Family truly is everything. The bonds, memories, and lives we’ve built with those closest to us mean more than anything else.

So when that family unit comes under strain – whether from divorce or conflicts over custody, assets, or care decisions for aging parents – the sense of threat goes beyond the legal to our very stability and identities.

We know the volcanic swell of emotions and uncertainty about the future all too well. And we can tell you from hard-won experience – having an ally by your side, a Chattanooga family law attorney guiding each step with compassion and authority – can make all the difference.

Contact us today to start building the strategy, unique as your family itself, to steer through the storm into calmer seas.

We Handle All Types of Family Law Cases in Tennessee

Family law is a legal area that addresses and resolves all issues revolving around the family unit and domestic relationships.

When it comes to family issues, there’s a lot at stake, both emotionally and financially. That’s where an experienced family law attorney can step in and advocate for your rights.


When a marriage ends, it’s not always a simple process. Some of the most complicated divorces drag on for months or even years because the two parties can’t see eye to eye on settlement terms.

If you want to avoid the long road of a messy divorce, Chattanooga family law attorneys can help you get the most out of your settlement agreement while keeping proceedings as short as possible.

Divorce Mediation

Tennessee family law mandates that divorce mediation occurs before the couple goes to trial. Exceptions are often made in cases where domestic violence has occurred.

In mediation sessions, the two parties meet with an unbiased and skilled mediator to reach a settlement agreement without going through a trial process. This is called an uncontested divorce.

A skilled divorce attorney can advocate for you throughout the mediation process to ensure you’re treated fairly and receive the settlement terms you’re entitled to receive.

Spousal Support

Alimony can be negotiated in mediation or included in a court order in the case of a contested divorce. The purpose of alimony is to prevent one spouse from being disproportionately financially disadvantaged after a divorce.

Alimony payments are often temporary and are meant to help the spouse receiving them move toward eventual financial independence.

Division of Marital Property

Marital property is typically defined as any assets acquired during the marriage.

Tennessee law does not recognize assets as marital property if they were owned before the couple was married or if they are excluded from divorce proceedings by a prenuptial agreement.

Property division can be negotiated during mediation or determined by a jury in a divorce trial.

Post-Judgment Modifications

Once a divorce decree is issued—whether it’s based on an out-of-court settlement agreement or the ruling of a trial judge—both parties are required to comply.

In some cases, you can make modifications to the divorce order after the fact, but this is only the case if either party’s circumstances have changed drastically.

Our Chattanooga family law firm can help you navigate the process for both post-judgment modifications and enforcement.

Child Custody and Support

One of the most significant factors in many divorces is how and where the children will live. This makes both custody and child support orders challenging to agree on.

There are two types of child custody in Tennessee: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to decide things like education and healthcare for the child. Physical custody refers to where the child will be living on a daily basis.

Parents can come to a child custody agreement in mediation or outside of court if possible. If no agreement can be made, a judge will decide the custody based on the child’s best interests.

How is Child Support Calculated in TN?

Tennessee courts use an income-shares model to determine each party’s child support obligations. The established amount paid is based on the combined income of the parents, as well as how many children are being supported.

Other Family Law Issues

When to Seek the Help of a Family Law Attorney

The most significant benefit of a family law attorney is that you’ll have legal experience and expertise on your side as you navigate the legal process. This ensures that your rights are protected in a complex family law matter.

Some situations that would be best faced with the help of a family lawyer include the following:

  • High-asset divorces
  • Divorces of couples with minor children
  • Complex child custody cases like a stepparent adoption
  • Relocating with a minor child
  • Emergency child custody or divorce proceedings after domestic violence or child abuse

Family law matters are always a bit complex. You don’t have to do it alone if you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of going through legal proceedings.

Meet With a Chattanooga Family Law Attorney

Take the next step. Contact us.

Your next step is to meet with an attorney to learn what’s at stake, protect yourself, and move forward to a place of safety. Contact a Chattanooga family law attorney so you can find some peace on the road of legal proceedings ahead of you.

Live With Less Fear Now, Knowing You Are Being Served Fearlessly!

Our primary goal is to get you to a better life as quickly and painlessly as possible. We are skilled in the art of navigating the legal system to do just that. We know the recipe for success and will guide you toward it with communication and aggressive representation.

Free Case Evaluation

Our Intake Team Will Review The General Factors In Your Case So We Know How To Serve You Best

Goal Setting Session

We Will Review Options and Set Goals Together To Step You Through This Difficult Time Into A Better Life

Enjoy Peace Of Mind

We Have Your Back And Will Negotiate, Advocate, And Litigate If We Must!

Get On With Life

And Know We Are Here In Your Corner If And When You Ever Need Us. Your Peace Of Mind Is Our Passion!

Here’s What Our Clients Think About Working With Us


You May Have More Options Than You Think

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Law Office of Sam Byrd was build on the back of aggressive, proactive legal guidance for clients who are looking for a creative and innovative attorney to get them through some of the hardest times of their lives. Often riddled with fear, anxiety, and pain, Sam and his team have been able to deliver results for people and families in desperate need of something different – instant relief through aggressive and appropriate representation.

Because you are seen as a HUMAN, not a line item on an accounting report or a case number on a court docket. We believe you deserve to be served with diligence and integrity – giving you our best through your worst times to provide the best possible experience from the beginning.


How much is a divorce in Chattanooga?

Divorce in Tennessee can cost anywhere from $300 to over $10,000. The total cost of a divorce depends on how complex your divorce will be, the outcome of divorce mediation, and whether minor children are involved.

Does Tennessee favor mothers in custody cases?

Tennessee courts do not actively favor the mother over the father. Instead, they look at the child’s best interest when determining both legal and physical custody.

Some things a judge may consider in custody hearings are:

  • The emotional ties between the child and each parent
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide and care for the child
  • The child’s preference, if over the age of 12
  • The presence of other individuals in each parent’s home and the character of those individuals

Keep in mind that it would violate constitutional rights for a judge to favor one gender over another when establishing custody orders.

How do you establish paternity in TN?

If a mother is married at the time of a child’s birth, the mother’s husband is automatically considered to be the child’s legal father. When a child is born and the parents aren’t married, paternity needs to be established.

There are two ways to establish paternity:

  1. A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity can be signed and notarized by both parents
  2. A paternity test can be performed to confirm the father of the child

Note that establishing paternity does not automatically establish custody. Once paternity is confirmed, the parents can proceed to child custody and child support hearings to establish court orders for both.

We can help if you need a criminal defense attorney or DUI defense lawyer

Over the years it has been gut-wrenching to see how better representation would have changed the lives of those charged with criminal offenses in Chattanooga. I have been in courtrooms where someone felt they had done nothing wrong so they did not get representation because they thought the facts would be enough to maintain their freedom. Although the Tennessee criminal justice process might seem straightforward, it rarely is. The law is complicated and has many small nuances that can create big impacts. Knowing how to navigate the legal system and having an experienced and aggressives criminal defense attorney on your side, and in your corner, is the difference that changes the dynamic in your criminal defense case.

Both criminal charges and drunk driving charges can sometimes be resolved by one of the following:

  • An outright dismissal of the criminal charges against you
  • Passing the case for a period of time for it to be dismissed upon your good behavior
  • Guilty plea diversion, which allows first offenders to have the charge removed from their record if they satisfactorily complete all probation requirements
  • Alternative sentencing such as probation to prevent or reduce jail time
  • Reducing serious charges to lesser charges, which reduces possible jail and probation time
  • Minimizing the jail time and other consequences of conviction

Serving Hamilton County and Beyond

with Our Chattanooga Divorce and Criminal Defense Law Firm