Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law in Tennessee
Answers to your legal questions from a Chattanooga-area family lawyer
We know that family law can be complex, leaving clients with many questions. At Jenkins & Habenicht Attorneys at Law, PLLC, we’ve provided legal counsel to the residents of Tennessee for nearly 20 years and are happy to provide answers here to the questions we’re most frequently asked. For more detailed information about your legal matter, please contact us.
- How long does a divorce take?
- What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?
- How long do I have to live in Tennessee before I can get a divorce?
- What if my spouse lives in another state?
Child support and custody
- Does parenting time affect the amount of child support owed in Tennessee?
- Can I withhold visitation if child support isn’t paid?
- Do I need a parenting plan?
Work with a trusted family lawyer in southeast Tennessee
Our legal team at Jenkins & Habenicht Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help you with the specifics of your family law case. Our firm is conveniently located on the edge of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus. Contact us today by calling 423-402-9354 or contact us online.
How long does a divorce take?
In Tennessee, divorce proceedings take a minimum of 60 days if children are not involved. If there are children from the marriage, they take a minimum of 90 days. Divorce cases can take longer, depending on the type of divorce you seek and the specific circumstances of your case.
What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?
Divorces in Tennessee can be either fault or no-fault. A fault situation can include infidelity, alcohol or drug use, domestic abuse and abandonment. A no-fault divorce can be based on irreconcilable differences or living in separate residences for more than two years, if your marriage doesn’t include children. Our family law attorney at Jenkins & Habenicht can advise you on the type of divorce that best meets your situation.
How long do I have to live in Tennessee before I can get a divorce?
Aside from a case involving abuse, you must be a Tennessee resident for at least six months before getting a divorce in the state.
What if my spouse lives out of state?
If your spouse lives out of state, where you choose to file your divorce can be more complicated. You can file in Tennessee or the state where your spouse lives, but you may want to consult an attorney to figure out your best option.
What are the types of alimony in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, there are four types of alimony: rehabilitative, periodic, permanent and transitional. Each type of alimony is awarded for a different reason, and more than one type of alimony can be given to a spouse.
Can alimony be modified?
Yes. Unless your alimony is a type that’s non-modifiable, you can ask the court to order modifications in your alimony when circumstances warrant a change.
Child support and custody
Does parenting time affect the amount of child support owed in Tennessee?
Yes, time spent parenting does affect the basic child support obligation. While child support determinations are based on a number of factors, parenting time is included in the calculations.
Can I withhold visitation if child support isn’t paid?
No. A visitation agreement is separate from a support order and can only be modified by court order.
Do I need a parenting plan?
Yes. All divorce cases involving children must have a parenting plan that specifies when each parent has custody.