Want A Divorce?

 

Get divorced and get on with your life.

 

The first thing you need to do is call (901) 578-1515 and schedule a free consultation. At this consultation you'll fill out our divorce intake which has all the information we need to file your divorce.

 

An attorney and paralegal will go over your intake and discuss your options including whether your divorce can be handled as an uncontested divorce or whether it will be contested.

 

An uncontested divorce means you and your spouse agree on all details of the divorce (property division, child custody, child support, etc.) and your spouse is willing to sign a marital dissolution agreement (“MDA”).

 

If your spouse is not willing to sign an MDA your divorce is contested. An uncontested divorce is the cheapest and fastest way to get divorced in Memphis. Contested divorces typically take longer and cost more.

 

How much does a divorce cost?

 

The cost for an uncontested divorce depends on the complexity. Even though you and your spouse are willing to sign an MDA doesn't mean your divorce is easy. We charge a flat rate on all uncontested divorces.

 

In most cases, we can file your divorce for as little as 500 down. You can make payments on any balance.

 

• Divorce fee no property and no kids – 600
• Divorce fee with property, no kids – 800
• Divorce fee with kids, exclusive of property – 900
• Divorce fee where your spouse is missing – 1500

 

We may charge additional fees if:

 

• If you have a 401(k)/Retirement Account – SEE BELOW
• If you own two or more pieces of real property
• If you have real property requiring a quit claim deed
• If you or your spouse lives out of state
• If we have to contact your spouse to get the MDA signed
• If we have to negotiate on your behalf with your spouse
• If your divorce is complex or laborious

 

* If assets total more than 400,000 pricing is done on a case by case basis.

 

** There are additional court filing fees.

 

401(k)/Retirement Account

 

If you have a 401(k) or retirement account most courts don’t allow you to get divorced without an attorney. The reason is because a 401(k) may require a QDRO to address any interest your spouse has in the property. Yes, a 401(k) is considered marital property. A QDRO is a complex legal document that shouldn’t be executed without the assistance of an attorney.

 

How long does it take to get divorced?

 

Tennessee law requires a “cooling off period” when a divorce is filed. A divorce without children has a 60 day cooling off period. A divorce with children has a 90 day cooling off period. The cooling off period is designed to give spouses a chance to cool off. These time frames cannot be usurped.

 

Based on our experience, 1 out of every 10 couples changes their mind about getting divorced during the cooling off period. After the cooling off period ends we set your case for a final divorce decree hearing. In Shelby County the courts handle their individual dockets differently from each other. Some courts do the final divorce decree hearings on a weekly basis and some do them every other week. We will contact you for the earliest available court date.

 

Ready to start your divorce?

 

Contact our paralegal and we’ll call you! Or you can contact us at 901-578-1515 or mel@bbjwlaw.com.

 

Top 25 Questions About Divorce

 

How much does a divorce cost?

 

Court filing fees range from around 325 for a divorce without children to 400 for a divorce with children. The filing fees have to be paid before you can file your divorce. Our attorney’s fees start at 600 for an uncontested divorce.

 

In most cases you can hire the attorney and file your divorce for as little as 500 down. If your divorce is contested we typically charge a retainer that gets billed hourly. Our retainers start at 2500, but again, you can make payments.

 

Can I make payments?

 

Yes. You can pay however you want after you make the initial payment to start your divorce. Keep in mind, if your divorce is uncontested we won’t set your case for a final divorce decree hearing until your balance is paid. If your divorce is contested and you paid an initial retainer we’ll notify you when you need to replenish that retainer.

 

When can the attorney file my divorce?

 

We typically file the same day as your consultation if we have all the information we need.

 

How long does the divorce process take?

 

For all divorces there is a cooling off period required by law. That is 60 days for a divorce without children and 90 days for a divorce with children. If your divorce is contested the case will go on as long as needed to complete the discovery process. In our experience, contested divorces take around 6 months to complete unless there is a settlement.

 

What if my spouse lives in another state?

 

You can still get divorced in Memphis.

 

What information do you need for the intake?

 

Basic biographical information regarding you and your spouse - names, birthdays, addresses, work places, social security numbers. Information regarding any property you or your spouse own - cars, houses, 401(k)’s. Information regarding your children - names, ages, addresses.

 

What is an MDA?

 

A marital dissolution agreement or MDA is a document that addresses the dissolution of the marriage. Typical MDA’s address property, including property transfers, debt, child custody, child support, alimony, etc. All uncontested divorces are essentially settled divorces where both sides are willing to sign an MDA agreeing to all the details of the divorce.

 

I just moved to Memphis, can I get divorced here?

 

You can get divorced in Memphis if you’ve been a resident here for the past 6 months.

 

I don’t know where my spouse is. Can I still get divorced?

