Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

People and organizations in Tennessee providing support for traditional and same-sex families and LGBTQ individuals

Now gay and lesbian couples can enjoy the same rights and responsibilities of marriage as opposite sex couples, which includes the right to divorce. There are many organizations that exist to support the unique needs of same-sex parents who are divorcing and searching for resources to help them deal with parenting and co-parenting.

At Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, we want you to have the information you need to make informed decisions about your future. Our Nashville divorce attorneys help families throughout Tennessee facing complex challenges in regard to divorce, custody and visitation, alimony and decree modifications. Here, you can find the answers to some of your most pressing questions, as well as links to various laws, statutes and resources

Common questions from our family law clients

Divorcing couples often have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to their children. Here are some of the questions we are asked the most:

  1. What is a parenting plan? Parenting plans outline how you and your spouse intend to raise your child after you separate or divorce. They contain detailed explanations of your custody arrangement and support payments, and may include visitation schedules, breakdowns for holidays, who will pay for health insurance, and so forth. It is best to make this plan with the help of your attorney, so nothing is left out.
  2. Do grandparents have rights to visitation? If the court believes that it is in the best interest of the child, he or she may grant a petition for visitation submitted by grandparents. However, if the child is adopted by a non-relative or a stepparent, those rights will end automatically.
  3. Can my ex-spouse move away and take my child if I don’t agree? Not without court permission. Tennessee’s parental relocation laws are very clear: if you or your ex want to move out of state, or more than 50 miles away within the state, you must give written notice no fewer than 60 days before you wish to move. If your ex files a petition in opposition, and the court agrees with the reasoning, you will not be allowed to move with your child. You may also need to modify your parenting plan.
  4. Can I still get custody if I didn’t marry my ex? Yes, you can. Just because two parents are unmarried does not mean they are not required to co-parent. If you are the father of the child, however, you will need to establish paternity before petitioning for parenting time or residential custody. One of you will also be required to pay child support.

For more answers to your commonly asked questions about divorce, please look here.

Statutes, laws and codes affecting divorcing couples in Tennessee

The 2015 Tennessee Code is broken down into 71 sub-categories. The majority of the laws which affect families can be found under Section 36: Domestic relations.

Child support is strictly regulated in Tennessee, though exceptions may be made based on specific circumstances. You can access those regulations here:

Parenting and divorce resources

  • Pregnant & Parenting: Resources provided to young parents by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
  • Course for Parents: Online parenting classes provided by the State of Tennessee, in cases where the court has ordered parents to attend, or for parents looking for a better way to co-parent their children.
  • Divorce Care: A directory of divorce support groups throughout Nashville.
  • Family Legal Assistance: Resources for military families facing complex challenges from deployments and relocations, as well as the division of retirement and pension accounts, among other issues.

Same-sex parenting resources

The Human Rights Campaign has predicted that Tennessee would be a hot spot for anti-LGBTQ legislation in 2017, and TN state legislators did not disappoint.

We have compiled a list of resources to help same-sex families understand their rights when it comes to divorce and family law issues.

Guidance and advocacy for your Nashville divorce

The Nashville divorce and family law attorneys Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are here to stand with you during the challenging process of divorce. From our office in historic Edgefield, you can see the courthouse and we offer free parking. You are welcome to call us today at 615-249-5228, or fill out our contact form to reserve an in-person or video consultation with a skilled divorce attorney. We serve clients throughout most of Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Franklin, Hendersonville, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, and Dickson.