Nashville Child Support Lawyers: The Importance of a Child Support Strategy

Nashville child support lawyers

When a couple divorces, their dependent children can be greatly affected emotionally. Their day to day lives can change in regards to where they live, who they live with, where they attend school, and how frequently they see their non-custodial parent. As Nashville child support lawyers, we see firsthand how tough divorce is on the family. The last thing the children need is to have their lives compromised by the financial aspect of their parents’ split. As much as possible the law tries to keep the lives of these children free of financial burden so that as much routine as possible is retained and they can at least continue on with their normal educational and extracurricular activities.

Under Tennessee child support laws, it is required that children are supported by both parents. This means that in the case of divorce one spouse is court ordered to pay alimony and child support to the other. Failure to pay child support in Tennessee is a serious matter. In cases where the person failing to make payments has no financial problems limiting them from doing so there can be costly penalties and in some cases even jail time. In fact this past November 2012, Tennessee saw a case of the highest amount of child support ever owed by one individual in the country. A Tennessee man who allegedly failed to pay child support for 21 years was arrested by authorities on felony charges of grand theft against his children, owing them more than $600,000.

Keep you and your family out of trouble by laying out a child support strategy early in the divorce process. As experienced Nashville child support lawyers we recommend considering the following in your approach:

Familiarize yourself with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. Every detail matters so if you have questions regarding any of these guidelines make sure to contact your Nashville child support lawyers so that they can help you reach a better understanding.

Maximize the amount used for the other parent’s income. Because child support is largely calculated by both parents’ monthly gross income before taxes it’s important to not short change the amount of money your soon to be former spouse brings home as doing so might put you at a costly disadvantage.

Consider all extra expenses your children may need. It’s important to not only think about what your children need now but what your children will need along their journey towards adulthood. This includes everything from extracurricular activities to higher education and personal enrichment such as travel. Maybe you’ve already begun to set aside funds for this purpose but if you are having trouble thinking that far ahead Nashville child support lawyers are always helpful resources to consult with.

Make sure to calculate your children’s expenses as accurately as possible. To be extra prepared it may even be a good idea to use a child support calculator to see how different inputs (both high and low amounts) impact the final amount.

If you find yourself in a situation where your spouse is failing to pay child support or trying to deny you visitation rights, the Nashville child support lawyers of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett can advise you of the various legal actions you can take. We are committed to helping you and your family continue on the road to a happy, healthy life full of opportunity.


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

Why Hire a Nashville QDRO Lawyer?

Nashville QDRO Lawyer Cheatham Palermo & Garrett Law

Naturally, married couples plan for retirement together. They both contribute their hard earned dollars to a 401K and work hard to earn pension plan benefits so that they can one day retreat to a sandy beach somewhere where they can spend the rest of their years in peace–stress and job free. When couples no longer feel their relationship is working and decide to go their separate ways every one of these plans is affected. At the time of divorce, it is imperative that all retirement accounts are carefully scrutinized and not just by anyone but by an experienced Nashville QDRO lawyer.

Why is it in your best interest to hire a Nashville QDRO lawyer? Well the fact is is that retirement funds that are added to your 401k or pension plan are usually treated as marital property, meaning that both spouses are entitled to the profit. This is great until a couple decides to end their marriage and these retirement assets need to be divided up–a process that can be a very troublesome one indeed. The separation of assets does not automatically extend to common retirement plans and there are many thorny issues to contend with, especially when dividing a pension plan. Therefore the division of 401K plans as well as many pension plans require a court ordered Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

If you find that you are in need of a QDRO it is extremely beneficial to hire a Nashville QDRO lawyer who really understands the rules governing QDROs as well as the complexity of constantly changing retirement plans. Though you can file the paperwork independently, there are specific legal criteria that you must be aware of. Taking a generalized approach to drafting a QDRO is something to be avoided as it can result in an improper division of benefits, loss of important rights under a plan and a total or partial loss of benefits upon the death of the participant. The spouse with a retirement plan and financial stability can lose a lot via a QDRO. Because the stakes can be very high and even the slightest slip-up could result in an unfavorable outcome, it is a good idea to seek the assistance of an experienced Nashville QDRO lawyer as sometimes another asset can be negotiated to be traded in place of the QDRO.

Don’t jeopardize your standing by trying to take care of dividing your and your spouse’s assets yourself. Call on the highly knowledgeable Nashville QDRO lawyer, Jimmy Helton, (615) 790-0982 and start settling your finances today! The longer you wait the more you risk being left with nothing in the long run.


