Common Questions for Our Nashville Family Lawyers
Find the family law help you need, when you need it
For many Americans, hiring a family law attorney is their first experience dealing with lawyers. You may have many questions at the outset about whatever legal challenge you might be facing. Whether you are pursuing a divorce or trying to assert your custody rights with the mother of your child, there are lots of helpful resources available.
At the law firm of Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC we have more than 30 years of combined experience in supporting families as they navigate the often challenging process of divorce. We offer this compilation of local resources to help you find workable solutions to whatever family law situation you are facing.
How do I know I need to speak to a lawyer?
If you are facing a contentious divorce and your spouse is being combative, has hired an aggressive attorney and/or is being dishonest, then having your own lawyer ensures that your rights and interests are protected. Even if your experiences are more amicable, it is best to have a Nashville divorce lawyer who can represent your interests in mediation, in the drafting of a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA) or while in court.
For those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, there are several local organizations listed below that offer legal aid. If you qualify for one of these programs you may be able to work with a pro bono attorney who will represent you either for free or for a very minimal cost.
What should I expect from my lawyer?
Your lawyer should have a general plan for how your case will proceed once they obtain the information they need from you. They should speak with your spouse’s attorney right away and they should be responsive to your phone calls or email messages. Your attorney should not make a lot of lofty promises, but they should make sure that you understand the reality of your situation. They may tell you things you don’t want to hear. They should prepare you to appear in court, answer your questions and be a strong advocate for you.
While you will not look to your attorney to be your best friend, they should always be honest and forthright with you. If your attorney does not return your phone calls, puts you off, offers vague responses to your questions, or is pressuring you to do something you do not want to do, you are free to let them go and find another attorney.
What kind of advice or help is available?
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, there are several local organizations that can help if you qualify to use their services:
- Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services is a statewide nonprofit organization that serves the public interest by improving access to civil legal assistance. http://www.tals.org/about
- Justice for All is a Tennessee Supreme Court initiative that is aimed at helping working poor families bridge the urgent civil, legal needs gap. http://www.justiceforalltn.com/find-lawyer
- Online Tennessee Justice offers free legal advice and counsel through volunteer lawyers who answer legal questions at no charge if you meet the qualifications. http://www.onlinetnjustice.org/
- The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee offers legal aid clinics where members of the public can get free advice from a lawyer on the spot. http://www.las.org/clinics
How much will a divorce cost me?
It is impossible to give any exact figures on how much a divorce will cost you when there are so many variables to consider. The least expensive option is for an uncontested divorce between a couple that has no children. For every complication that you add into the mix the higher and higher the costs will go. If you have been married for a long time, have children under 18, own a business, own more than one home, and have other complicated assets, the price can be high.
Guidance for child custody and child support
Child custody is decided by what is best for the child. Every case is different, but the Tennessee court will look at certain variables regardless of your circumstances. If you and your spouse have agreed upon an MDA and Parenting Plan, the process may go more smoothly for you. Remember, however, that in the event you don’t have an agreement, the court may order a custodial arrangement that neither of you is happy with, and you cannot modify that order without permission from the court.
For a deeper look into how child support works in Tennessee, you can review the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Handbook.
We are here to help you handle your family law problems
At the law firm of Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC we strive to inspire confidence and relieve stress for our clients during divorce and other family law disputes in the Nashville area. Located on Woodland Street in historic Edgefield, our Nashville office is within sight of the courthouse and offers free parking. Call us today at 615-454-9899 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.