Divorce & Family Law

Contested and Uncontested Divorces

When marriages break down, these couples are often relieved to learn that, with the help of the right divorce lawyer, the separation process can be pursued in a surprisingly smooth and stress-free manner.  Attorney Thomas H. Bray understands the emotional pain of divorce and is eager to help spouses separate as amicably as possible. His unique approach to family law ensures that the often traumatic divorce process is handled as painlessly as possible and his client comes away satisfied and at ease.

Uncontested Divorce

Many divorces in Tennessee are filed using the grounds of “irreconcilable differences”.  This is Tennessee’s version of a “no-fault divorce”.  Neither party needs to put any proof of the other’s wrongdoing or cause of the divorce.  All that is required is the to show that differences have arisen and the marriage is irretrievably broken.

In cases where the divorce is going to be amicable and have a full agreement on the division of property and custody of the children, this is the ground to use.  The parties will need to negotiate and execute a Marital Dissolution Agreement, which is a contract between you and your spouse that divides all property, including real property, personal property, as well as debts and assets.  If there are children, the parties will need to execute a parenting plan, which sets a visitation schedule for the children.

In Tennessee, the Court can only award an irreconcilable differences divorce if the parties are able to reach a full agreement on all issues regarding the division of property, custody, child support and spousal support.

The alternative is a contested divorce which significantly increases the time and expense of the divorce process.  In a contested divorce the judge will separate the property, decide how the parenting time will be divided after a trial. A trial, while sometimes unavoidable, is likely to leave both parties unhappy with the result.  This tends to lead one or both of the parties into going back to court down the road.

An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and properly draft the uncontested agreement which will be submitted to the court for approval. Generally, parties will only hire one attorney in an uncontested divorce. Remember, if you did not hire the attorney he/she does not represent your interest.  Even if you believe you have an agreement with your spouse, your situation and legal documents must be carefully analyzed in order to assure that the documents encompass all aspects of your agreement.

The Financial Implications Of Divorce

Divorce is, by nature, complicated. Spouses must deal with a variety of financial obligations, working together to determine who leaves the marriage with what. Asset division is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, but a an experienced divorce lawyer can help spouses peacefully decide how to handle 401(k) plans, pensions, marital residences and retirement savings. Debt division can also be difficult, particularly if one of the divorcing individuals is considering bankruptcy. An experienced lawyer can help spouses sort through debt division issues, or, in more contentious cases, provide aggressive and responsive representation for clients who believe they are being taken advantage of by their former spouses.

 Child Custody Cases

The divorce process can be incredibly complex for childless spouses, but matters are further complicated when the divorcing individuals are parents. In addition to dividing their assets, spouses must make essential decisions regarding. Each parent’s residential parenting time must be identified in a clear and understandable permanent parenting plan outlining visitation schedules as well as other provisions concerning the care and supervision of your children. Child Support, tax exemptions, extracurricular activities

After the divorce process is complete, circumstances often change.  A post-divorce custody modification hearing may be necessary to address a new circumstance that is affecting your child. Post-divorce issues from the relocation of a former spouse to egregious allegations of child abuse, Thomas H. Bray has the experience and court room know-how to get you the best result for your situation. Whether it is a simple modification of child support to an Emergency Temporary Restraining Order, Rutherford County family law attorney Thomas H. Bray can get it done.

 Responsive Approach to Family Law  Litigation

Thomas H. Bray is well aware of the financial, social and emotional implications of divorce. He will actively fight for your interests while protecting and guiding you through what can be emotionally and financially devastating divorce proceedings. He always strives to negotiate a peaceful settlement if possible. However, he also believes in fair treatment, which is why, for spouses being taken advantage of, he offers thorough, proactive, and aggressive representation.

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