 

Yes. We can get you divorced if your spouse in missing or simply won’t respond. However, this takes longer than a typical uncontested divorce and costs more. Also, if your spouse were to ever challenge the divorce most courts are quick to set aside the judgment. This means you’ll have to start the process all over.

 

What if my spouse has already filed for a divorce?

 

If your spouse has already filed you should have been served with a copy of the complaint if the divorce is contested. If the divorce is uncontested your spouse or their attorney may contact you with a proposed MDA. In either event you should contact our office immediately. If you are served with a complaint you only have a matter of weeks to answer before your spouse can take a default judgment against you.

 

Will I have to pay child support?

 

If you have a child and you are not the primary custodial parent you will be on the books for some amount of child support. That amount will depend on you and your spouse’s combined incomes as well as the number of days you have with the child. This information is put into a child support calculator and the number it comes up with is the amount you owe. As a starting point for most courts, standard visitation for the non-custodial parent is 80 days.

 

Will I have to pay alimony?

 

Alimony is typically awarded to the economically disadvantaged spouse. Whether your spouse is awarded alimony is ultimately up to the judge trying your case unless you agree to it in an MDA. Alimony can be for a fixed sum or for a fixed period, but is rarely awarded in perpetuity. If your spouse is seeking alimony against you they will have to prove it’s warranted and you have the ability to pay. Alimony is often hotly contested and can be the make or break difference between a smooth uncontested divorce and a messy contested divorce.

 

Can I get alimony?

 

Yes. You can petition the court for alimony if you can show you are economically disadvantaged and your spouse has the means to pay. You can also petition for emergency alimony while the divorce is pending.

 

Do I have to go to court?

 

In an uncontested divorce the filing party will have to go to court. As long as there is a signed MDA the non filing party doesn’t have to go.

 

Where is court?

 

Shelby County Circuit Court and Chancery Court are located at 140 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103.

 

Can I get divorced by myself?

 

Yes. You can download all the paperwork you need from the Shelby County Circuit Court’s website and file the divorce yourself. Keep in mind, we go to court everyday and watch pro se divorces get thrown out because they haven’t been filed correctly or the divorce involves a 401(k) or children.

 

Can I get divorced for free?

 

Probably not. There are family law services available through Memphis Area Legal Services, but qualifying may be tough. Their number is 901-523-8822.

 

Why is a divorce with children more complicated?

 

Uncontested divorces with children require more paperwork and are subjected to more scrutiny from judges. If everything isn’t done perfectly the judge will not grant the divorce.

 

What if my spouse refuses to sign the MDA?

 

If your spouse refuses to sign the MDA your divorce is contested. It might be useful to compromise rather than fighting it out in a long and  costly contested divorce.

 

What is an uncontested divorce?

 

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce and are willing to sign an MDA. An uncontested divorce is the fastest and cheapest way to get divorced.

 

What is a contested divorce?

 

A contested divorce is when both, or just one of the parties, contest or disagree about an issue in the divorce. It can be as trivial as simply refusing to sign the MDA or as significant as disagreeing over parenting time or alimony. Contested divorces take longer and cost much more.

 

Can a divorce settle after it starts contested?

 

Yes. This typically happens when one or both sides run out of money, or cooler heads prevail.

 

I filed my divorce with a different attorney, can I fire them and hire you?

 

Yes. You can fire your old attorney by notifying them that you’re hiring a new attorney and requesting a copy of your file. You have a right to your file so don’t let them charge you for it. We can file a notice of appearance in your case and takeover.

 

What happens if I stop paying my attorney?

 

If your divorce is uncontested and you don’t pay the balance before your cooling off period ends we simply delay your final divorce decree date until your balance is paid. If your divorce is contested and you fail to replenish your retainer we typically withdraw from the case after a couple of attempts to collect a new retainer.

 

I heard divorces typically go in favor the woman. Is that true?

 

The first thing you need to know is that Memphis judges don’t like trying divorces. If they have to go to trial they typically divide the marital property straight down the middle. It doesn’t matter whose at fault. Second, mothers are typically favored when it comes to child custody and support. Standard visitation for the father is 80 days. That works out to be every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. This may not be the final number you end up with, but it is the starting point for most courts. Last, alimony is typically awarded to the economically disadvantaged party. This may not be the case if the economically disadvantaged party is at fault for the divorce. With this in mind, you should maintain a realistic expectation about the outcome of your divorce.

 

Construction Triangle

 

When seeking services from a divorce attorney keep this in mind:

 

Fast, quality legal work usually isn’t cheap. Cheap, fast legal work usually isn’t good. And cheap, quality legal work usually isn’t fast. This is known as the construction triangle. We’ve found it applies to legal services too.

2020 BBJW LAW © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

BALESTRINI, BARNES, JABER & WOOD, PLLC

 

1555 MADISON AVE, STE 202, MEMPHIS, TN 38104

 

(901) 578-1515

Want A Divorce?

