What Does Family Law Encompass?

 In Domestic Law, Law

Family law is a large section of our legal system. Every state follows federal law, but each state may have different local laws. State laws are only in effect within their particular state. So what does family law encompass in the state of Tennessee? Here are three common occurrences in accordance with Tennessee state laws.

Child Support

Every child has the legal right to be supported by their parents, regardless of their situation. Tennessee law calculates the income of both parents and the time spent with the child(ren). Child support supports basic child expenses like food, clothing, housing, transportation, and health insurance. It can also include extraordinary education needs, health expenses, and other extra-curricular activities. Parents have the legal duty to support their children until they turn 18 or legally emancipate themselves. Child support commonly occurs during divorce, and is best dealt with the support of a lawyer. Your lawyer will know the ins and outs of the law and how to best help your situation and child(ren).

Child Custody

The topic of child custody can come from various situations including divorce or separation. In addition, it depends on the state of the couple’s relationship. In Tennessee, if the married couple files for divorce and children are involved, they must attend a mandatory parenting class. The couple then comes up with a parenting plan that the court reviews and either approves or denies. It the parents are unmarried, a petition to establish parentage must be filed first. Secondly, a settlement is drafted regarding child custody and child support. If parents cannot agree, either married or not, the case will go to trial. Both parents should work with a lawyer during this process, especially if the case goes to trial.


On a happier note, marriage is something the state of Tennessee takes seriously. The engaged couple must register and obtain a marriage license from the local county clerk’s office before the wedding day. The office requires a form of ID, like your license or birth certificate, and proof of social security if possible. The couple can expect to pay $100 for their marriage license, unless they complete a course. If the couple completes a premarital course within a year of marriage, they can save $60 off their license. If the couple decides to create a pre-nuptial document, having an attorney present is a smart idea. The attorney can go over the document with each person to ensure they understand what it means and entails, in the unfortunate case of divorce.

There are several penalties for failing to follow proper marriage application rules. The use of false documents, fraudulently signing documents, or refusing marriage licenses without complying to the law are all considered misdemeanors.

To learn more about family law, contact The Slaughter Law Firm. At Slaughter law, we have over 21 years of legal experience and can assist in any legal matter. Our attorney focuses on his client’s objectives, which essentially guide his philosophy to s successful attorney and client relationship. To contact Frankie Slaughter Jr. visit us online here or call us at (423) 844-0560 today!