Protective Orders

A protective order is a legal document that is specifically designed to prevent someone from harming you (or your children). While it may sound very similar to a “restraining order,” these two are not the same thing.  Protective orders have a much narrower scope than their restraining order counterparts, and are only issued when there has been—or there is a threat of—domestic violence. Restraining orders,

Restraining Orders

“Restraining order” is a phrase we often hear thrown around in movies and books. In these media adaptations, audiences are generally meant to take this as a “legal document that prevents someone from harming another someone.” In real life, however, this definition isn’t quite right, and is more suited to its counterpart, “protective order.”   While restraining order and protective order might sound identical (and, indeed,

Intro to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not something Tennessee courts take lightly. If you or a loved one is experiencing harm at the hand of a loved one, nothing is more important than keeping yourself—and your children—safe.  To help you safely pursue these options, there are a number of different domestic violence organizations that can help you know where to start. Some of these include:    Tennessee Coalition to

Grounds for Divorce

In the United States, there are two types of divorce: at fault, and no-fault. One process attempts to lay blame, while the other allows couples to go their separate ways without holding either party accountable.  Fault and no-fault divorces are triggered by what grounds you list in your divorce complaint. These grounds are a required part of filing for divorce, and will ultimately play a

Fault-Based Divorce in Tennessee

In a fault-based divorce, judges are allowed to consider the guilt of one party, and hold them financially responsible for the marriage breakup. In most jurisdictions, this accountability typically results in the uneven division of marital property.  Here’s what you need to know about filing for fault-based divorce in Tennessee, and what the Byrd Law team can do to help figure out if it’s right

Unmarried Parents in TN

Few relationships are held in higher regard by Tennessee courts than the one that exists between parent and child. As a result, this means that few rights are given as much deference as the parental variety. Parental rights refer to the broad spectrum of authority and responsibility that come with having a child. These powers are completely separate from marital rights, so—whether you are married

Tennessee Parent Relocation

Let’s be honest: moving was never an easy process, even while you were married. Unfortunately, now that you’re divorced, that process just leveled up in difficulty. Instead of being able to move whenever you want, wherever you want, divorced parents are limited by the geographic boundaries of their custody order. Even custodial parents—who normally get to make decisions about where their child will live—cannot up


Just like “maternity” refers to motherhood, “paternity” means fatherhood. And, in the legal sphere, paternity is a word that often arises in the context of parental rights and child custody. Unlike married parents (who automatically receive full parental rights, once their child is born), unmarried parents—particularly fathers—do not always fall under Tennessee’s presumption of parenthood. Hence, they can’t assume authority in their child’s life until

Handling Marital Debt

Property division isn’t just about the assets you and your spouse accumulate over the life of your marriage—it’s also about the debt you’ve taken on. Marital debt is considered jointly held property—the same as any other real property, account, bitcoin, investment, or valuables you own. Because of that, these obligations are subject to the same rules of equitable distribution, upon divorce.  But what happens if

Equitable Distribution

Splitting one life into two is a stressful, time-consuming process—especially when it comes to dividing marital property.  Tennessee couples live in an equitable distribution state. This means that when you get divorced, your judge will be more focused on finding the outcome that is fairest to both sides, not what’s equal.  In other words: your property division probably won’t be fifty-fifty.  To find out why,

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