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

Nashville Divorce Attorney: Planning for a Split in the New Year?

new-year-new-beginning

Nashville Divorce Attorneys brace themselves for a post-Christmas rush as troubled couples who stayed together for the holiday prepare to call it quits.

With the festivities of the holiday season now behind us and 2013 just around the corner, people are getting ready to make those annual New Year’s resolutions. In pursuit of new beginnings, they vow to shed those unwanted pounds, to pursue a new hobby, to make more time for their families, etc. For couples whose relationships have been on the rocks for quite some time, the new year is an especially great time to make a fresh start. While many have spent the holidays trying to work through their problems and rekindle the flame that once brought them together, others gritted their teeth the whole way through the holiday season and are now ready to throw in the towel. Those couples who still find themselves in a rut, failing to meet eye to eye or to reach a common ground in their relationship, resolve to either seek counseling or hire a Nashville divorce attorney to solve or dissolve their marriage in the new year.

If you or someone you know is “stuck” in a marriage that seems to be more and more draining as time goes on, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a Nashville divorce attorney and make 2013 the year of change for you and your family. Besides the sense of relief, new hope and the “fresh start” mentality that divorce can bring, here are a few of the more practical advantages to filing for divorce at the start of the new year:

Tax Benefits
As the year comes to a close we’re all thinking about those darn taxes. If you decide to go your separate ways before the ball drops on Times Square at midnight on December 31st, you could face important tax consequences come April as filing independently will not give you the same privileges with regards to filing status, household deductions, mileage deductions for work, and other personal income taxes. If tax brackets go up in 2013 there’s an even greater need to seek the guidance of a Nashville divorce attorney because the person who pays alimony will likely get more bang for their buck and the person on the receiving end will have to pay more taxes.

Time to Adjust
Chances are you have some time off for the holidays and New Years and if you have children they are just about a third of the way through their enviously long Christmas break. With the stresses of work and school at a minimum, the long vacation is the perfect time for you to reflect on and come to terms with the end of your marriage and though no one wants to be the bearer of bad news during this festive time, it also gives you the opportunity to take a few days to help your children understand and process the news.

More Time to Plan
Waiting until January to file for divorce not only allows you more time to prepare emotionally but it gives you a little head start in rounding up your financial information. If you’ve made up your mind and added divorce to your list of New Year’s resolutions, you can start preparing now by collecting all of your end-of-year statements–your household budget, your assets, your credit card balances, your mortgage, etc. All of your financial records are important in determining how much spousal support will be paid out and how the finances will be divided so the more information you can collect the easier it will be for you and your Nashville divorce attorney to begin negotiating and figuring out your options.

Experienced in the trial and settlement of a wide range of divorce cases, including high net worth cases involving complex financial and tax issues, the attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, know how to stand their ground and are always ready to tenaciously advocate for their clients while treating the situation with the perfect balance of sensitivity and practicality. So if a toast to dissolving your marriage in 2013 is on your New Year’s agenda, start preparing by contacting your local Nashville divorce attorney (615) 790-0982. Together we can make 2013 a great one!


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

Nashville Divorce Attorney: Holiday Tips for Divorced Parents

Nashville-Divorce-Attorney-Happy-Holidays

‘Tis the season to be merry! For families all across the world the holidays are a very important time of year–a time to enjoy the company of loved ones, a time to reflect on and give thanks for the year past, a time for forgiveness and a time to start anew. However, this time of year signifies change and with that comes a lot of anticipation, excitement and yes, stress! With everything so centered around family time, the holidays can be especially stressful for divorced parents. As experienced Nashville divorce attorneys, we see split families run into the same rut every year–not only do they have to endure the often long avoided confrontation with their ex, but they have to juggle visitation schedules with their children’s as well as the expectations of their own family and then somewhere, somehow make time for their own personal wishes. We understand it can all be a bit much, which is why we’re here to lend our Nashville divorce attorney expertise on how to get through and make the best of this year’s holiday festivities.

First and foremost, keep it civil. No matter how high emotions are running, parents should be sure to set a good example for their children. Ex-spouses should take the old “fake it ‘til you make it” approach and refrain from fueling any pre-existing animosity by bringing out any skeletons in the closet that would cause their children to feel uncomfortable during what is supposed to be a joyous celebration.

Consider and coordinate the gift-giving. As experienced Nashville divorce attorneys we get that it’s probably intrinsic nature to want to outshine your ex but we want to stress that the holidays are not a competition to see who gives the best or most gifts. If the child is wishing for a particularly expensive gift this season, the best solution is probably for the parents and even the grandparents to split the cost. That way there is no bitterness or jealousy involved.