 

Get divorced and get on with your life.

 

The first thing you need to do is call (901) 578-1515 and schedule a free consultation. At this consultation you'll fill out our divorce intake which has all the information we need to file your divorce.

 

An attorney and paralegal will go over your intake and discuss your options including whether your divorce can be handled as an uncontested divorce or whether it will be contested.

 

An uncontested divorce means you and your spouse agree on all details of the divorce (property division, child custody, child support, etc.) and your spouse is willing to sign a marital dissolution agreement (“MDA”).

 

If your spouse is not willing to sign an MDA your divorce is contested. An uncontested divorce is the cheapest and fastest way to get divorced in Memphis. Contested divorces typically take longer and cost more.

 

How much does a divorce cost?

 

The cost for an uncontested divorce depends on the complexity. Even though you and your spouse are willing to sign an MDA doesn't mean your divorce is easy. We charge a flat rate on all uncontested divorces.

 

In most cases, we can file your divorce for as little as 500 down. You can make payments on any balance.

 

• Divorce fee no property and no kids – 600
• Divorce fee with property, no kids – 800
• Divorce fee with kids, exclusive of property – 900
• Divorce fee where your spouse is missing – 1500

 

We may charge additional fees if:

 

• If you have a 401(k)/Retirement Account – SEE BELOW
• If you own two or more pieces of real property
• If you have real property requiring a quit claim deed
• If you or your spouse lives out of state
• If we have to contact your spouse to get the MDA signed
• If we have to negotiate on your behalf with your spouse
• If your divorce is complex or laborious

 

* If assets total more than 400,000 pricing is done on a case by case basis.

 

** There are additional court filing fees.

 

401(k)/Retirement Account

 

If you have a 401(k) or retirement account most courts don’t allow you to get divorced without an attorney. The reason is because a 401(k) may require a QDRO to address any interest your spouse has in the property. Yes, a 401(k) is considered marital property. A QDRO is a complex legal document that shouldn’t be executed without the assistance of an attorney.

 

How long does it take to get divorced?

 

Tennessee law requires a “cooling off period” when a divorce is filed. A divorce without children has a 60 day cooling off period. A divorce with children has a 90 day cooling off period. The cooling off period is designed to give spouses a chance to cool off. These time frames cannot be usurped.

 

Based on our experience, 1 out of every 10 couples changes their mind about getting divorced during the cooling off period. After the cooling off period ends we set your case for a final divorce decree hearing. In Shelby County the courts handle their individual dockets differently from each other. Some courts do the final divorce decree hearings on a weekly basis and some do them every other week. We will contact you for the earliest available court date.

 

Ready to start your divorce?

 

Contact our paralegal and we’ll call you! Or you can contact us at 901-578-1515 or mel@bbjwlaw.com.

 

Top 25 Questions About Divorce

 

How much does a divorce cost?

 

Court filing fees range from around 325 for a divorce without children to 400 for a divorce with children. The filing fees have to be paid before you can file your divorce. Our attorney’s fees start at 600 for an uncontested divorce.

 

In most cases you can hire the attorney and file your divorce for as little as 500 down. If your divorce is contested we typically charge a retainer that gets billed hourly. Our retainers start at 2500, but again, you can make payments.

 

Can I make payments?

 

Yes. You can pay however you want after you make the initial payment to start your divorce. Keep in mind, if your divorce is uncontested we won’t set your case for a final divorce decree hearing until your balance is paid. If your divorce is contested and you paid an initial retainer we’ll notify you when you need to replenish that retainer.

 

When can the attorney file my divorce?

 

We typically file the same day as your consultation if we have all the information we need.

 

How long does the divorce process take?

 

For all divorces there is a cooling off period required by law. That is 60 days for a divorce without children and 90 days for a divorce with children. If your divorce is contested the case will go on as long as needed to complete the discovery process. In our experience, contested divorces take around 6 months to complete unless there is a settlement.

 

What if my spouse lives in another state?

 

You can still get divorced in Memphis.

 

What information do you need for the intake?

 

Basic biographical information regarding you and your spouse - names, birthdays, addresses, work places, social security numbers. Information regarding any property you or your spouse own - cars, houses, 401(k)’s. Information regarding your children - names, ages, addresses.

 

What is an MDA?

 

A marital dissolution agreement or MDA is a document that addresses the dissolution of the marriage. Typical MDA’s address property, including property transfers, debt, child custody, child support, alimony, etc. All uncontested divorces are essentially settled divorces where both sides are willing to sign an MDA agreeing to all the details of the divorce.

 

I just moved to Memphis, can I get divorced here?

 

You can get divorced in Memphis if you’ve been a resident here for the past 6 months.

 

I don’t know where my spouse is. Can I still get divorced?

