About Us

Chattanooga Family Law and Criminal Defense Lawyers

Few things strike closer to the heart than threats against family or freedom. Be it divorce, custody disputes, or criminal allegations — these legal battles cut deep. And their impacts reverberate, reshaping futures and altering lives in an instant.

We understand. We’ve devoted our careers not only to practicing family and defense law at the highest level.

But also to easing fears through caring counsel, to safeguarding families with compassion, and defending liberty even while forces marshal against it.

To us, you’re more than a name on a filing. You’re a human being in a pivotal crisis, scared and needing someone who truly cares by your side. Get the backstory on our Chattanooga firm comprised of seasoned attorneys who still make house calls, accept calls on nights/weekends, and have built careers on caring.

Family and freedom deserve no less.

If you’re facing a legal threat at home or from the system itself — we’re here. Contact us today for a one-on-one consultation.

Chattanooga, TN Family Law Attorney

When it comes to family law matters, the stakes tend to be pretty high. Your family’s future and finances are typically in the balance, and your biggest concern is getting through the court process with as little pain and conflict as possible.

Some of the most common family law cases include matters involving divorce and child custody, both of which are highly emotional and can quickly become messy.

Divorce Cases in Tennessee

The end of a marriage is often a painful time in a person’s life. Not only are there a range of emotions being felt, but if there are children involved, a divorce also puts immeasurable stress on their minds.

Then, there’s property division and splitting up the money collected throughout the marriage.
Since each family is different, each divorce is unique.

However, the Tennessee divorce process covers a standard range of items that need to be agreed upon in a marital settlement agreement, including:

In most divorce cases, it’s preferable to settle out-of-court with an uncontested divorce instead of going through a lengthy and costly trial divorce. If the parties can’t agree on the divorce terms, a Chattanooga divorce lawyer can help navigate a contested divorce in court.

Child Custody Cases in Tennessee

Child custody is often called “parental responsibility” and can be negotiated in a divorce settlement agreement.

Parental responsibility refers to which parent holds the ability to make significant decisions for the child when it comes to education, religion, and lifestyle. Joint custody can be awarded in Tennessee, which allows both parents to hold equal parental responsibility.

Physical placement refers to which parent the child will reside with primarily and is often outlined as “parenting time” in the custody agreement. Physical custody can be awarded to one parent—which would be known as “sole custody”—or to both parents—also called “shared custody.”

Tennessee courts base child custody decisions solely on the best interest of the child, and they consider several factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child
  • The stability of each parent and their living arrangements
  • Any factors regarding each parent or home that would put the child at risk of harm

If parents cannot agree to a custody arrangement and parenting schedule that satisfies both parties, a judge in Tennessee Family Court will make the ultimate decision.

Chattanooga Criminal Defense Lawyer

There’s a lot at stake when you find yourself in legal trouble. Your freedom could be at risk due to possible jail time, your financial state could be threatened with heavy legal fees, and your reputation—including future employment opportunities—could be at risk.

Criminal courts see a wide range of cases, but some of the most common in Tennessee include the following:

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Tennessee, having a criminal defense lawyer on your side is crucial.

Benefits of Legal Representation

In any court in the United States—civil or criminal—you have the right to represent yourself in legal matters. It may seem like a practical or economic solution to forgo an attorney.

However, it’s essential to understand that people who employ the services of criminal lawyers tend to get higher settlements in civil or family matters and lower sentences in criminal cases.

That’s because there are many benefits to having legal representation in the courtroom.

Knowledge of Your Legal Options

Whether you’re facing a messy divorce or a life-altering criminal charge, experienced Chattanooga criminal defense lawyers have a deep knowledge of Tennessee law—and they’ll be advocating for your rights to the end.

Access to a Network of Experts

Criminal defense attorneys have a vast network of connections and experts in areas that could benefit your case. Whether you need financial specialists, medical professionals, or scientific experts, your attorney will be able to facilitate their input into your legal situation.

Ease Stress and Save Time

It’s no secret that legal matters are stressful and time-consuming. You’ll spend a mountain of time and energy compiling evidence and building your case on your own. With a trusted criminal defense lawyer, you’ll be able to breathe easily and focus on making it through your legal woes.

Let an Experienced Attorney Help

You don’t have to brave the ordeal alone if dealing with criminal charges or going through a stressful family law matter like a divorce. A Chattanooga family law and criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate through the legal process and get you as favorable an outcome as possible in your case. Let the family law and criminal attorneys at the Law Office of Sam Byrd help you.