payment options, decide on a payment plan, and execute an Attorney-Client Agreement.  If you would like to take advantage of one of our affordable payment plans, you will need to bring a government issued photo identification, your last two check stubs, a copy of your last bank statement, and a debit or credit card with you to your consultation. The payments for your attorney fees will be automatically drafted from the debit or credit card you provide in accordance with the payment plan you choose. 

 

 Please note that your divorce planning session is confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege, even if you do not retain us.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both of the parties have already reached an agreement regarding all issues, including, but not limited to, spousal support, alimony, child support, child visitation, child custody, parenting time, distribution of marital debts, and distribution of marital assets.   When you purchase an uncontested divorce package, a Marital Dissolution Agreement, Agreed Permanent Parenting Plan (if you and your spouse have children together), and Final Decree of Divorce have to be signed by you and your spouse before your Complaint for Divorce will be filed with the court.

 

To get started, click here to schedule a divorce planning session with our Memphis divorce attorney.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have not reached an agreement regarding all issues regarding their divorce, including, but not limited to, spousal support, alimony, child support, child visitation, child custody, parenting time, distribution of marital debts, and distribution of marital assets. When you purchase one of our contested divorce packages, we attempt to negotiate a fair and reasonable divorce settlement with your spouse before divorce litigation is initiated.

 

To get started, click here to schedule a divorce planning session with our Memphis divorce attorney.

Tennessee Divorce Process Flowchart

The Tennessee divorce process differs depending on whether or not your divorce is contested or uncontested. The uncontested divorce process is typically quicker than the contested divorce process.  An uncontested divorce typically takes three to six months.  A contested divorce typically takes a year or more.

Uncontested Divorce

Contested Divorce

Drafting of Uncontested Divorce documents

Review of Uncontested Divorce documents

Signing of Uncontested Divorce documents

Filing of Uncontested Divorce documents

Parties attend Parent

Educational Seminar

and provide attorney

certificates of completion

Do the parties have minor or dependenat children together?

Yes, the parties have minor or dependent children together.

Parties wait 90 days

Copies of the Final Decree of Divorce are furnished to the parties in pdf format

Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce is scheduled

No, the parties do not have minor or dependent children together.

Parties wait 60 days

Certificates of Completion of Parent Educational Seminar are filed

with the court

Petitioner attends the  Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce

Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce is scheduled

Divorce Planning Session

Petitioner attends the  Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce

Copies of the Final Decree of Divorce are furnished to the parties in pdf format

Is the divorce

contested or

uncontested?

Drafting of Contested Divorce documents

Review of Contested Divorce documents

Signing of Contested Divorce documents

Filing of Contested Divorce documents

Issuance of Summons

Defendant is served Summons

Defendant has 30 days

to answer after

being served

Did Defendant answer?

Yes,

Defendant answered.

No,

Defendant did not answer.

Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are drafted

Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are reviewed

Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are signed

Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are  filed

Hearing for Motion for Default Judgment is scheduled

Petitioner attends Hearing for Motion for Default Judgment

Order of Default Judgment is granted

Wait 30 days

Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce is scheduled

Petitioner and a witness attend the  Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce

Parties attend Parent

Educational Seminar

and provide attorney

certificate of completion

Parties' Certificates of Completion of Parent Educational Seminar are filed with the court

Copies of the Final Decree of Divorce are furnished to the parties in pdf format

Defendant's Answer

is reviewed

Informal Settlement

is explored

Defendant has 30 days to provide answers to requests for discovery

Request for Discovery is filed with the court

Mediation is scheduled

Parties attend mediation

Did the parties resolve all the issues during mediation?

Was mediation successful?

Yes, mediation was successful

The Marital Dissolution

Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan, and Final

Decree of Divorce are drafted

The Marital Dissolution

Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan, and Final

Decree of Divorce are reviewed

The Marital Dissolution

Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan, and Final

Decree of Divorce are signed

The Marital Dissolution

Agreement is filed with the court

No, mediation was not successful

Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce is scheduled

Petitioner attends the  Final Hearing for Uncontested Divorce

Copies of the Final Decree of Divorce are furnished to the parties in pdf format

Attorney and Client will discuss additional attorney fees for future services

Decide whether or not to continue on mediation path

If so, schedule additional mediations

Motion for Temporary Relief (child custody/child support/ spousal support)

Depositions

Additional

Disclosures/ Discovery

Pretrial

Trial

Orders and Briefs

Walls Law Firm


Telephone: 

901-315-0559

 

Fax:

901-466-6981


Email address:

n.walls@YourPerfectLawyer.com

 

Address: 

Walls Law Firm

1661 International Drive

Suite 400

Memphis, Tennessee 38120

                               



 

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© 2013 by Nakeshia Walls, Esq.