 

Yes. We can get you divorced if your spouse in missing or simply won’t respond. However, this takes longer than a typical uncontested divorce and costs more. Also, if your spouse were to ever challenge the divorce most courts are quick to set aside the judgment. This means you’ll have to start the process all over.

 

What if my spouse has already filed for a divorce?

 

If your spouse has already filed you should have been served with a copy of the complaint if the divorce is contested. If the divorce is uncontested your spouse or their attorney may contact you with a proposed MDA. In either event you should contact our office immediately. If you are served with a complaint you only have a matter of weeks to answer before your spouse can take a default judgment against you.

 

Will I have to pay child support?

 

If you have a child and you are not the primary custodial parent you will be on the books for some amount of child support. That amount will depend on you and your spouse’s combined incomes as well as the number of days you have with the child. This information is put into a child support calculator and the number it comes up with is the amount you owe. As a starting point for most courts, standard visitation for the non-custodial parent is 80 days.

 

Will I have to pay alimony?

 

Alimony is typically awarded to the economically disadvantaged spouse. Whether your spouse is awarded alimony is ultimately up to the judge trying your case unless you agree to it in an MDA. Alimony can be for a fixed sum or for a fixed period, but is rarely awarded in perpetuity. If your spouse is seeking alimony against you they will have to prove it’s warranted and you have the ability to pay. Alimony is often hotly contested and can be the make or break difference between a smooth uncontested divorce and a messy contested divorce.

 

Can I get alimony?

 

Yes. You can petition the court for alimony if you can show you are economically disadvantaged and your spouse has the means to pay. You can also petition for emergency alimony while the divorce is pending.

 

Do I have to go to court?

 

In an uncontested divorce the filing party will have to go to court. As long as there is a signed MDA the non filing party doesn’t have to go.

 

Where is court?

 

Shelby County Circuit Court and Chancery Court are located at 140 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103.

 

Can I get divorced by myself?

 

Yes. You can download all the paperwork you need from the Shelby County Circuit Court’s website and file the divorce yourself. Keep in mind, we go to court everyday and watch pro se divorces get thrown out because they haven’t been filed correctly or the divorce involves a 401(k) or children.

 

Can I get divorced for free?

 

Probably not. There are family law services available through Memphis Area Legal Services, but qualifying may be tough. Their number is 901-523-8822.

 

Why is a divorce with children more complicated?

 

Uncontested divorces with children require more paperwork and are subjected to more scrutiny from judges. If everything isn’t done perfectly the judge will not grant the divorce.

 

What if my spouse refuses to sign the MDA?

 

If your spouse refuses to sign the MDA your divorce is contested. It might be useful to compromise rather than fighting it out in a long and  costly contested divorce.

 

What is an uncontested divorce?

 

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce and are willing to sign an MDA. An uncontested divorce is the fastest and cheapest way to get divorced.

 

What is a contested divorce?

 

A contested divorce is when both, or just one of the parties, contest or disagree about an issue in the divorce. It can be as trivial as simply refusing to sign the MDA or as significant as disagreeing over parenting time or alimony. Contested divorces take longer and cost much more.

 

Can a divorce settle after it starts contested?

 

Yes. This typically happens when one or both sides run out of money, or cooler heads prevail.

 

I filed my divorce with a different attorney, can I fire them and hire you?

 

Yes. You can fire your old attorney by notifying them that you’re hiring a new attorney and requesting a copy of your file. You have a right to your file so don’t let them charge you for it. We can file a notice of appearance in your case and takeover.

 

What happens if I stop paying my attorney?

 

If your divorce is uncontested and you don’t pay the balance before your cooling off period ends we simply delay your final divorce decree date until your balance is paid. If your divorce is contested and you fail to replenish your retainer we typically withdraw from the case after a couple of attempts to collect a new retainer.

 

I heard divorces typically go in favor the woman. Is that true?

 

The first thing you need to know is that Memphis judges don’t like trying divorces. If they have to go to trial they typically divide the marital property straight down the middle. It doesn’t matter whose at fault. Second, mothers are typically favored when it comes to child custody and support. Standard visitation for the father is 80 days. That works out to be every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. This may not be the final number you end up with, but it is the starting point for most courts. Last, alimony is typically awarded to the economically disadvantaged party. This may not be the case if the economically disadvantaged party is at fault for the divorce. With this in mind, you should maintain a realistic expectation about the outcome of your divorce.

 

Construction Triangle

 

When seeking services from a divorce attorney keep this in mind:

 

Fast, quality legal work usually isn’t cheap. Cheap, fast legal work usually isn’t good. And cheap, quality legal work usually isn’t fast. This is known as the construction triangle. We’ve found it applies to legal services too.

2020 BBJW LAW © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

BALESTRINI, BARNES, JABER & WOOD, PLLC

 

1555 MADISON AVE, STE 202, MEMPHIS, TN 38104

 

(901) 578-1515