Family Law

Lawrence Ballew does Divorce

Family law includes the areas of divorce, child custody, child support, child support enforcement, and any other issues relating to the family.


Few life events are as emotionally or financially difficult as a divorce.  The divorce laws in Tennessee are always evolving and decisions you make now relating to the parenting of your children, property division, and alimony can affect your ability to care for yourself and your family for many years.

It may be that you and your spouse are able to agree on all of these issues, but you have irreconcilable differences that makes it impossible for your marriage to continue.  This is the most cost-effective form of divorce, and I can help you negotiate a settlement with your spouse that will divide your assets and protect your interests in the future.

On the other hand, your may find yourself in a war, your behavior under constant scrutiny, or you need help finding all the marital assets.  If this is the case you’ll need an assertive lawyer who will protect your rights and help you reach a settlement that will protect your rights, your financial situation, and your sanity.

Child custody and visitation

Child custody leads to difficult choices

Whether the parents were never married, or are going through a divorce, it will be necessary to set a parenting schedule for the minor children.  In Tennessee, the family courts use a document called a parenting plan which sets out a schedule for parenting time (visitation) as well as making clear who is responsible for health care costs, educational decisions, religious upbringing, and many other issues.

Custody cases are often the most emotional and difficult cases judges face.  The law requires the judge to consider many factors in his determination of a parenting schedule, and how you present your side can make a huge difference in the amount of time you will be able to spend with your child.

Child support

Along with a visitation schedule, a court must set an amount of child support.  Child support in Tennessee is determined using an “income shares” model, rather than the old “percentage of income” method.  The calculation takes into account many factors including the incomes of the parties, the number of days spent parenting the children, insurance expenses, childcare expenses, and child support paid for other children, among many other things.

Child support enforcement

An order to pay child support is taken very seriously by the family courts of Tennessee.  If you should be receiving payments but aren’t, there are methods that can be used to motivate the other parent to pay the support on time.

If you have been summoned to court due to a failure to pay child support, or if there is some other issue with your payments, you should see immediate legal advice about your defense.

I am here to help

There can be a great deal of factors that will determine the outcome of your case, and you will need someone who can guide you through the process and help you prepare an effective presentation for the family court judge.

Changes to your family can cause a great deal of emotional and financial stress.  I work with you one on one to navigate through these issues, give you control of the process, and keep you informed as your case progresses.

Call, email, or use the contact page to find out how I can assist you with your situation.