Getting a Divorce in Tennessee

About Tennessee Divorce

If you are thinking about a divorce there are several questions that are on your mind. We will try to answer some of those questions here. But, if you think it is time to make that ultimate decision to end your marriage, then you need to consult with an attorney who practices Tennessee family law.

How long does divorce take in Tennessee?

Divorce in Tennessee

The process of ending your marriage will take some time. The actual time depends on your specific circumstances like whether you have minor children or not. Whether or not you and your spouse (soon to be ex spouse) are in agreement about the terms of the divorce. In Tennessee there is a mandatory waiting period of sixty (60) days if there are no minor children and ninety (90) days if there is at least one (1) minor child. Simply put if you file for divorce today you have to wait the applicable waiting period before it can be set for a final hearing. This waiting period applies whether it is contested or uncontested (agreed). For a more definitive answer contact an attorney.

Another question on you mind might be: What are the steps to get divorced?

Once you have decided that the marriage is over, or even if you are just considering your options in that regard, the first step you ought to take is to speak to a divorce lawyer. Obtain the legal advice an counsel that you need to make the necessary decisions – this involves a lot of legal and other issues.

Uncontested Divorce Process

If the divorce is going to be agreed or non-contested then typically your attorney will draft all of the necessary documents to complete the legal process based upon the information you provide. Then you will review the documents to be sure that they meet with your approval, if so you sign them. Then your spouse will sign the documents. After both husband and wife have signed all of the documents your lawyer will file the petition with the court and the waiting period begins.

The typical documents to complete an agreed divorce (dissolution of marriage by reason of irreconcilable differences) include a Petition, Certificate of Divorce, Marital Dissolution Agreement, and an agreed Final Decree of Divorce. If you have children: your attorney will also prepare a Temporary Parenting Plan and a Permanent Parenting Plan. Both parents are required to attend a Parenting Seminar which focuses on parenting after the end of the marriage.

Once the waiting period passes your family law attorney will contact the court and set a date for the final hearing. At that time the judge will sign and enter the Final Decree as an order of the court.

Steps to Obtaining a Contested Divorce

If the divorce is going to be contested (not agreed to) then your lawyer will prepare a Complaint for Divorce, you will sign an oath and the complaint will be filed with the court and the mandatory waiting period begins to run. It may take considerably longer than the waiting period (60 or 90 days) Your spouse will be served with a summons and a copy of the Complaint. Your spouse will then have thirty (30) days to answer the complaint for divorce in writing. Often times you and your spouse will be required (ordered) by the court to attend mediation in order to attempt to work out an agreement. Mediation is done by a certified mediator (who is often times but not always a lawyer) You can attend mediation with or without your attorney. There are many other procedural issues that may develop when the divorce is contested. Ultimately if a settlement agreement is not reached either through mediation or through the attorneys then your divorce case would be set for trial. Be prepared, if your case goes all the way to trial it may take 1-2 years to be divorced.

Please contact an experienced domestic relations attorney for more information and for legal advice.

You may call a family law attorney in Chattanooga at (423) 899-0131. The lawyers of Purple Law Firm have been helping people get a divorce in Tennessee since 1982.