Why Do I Have to Pay Alimony and Child Support? One Simple Reason

We are often asked why do I have to pay alimony and why do I have to pay child support in Rutherford County divorce and custody cases. The one simple reason? The law requires it!

Child Support

Our Rutherford County Chancery Court and Circuit Court have a clear position that child support is for the benefit of the child.

The local court or your Rutherford County attorney can utilize the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines and accompanying Tennessee Child Support Worksheet to calculate the potential child support which is owed for the benefit of your child or children.

To calculate child support, you have to know four primary things:

  1. The number of overnight days you spend with your child
  2. The amount that each party pays in work-related childcare
  3. The amount of the health insurance premium you pay, if any, for the minor children.
  4. Any recurring monthly medical expenses for the child(ren).

In certain circumstances, you can receive credit for other minor children that live in your home from other relationships. However, this figure is calculated based on the information listed here and ordered by the Court for the benefit of the child or children– and our courts don’t ignore it very often.

Alimony (Spousal Support)

This issue is less straightforward than child support. For alimony, a judge will look at the years of the marriage, the earning capacity of both parties, and many other factors under the law, and may enter an order setting out spousal support.

Typically, to qualify for an award of spousal support in Rutherford County you need to be in a marriage that lasts longer than most short marriages (which courts typically view as less than five to seven years) and you must be able to clearly establish two things:

  1. That one spouse is in need of alimony.
  2. That the other spouse can afford to pay alimony

If the requesting spouse can get over the hurdles then the Court can award alimony to help the spouse in post-divorce life, either for a short time, a long time, or in one lump sum. The end result depends on the judge’s review of the facts and circumstances of your unique case.

If you or someone you know needs to talk about alimony or child support, feel free to contact our experienced Rutherford County Family Lawyers for a free consultation.

Simple Reasons to Think About a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement, often called a “prenup,” is a contract between two people who plan to marry that determines how property is divided if the marriage ends in divorce or death. A prenuptial agreement is a very powerful document.

A properly written prenup can do many things, including, but not limited to: protect separate property owned before the marriage; divide marital property acquired during the marriage; assign debt from before or during the marriage; award certain property to children; protect family heirlooms; and prohibit the payment of alimony upon divorce.

The common thread among the powers of a prenuptial agreement is protection. A prenuptial agreement can protect your interests and goals that you have going into a marriage and ensure that an unsuccessful marriage does not permanently injure you or your family members.

There are several simple reasons that people may benefit from using a prenuptial agreement. These include, but are not limited to, when a person: owns significant amounts of property; has children from a prior marriage; owns an interest in a business; or is tied to significant debt.

The easiest way to think about whether or not you need a prenup is this: is there something in your life you need to protect?

A prenuptial agreement is a very powerful document for anyone who is contemplating marriage. It may be difficult to have the conversation about a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse; however, if the two of you decide to use a prenuptial agreement, the powers and protections at your disposal are many.

If you or someone you know has questions about prenuptial agreements, or any questions about divorce or child custody, feel free to reach out and speak with a lawyer at our office.

Two Practical Reasons Mediation is Required in Family Law Cases

In the Chancery Court and Circuit Court of Rutherford County, there is a requirement that certain types of cases, such as divorces, parenting plans, parenting plan changes, go to Mediation before a Trial.

The main reason that Mediation is required before a divorce case goes to trial is because that’s the law. T.C.A. 36-4-131 very clearly requires all family law cases go to mediation (however, there are certain exceptions to this that you should discuss with your lawyer).

That said, there are also two practical reasons that Mediation is required in Family Law Cases: first, Mediation saves the court calendar for cases that cannot settle; and second, Mediation saves the parties from further emotional and financial expense of trial.

Rutherford County Divorce cases are numerous. Each Divorce Judge handles hundreds of cases. Mediation is necessary for every case because it saves the court calendar for the cases that truly have no chance of agreement. If we had a nickel for every time a client swore to us “this case will never settle so mediation is stupid,” only to have that exact case settle at mediation, we may be rich. Every case is required to give it a shot because every case might settle, and that settlement can save the court some time.

Rutherford County Divorce cases are also expensive. Most attorneys bill these cases by the hour and, by the time you have reached Mediation, there is a significant chance that you would need to pay more money to go to a Divorce Trial and suffer more emotional stress through that Divorce Trial process. Settlement at Mediation has the chance to save all parties further financial damage, and, even more importantly, to spare all the parties from further emotional damage of a court case.

Those are two of the more practical reasons that Mediation is required in Rutherford County Family Law Cases. If you or someone you know are considering divorce, child custody, child support, or other family law issue give us a call at 615-890-1099. Scott Kimberly and Chase Doscher are thoroughly experienced in guiding divorce, parenting plan, and custody clients through the mediation process and are here to answer any questions.

Doscher Appointed RCCBA Public Service Chair

Our very own Murfreesboro Attorney Chase Doscher has been appointed to serve as the Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association Public Service Chair, which focuses on the operation of the RCCBA Legal Clinic.

The RCCBA Legal Clinic began over fifteen years ago at Greenhouse Ministries in Murfreesboro. Over the years, several local attorneys have volunteered time to assist in managing the Clinic. Recently, the Legal Aid Society has provided tremendous support to the Clinic as well.

Scott previously served as RCCBA Public Service Chair, helping coordinate the Legal Clinic for two years from 2015-2017. Chase began volunteering at Legal Clinic when he joined the office in early 2019 and has now been given a leadership role to assist those in need.

The Mission of Legal Aid is to advance, defend, and enforce the legal rights of low-income and vulnerable people in order to secure for them the basic necessities of life. As part of its mission, Legal Aid assists with legal clinics throughout the State of Tennessee, which provide an opportunity for members of the community to meet with a volunteer lawyer to discuss a legal problem.

The RCCBA Legal Clinic meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at Greenhouse Ministries, 309 South Spring Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Sign-ups begin at 2:30 p.m. and those in need are served on a first-come, first-served basis. We have supported this program for years and we look forward to Chase serving in this critical role for our community.

COVID-19: Taking Precautions to Prevent Spread, Remain Open During Pandemic

The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly is deeply committed to protecting not only the rights of our clients, but also their health and wellness. At this time, while our office remains open for business, we have adopted and implemented a number of recommendations from local, state, and federal government agencies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Specifically, our office is adopting recommended social distancing policies including, but not limited to: deep cleaning and disinfecting office space to ensure cleanliness and help fight the spread of any disease or virus; allowing all staff and attorneys to work remotely; limiting in-person meetings to the extent possible; and setting all client meetings and new client consultations via electronic and/or telephonic meetings.

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently issued an Order suspending all in-person court proceedings for all local and state courts, subject to a few limited exceptions, in an effort to fight against the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

A copy of the Tennessee Supreme Court Order, including its mandate for local and state courts and all exceptions to this Order, may be viewed by clicking here.

While the Courts have temporarily suspended proceedings, The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly remains committed to diligently working for our clients and achieving their goals. We will remain open and fully responsive to all clients for any questions and concerns during this time.

The Court Clerk Offices are also open through the suspension of court proceedings and are available to receive fax filings for court documents as well as answer calls regarding rescheduling court appearances, so that our office may make appropriate filings, assert necessary defenses, and best serve our clients and the community.

In this trying time, as in all times, if you or a friend are in need of help, we are here to help. We hope you and your families remain healthy and happy during this trying time in our community.

Scott, Chase, Austin, and Rich.