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Tennessee Divorce, How to Get Divorced

Tennessee Divorce

The Role of a Divorce Lawyer

Are you thinking about filing divorce in Tennessee?  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. Time to file for a Tennessee divorce, then  consult with a family law attorney about divorce. This may include child custody, child support and alimony. In a Tennessee Divorce there are two (2) basic processes to achieve the legal dissolution of a marriage. 

Uncontested

– irreconcilable differences or no fault- divorce. 

Contested Divorce

– where the husband and wife do not agree to a resolution of all of the issues.

Uncontested divorce is an agreed upon dissolution of marriage . Agreed divorce can typically can be completed with only one divorce lawyer. The attorney drafts the divorce papers including Marital Dissolution Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan (for child custody issues), and Final Decree of Divorce. If the parties can not agree to all issues and the divorce is contested then two divorce attorneys usually are involved.

How long does it take to get divorced?

In Tennessee the time it takes to get a divorce depends on your circumstances.  One time factor is the involvement of minor children.  Another factor in the time it takes to get a Tennessee divorce is the existence or absence of an agreement between you and your spouse. In other words, do you agree on the issues of property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support. If you are in agreement on all issues, then you can retain one divorce lawyer. Finally you can file an uncontested divorce. An uncontested Tennessee divorce is agreed to on all issues and relies upon irreconcilable differences as the legal grounds.

Tennessee Divorce Waiting Period

There is a mandatory divorce waiting period in Tennessee 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 will have to wait the applicable waiting period before the divorce can be set for a final hearing and the marriage finally dissolved.  This mandatory divorce waiting period applies whether it is contested or an uncontested divorce (agreed). For a more definitive answer and details of how long it will take to get divorced contact a divorce lawyer to discuss the issues.

Beware of self help divorce –

Retain a Chattanooga Divorce Lawyer

divorce in chattanooga tn

Do-it yourself divorce or representing yourself against your spouse’s divorce lawyer are cheaper ways to get a Divorce.  But it is not advisable.  Retain an experienced family law divorce lawyer to make sure that all of the life altering decisions in divorce are handled properly.  Purple Law Firm’s senior divorce lawyer in Chattanooga has been practicing Tennessee  family law since 1982.  Our legal team handles matters including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and property division.  If you are already divorced,  our family law attorneys can help with changing child custody.

 Steps to get divorced- the Process of Divorce in Tennessee

What are the steps to get divorced?  Once you have decided that its time to end the marriage, the first step you ought to take is to speak to a divorce lawyer.  The attorney will explain the process of divorce in Tennessee.  And advise you of your legal rights, and obligations.  If the divorce is going to be uncontested then typically your divorce attorney will draft all of the necessary divorce documents 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 divorce documents. After both of you sign all of the documents,  your divorce lawyer will file them with the Court.  Now the waiting period for Divorce in Tennessee  begins. Typical Documents for an uncontested- agreed to – divorce (irreconcilable differences) include a Petition for Divorce, Certificate of Divorce, Marital Dissolution Agreement, Final Decree of Divorce.  Your divorce attorney will also draft any other necessary documents to ensure that your uncontested divorce agreement is fully executed.  This might include a Quit claim Deed or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

Child Issues in Tennessee Divorce

Child custody and child support must be handled within the divorce.  Your divorce attorney will also prepare a Temporary Parenting Plan and a Permanent Parenting Plan. In Tennessee, a parenting plan settles issues of child custody and child support.  In fact, the parenting plan controls all parenting issues (supervision, control, decision making and residential schedule). It then becomes the custody order of the court.  Both parents  must attend a Parenting Seminar. The seminar focuses on parenting after divorce. Once the waiting period for divorce passes, your attorney will contact the court and set a date for the final hearing. At the final hearing for an agreed divorce  the judge will sign and enter the Final Decree of Divorce as an order of the Court. This Order will adopt your marital dissolution agreement and permanent parenting plan as orders of the court.

Contested Divorce May Take Longer Than an Uncontested Divorce

Your divorce in Tennessee  may take longer than the divorce waiting period (60 or 90 days).   In a contested case, your divorce lawyer prepares a Complaint for Divorce.  You sign an oath to the facts.  Finally, the attorney files the complaint with the proper Court.  Now the mandatory waiting period begins to run. However, this is not the end of the story – speak to a family law lawyer about the complete process of a contested divorce in Tennessee, including interrogatories, depositions, divorce mediation.

The Contested Divorce Process

Your spouse will served with a summons and a copy of the divorce complaint. Your spouse will then have thirty (30) days to answer the complaint for divorce  in writing.  Often times, the court will require (order) you and your spouse to attend mediation. Mediation requires you to attempt to work out an agreed upon divorce.  Thus making the contested divorce an uncontested divorce. 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.  But it is advisable to have your divorce lawyer attend mediation with you.

Contested divorces in Tennessee involve many technical issues.  These issues create time delays. Ultimately, after unsuccessful mediation,  the court sets your case for a divorce trial. Now the judge decides the issues. A divorce by trial may take 1-2 years or more to complete. Of course, the longer it takes and the more complicated your divorce becomes the more money you spend.  Divorce attorney fees, mediation costs, court reporter fees, and court costs can add up to costing you a lot of money for divorce.

Retain an Experienced Family Law Divorce Attorney


Please contact an experienced domestic relations (divorce/custody) family law attorney for more information and for legal advice about divorce in Tennessee.  Marital dissolution, custody care and supervision of your child, and the division and distribution of marital property and debt.  An experienced divorce lawyer will often times save you money in the long run.  A family law attorney can help you understand the process of divorce in Tennessee.  And thoroughly explain the pros and cons of strategies that may complicate the process of ending the marriage. For legal advice about how to get a divorce  speak to a Tennessee divorce lawyer.

Purple Law Firm’s  lawyers helping clients get a divorce in Tennessee –  Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Bradley County, Rhea County and many other Tennessee Locations.

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