Going through a divorce can be an overwhelming experience. All aspects of your life, including your family, children, finances, assets, and friends, will be affected. If you live in Chattanooga, Tennessee and are considering divorce, it is important that you talk to an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.

FAQs about Divorce in Tennessee

Tennessee has a divorce rate of 19.1 per 1,000 couples — currently giving it the tenth-highest divorce rate of any U.S. state. If your marriage is about to end, it’s important that you know you’re not alone in this and that you have a clear understanding of your rights and what to expect from your case. On that note, here are answers to some of the most common divorce questions I hear as a Tennessee family law attorney.

Will We Have to Go to Court?

Under Tennessee divorce laws, a marriage can only be ended in one of two ways:

  1. Both parties can agree on a divorce settlement, or

  2. The separating couple goes to a divorce trial

Generally speaking, a settlement is less traumatic and cost-effective. However, if you and your ex are unable to come to an agreement on matters such as child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of your assets and property, this type of amicable divorce may not be an option. If that rings true for your situation, you will need to present your case in court so that a judge can determine those arrangements for you.

Regardless of whether you anticipate your divorce being friendly or hostile, it’s best to seek legal guidance from an experienced divorce attorney sooner rather than later. A seasoned lawyer can not only represent you in court if needed but can also take steps to keep you out of court in the first place if at all possible.



How is Child Custody Determined?

As I’ve mentioned, you and your ex may be able to sit down and draw up your own agreed-upon terms when it comes to child custody and related considerations. If you can’t, however, then the determination of child custody will fall to Tennessee’s family court system.

Like most states, Tennessee law requires that the court considers the best interests of the child or children when establishing custody arrangements. Custody can be either joint or sole. Several factors will be considered by the court to determine child custody. These include:

  • The child's wishes or preferences (this is considered for children 12 and older)

  • Each parent’s ability to cater to the child's needs, including food, education, medical care, and shelter

  • Any history of misconduct like child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, or neglect

  • Whether the child’s current stability with regard to home, school, and community will be negatively impacted

  • The physical and mental health of each party

  • The perceived parenting skills of each parent

The testimony provided by each party or witness will help the court determine what is best for the child. Also, the type of custody, as well as other factors considered by the court, will determine if child visitation is allowed and who pays for child support.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Fisher Wise?

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I understand how complicated and stressful the entire divorce process can be. I have dedicated my career to protecting the legal rights and assets of parties involved in a divorce. I will be your legal counsel and handle everything involved in your divorce filings.

As your legal counsel, I will work with all parties involved to settle matters like child custody, assets division, child visitation, and child support in a mature and productive manner. Above all, I will help you get through the mental and emotional stress that comes with a divorce.


If you are thinking of filing for a divorce or have just been served with divorce papers yourself, you don’t have to go through it alone. Call my law firm, the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, to schedule a free consultation. I will help you understand the entire divorce process and offer legal advice on the options available to you. I serve clients in Chattanooga, Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, Marion, Sequatchie, Rhea, and the surrounding counties of Tennessee. You can count on me to advocate for your best interests during this difficult period in your life.