Tennessee Family Law

Tennessee laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute Tennessee State Statute
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA
b. Property distribution factors
4. Legal separation? Grounds for legal separation
a. Waiting period/Separation period 2 years
5. Is mediation required
6. Forms used
7. Alimony guidelines and factors Alimony guidelines
Alimony formula Standard of Alimony Guidelines
a. Types
b. Term Limits
Cohabitation Rebuttable presumption  TENN. CODE ANN. 36-5-121.
c. Imputing income
d. Change in circumstances
e. Ceases on retirement
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income
8. Child support factors and guidelines Child support guidelines
9. Child support calculator Child support calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Allowed
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Divorce
b. Goodwill divisibility Facts and circumstance based - historically, no goodwill was divisible per  Smith v. Smith, 709 S.W.2d 588 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1985).  Then agreed with Wisconsin's McReath case that personal goodwill is not divisible.
c. Standard of value Fair Market Value / Fair Market Value Adjusted By Case Law
d. Discounts No
e. Shareholder/partner agreements
 12. Double dip  
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  
 c. Child support Child support
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  Under T.C.A. ยง 36-3-501, a prenuptial agreement entered into by spouses concerning property owned by either spouse before the marriage is binding if it has been entered into by the spouses freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse. 
 15. Common law  Tennessee does not have common law marriage.


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