More than ever, put your children’s feelings before your own. Even if you’re feeling down or anxious, don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve–at least not on Christmas. This is a magical time of year for children and any Nashville divorce attorney will tell you that these precious moments don’t last forever. So sing carols, decorate gingerbread houses, and read Christmas stories while waiting up for Santa—make every moment a special keepsake to store in your treasure chest of hallmark memories.

Blaze the holiday trail with some new traditions. Though long time family traditions might be fun, the memories of the past may bring about a negative sentiment especially for the children who are used to enjoying the activity with both parents. Instead of focusing on an event that highlights the fact that the family is now split in two, this year make it out with the old and in with the new! Maybe engage the family in a holiday craft or contact your Nashville divorce attorney or local county office about helping out with a community volunteer project.

Last but not least, be flexible. It’s a busy time of year and everyone wants to spend as much time with their loved ones as possible. However, divorced parents need to remember that the time spent with their children is no longer shared so accommodating your ex’s schedule is imperative to a pleasant and harmonious holiday season.

Regardless of whatever is going on within the family dynamic, it’s important to keep the magic alive for the children during the holidays. If you or someone you know is divorced and in need of the trusted advice and support of an experienced Nashville divorce attorney this holiday season please don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call (615) 790-0982! We’ll be happy to assist you.


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

Nashville Divorce Attorney: Estate Planning for Divorcing Couples

You’ve sold the house and closed your joint accounts but have you updated your beneficiaries? With the help of a Nashville divorce attorney you can ensure that your rights are protected under the law and that your former spouse no longer has entitlement over your well-being.

Don’t be fooled–just because you’re not rolling in the benjamins does not mean an estate plan is something you should overlook. An estate plan encompasses a will, a living will and sometimes a living trust and is pertinent and necessary for anyone who has any type of assets to protect, regardless of their value.

Because a will designates how your assets are divided and distributed after your death, a touchy subject and often time difficult decision to make, many couples wait until after they’re married to create their first will so that they can collaborate together. After all, the wills of married couples usually entail many provisions regarding each spouse. With that being said, when a couple divorces, the will they set in place is not likely applicable any longer as they no longer share one plan. They probably aren’t going to feel the same about giving Aunt Suzie on the other side of the family a portion of their money and since laws vary state by state, unless they revisit their estate plan that may very well happen.

When it comes to estate planning matters, state laws vary. While some states will completely dismiss a will after a divorce, others will just ignore provisions related to the ex-spouse. With this in mind, the best and most secure way to plan for the care of your family is to create an entirely new estate plan with the guidance and expertise of a trusted Nashville divorce attorney. Below are a few important reasons why:

Distribute your assets how you wish
Chances are you don’t want your ex-spouse or the law to be left in control of decisions regarding your finances should something happen to you that prevents you from making them yourself. Don’t relinquish control over the disposition of your assets to the courts! With help of a Nashville divorce attorney, you can reassume authority and take charge of calling the shots in terms of who gets what.

Choose someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf
Asset distribution may be one of the main reasons people are compelled to create a will, but in reality it is only a small part of what estate planning encompasses. Healthcare directives and durable powers of attorney are extremely important as they lay out parameters as to who would make your medical decisions in the event you became incapacitated. It’s important to appoint someone who is happy and willing to carry out your wishes–most married couples choose their spouse. However when a couple divorces chances are they change their minds on this one which is why we recommend seeking the help of a Nashville divorce attorney to update your plan to fit your wishes.

Accidents do unfortunately happen
There’s no telling what life will hand you so it’s best to take preemptive measures against Murphy’s Law and ensure that your family is taken care of. If recently divorced, it’s important to remember to review all of your life insurance policies as it’s likely that the beneficiaries of the policies have changed.

Keep peace among family members
It’s pretty sick but it happens… family members fighting over money after the death of a loved one. There’s always someone who feels like they got the shorter end of the stick. By taking the time to consult with a Nashville divorce attorney and draft up a will, there are fewer instances of this happening because you decide who gets what. Another benefit to having an estate plan is that there are usually fewer legal fees, leaving more money to your family in the end.

Account for your assets
Establishing an estate plan helps you prepare for the future as it forces you to review what you have as far as assets and to think about how to maximize the value you obtain for the long haul. After all we all work hard so we can one day enjoy a happy, carefree retirement.

If you’re looking to make changes to your will and other beneficiaries the attorneys at Cheatham, Palermo & Garreett have the expertise you’re looking for. Whether you have a specific question or are just seeking legal support to help ease the divorce process, your favorite Nashville divorce attorneys are here to back you both in and out of court. Send us an email or give us a call  (615) 790-0982 and we’ll be happy to assist you.


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.