Our law firm has helped hundreds of families reach agreements that allow them to ‘make the most of a bad situation’. There are two types of divorce/custody situations; Uncontested/Irreconcilable Differences/No-Fault and Contested Divorce.

1) Uncontested / Irreconcilable Differences / No-Fault

These three terms are interchangeable and what they basically mean is that there is a settlement of all the issues involved in dissolving a particular couple’s marriage. The issues are normally debt division, property division, alimony, health insurance payments, and custody-child support-visitation arrangements if the couple has children.


There are a few law firms in West Tennessee that advertise for low cost uncontested divorces. There may be claims that you will pay court costs and a very low attorney fee around $150.00. Our law firm does not handle business this way. Our lawyers will meet with you and discuss your divorce situation with you. We will not have an office assistant hand you forms to fill out and then process the information on a computer and then mail you documents to sign. This is not the service we provide.


A family that is going through a divorce has many events occurring all at once and there are always going to be questions that the attorney will need to ask and answer with the divorce client. Be wary of any newspaper ad advertising for a “low cost “ divorce. Call our office today and set up an appointment to speak with an attorney about your divorce situation.

Contested Divorce

This type of divorce involves filing a complaint against the other party and alleging your grounds for divorce. The issues that will have to be addressed in this type of divorce are:


Some assets are separate property, including those things belonging to a person before he or she gets married, or received as a gift or inherited during the marriage. For the most part, everything else will be considered marital property, which is subject to an equitable division between the parties. Under Tennessee law, equitable does not mean “equal”.


Many people who have significant assets such as family farms or even businesses are often concerned about how those assets will be treated. If one spouse owns and runs the business, he or she will probably get to keep it. However, keeping a business often comes at a hefty price. The business will typically have to be valued using one or more approaches: according to its market value, the value of its assets, or the value of its income stream. In a typical situation, the three approaches are blended to arrive at a fair market value and the spouse keeping the business is required to ‘buy out’ the other spouse’s interest in cash or other assets.


Tennessee has four kinds of alimony:

These four types of alimony have different tax consequences and the client must remember to also seek the professional advice of a CPA.


In Tennessee, alimony is primarily based on the need of the person receiving it, the ability of the other person to pay it, the length of the marriage, and in some cases, the fault involved in the grounds for divorce.


Child custody, which is referred to as residential time in Tennessee, because our state has done away with the term “custody”, can be a highly contested issue in divorce matters. While the legislature has tried to move toward shared parenting, the courts know that shared parenting won’t work if the parents don’t get along. For this reason, it’s common for children to live with one parent and to visit the other parent on a pre-determined schedule. There is a designation of Primary Residential Parent that must be determined.


In Tennessee, child custody is determined by multiple factors such as age, mental health, employment, love an affection shown toward the child, and who has been primary care giver during the parties marriage.


Child support is how much money the non-custodial parent will have to pay the parent with custody. In Tennessee, child support is determined using a formula that considers such factors as the incomes of parties, payment of health insurance premiums and the amount of residential time the child spends with each parent. The Tennessee child support calculator is available on the State of Tennessee website, www.state.tn.us.

  1. Property Division
  2. Alimony
    • Alimony in futuro, which is traditional or permanent alimony. Alimony in futuro payments continue each month until they die or re-marry.
    • Rehabilitative alimony, in which a spouse receives payments until they can become self sufficient.
    • Transitional alimony, which are payments designed to transition one spouse from being married to being single.
    • Alimony in solido, which is alimony designed to make property division fair.
  3. Child Custody
  4. Child Support


Our law firm has helped hundreds of families reach agreements that allow them to ‘make the most of a bad situation’. Divorce situations with children are never easy but we are dedicated to helping our clients put yesterday behind them so they may enjoy all that tomorrow has to offer.


If you need an appointment to discuss your circumstances e-mail kim@spencerattorney.com or call (731) 772-3322.