Memphis Divorce Attorney Protects Clients’ Interests

Firm offers sound advice and advocacy

At Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law in Memphis, I represent spouses throughout the Shelby County area who have decided to end their marriage. Whether your divorce is uncontested or highly charged, my firm strives to secure favorable terms relating to parenting time and financial matters. Don’t hesitate to get the legal support you need to protect yourself.

What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?

You may obtain a no-fault divorce by demonstrating that irreconcilable differences exist between you and your spouse. Couples without children can also end their marriage by showing that they have lived separately for an uninterrupted period of at least two years. Fault-based divorces are also granted on several different grounds, including adultery, bigamy, willful desertion, substance abuse, felony conviction and cruel treatment.

Lawyer handles all types of divorce proceedings

Each divorce is unique, but I am familiar with all types of marriage dissolution proceedings, including:

  • Uncontested divorce — Tennessee couples who don’t have children under the age of 18 and have reached consensus on financial terms might be able to obtain an “agreed divorce.” This type of uncontested divorce usually can be finalized in between 60 and 90 days. However, there are other potential restrictions on an agreed divorce filing, so you should discuss your situation with a qualified attorney before taking action. Couples who do not qualify for an agreed divorce can still save time and money by reaching a marital settlement agreement that covers parenting and financial terms before going to court.
  • Collaborative divorce — By opting for a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse can avoid the adversarial litigation and work together in order to reach a settlement. In this process, the parties sign a contract agreeing to share information and jointly hire experts that can help them achieve consensus.
  • Same-sex divorce — Though same-sex divorces are governed by the same laws as other marriage dissolution cases, there might be issues that require special attention, especially for couples whose relationship began before marriage equality existed.

Finding the right divorce process is an important step as you make the transition to single life. I will help you find what works best for you.

Parenting issues in a divorce

During a divorce, parents of minors should try to negotiate fair arrangements addressing child custody, visitation and child support. Unlike childless couples, divorcing parents will likely be in each other’s lives for years to come, so it’s wise to set the proper tone during the divorce. If the case goes to court, decisions on legal authority, residence and parenting time are to be made based on what the judge thinks is in the young person’s best interests. I look for creative ways to provide a healthy, supportive environment for the sons and daughters of clients. My firm also advises on the type of child support order you might expect under the state’s income shares system, and can seek revisions if special circumstances apply.

Advocating for a fair alimony award

In a divorce where one spouse earned all or most of the household income, the lesser-earning party might not be able to meet their financial needs once the dissolution is final. In these cases, courts can award alimony on a temporary or permanent basis. Spousal support payments might be ordered to rehabilitate a recipient’s employment skills or ease their transition to single life. Decisions are based on the individual circumstances and if alimony is granted, the order could call for periodic payments or a lump sum.

Protecting your property rights in a Tennessee divorce

When a marriage ends, the property owned by the spouses is divided into two categories: separate and marital property. Assets acquired by either party before the marriage are classified as separate property and remain with the respective spouses after the divorce. Most assets accumulated from the date the parties were wed go into the divisible marital estate, even if only one spouse was responsible for earning or acquiring the specific asset. If the parties cannot settle on how to allocate marital property, Tennessee courts make a decision based on the principle of equitable distribution, where a judge decides what is fair based on various factors, including the parties’ earning ability, the amount of separate property each owns and the duration of the marriage. My firm works to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, but there might be serious conflicts over possession of the family home, vehicles and investment assets. If going to court is necessary to achieve a fair result, I am always prepared to do so.  

Contact a proven Tennessee divorce lawyer to set up a free consultation

Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law handles divorce proceedings for residents of Shelby County and other Tennessee communities. For a free consultation about your legal options, please call 901-233-3474 or contact me online. My office is in Memphis.