Tennessee divorce details
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Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Tennessee
Uncontested divorce is a legal marriage termination that is free from disputes between the spouses. Uncontested divorces are usually faster, cheaper and less stressful than Contested ones. Uncontested divorces contain requirements such as submitting a Petition for the divorce to the Supreme Court, providing the other spouse with all the necessary documents, going to the court hearing, etc. The general process of an Uncontested divorce allows you more control over the process, and it varies case by case. Contested divorces, on the other hand, imply that the marriage termination is not amicable, and the couple cannot reach an agreement. Contested divorces are more expensive and time-consuming. There are more papers and forms and may require expensive legal help. The grounds for a Contested divorce include the following:
- Constant cruelty towards one of the spouses
- Constant drunkenness (including in the presence of the child)
- Adultery (if proved)
- Imprisonment of one of the spouses
- Incurable illness (mental or physical) of one of the spouses
Uncontested divorces are much easier for the couple because grounds like these need not be proved in the courtroom. Both spouses have agreed on all the terms, and the divorce can be achieved without the help of an attorney or another third party.
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Requirements to file for divorce in Tennessee
In the state of Tennessee, requirements can be as follows:
- Both spouses have lived in Tennessee for at least 6 months
- Both spouses have no children or have minor children
- Both spouses are willing to terminate their marriage
- Both spouses agree to divide the marital property according to the assets of each spouse
- Both spouses are able to support their child/children financially until he/she is 21 years old
It is important to meet all the requirements of state to get a legal divorce. The court may not approve your divorce if you have problems with any of the requirements.
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Tennessee
The procedure for filing with the court is rather easy. Here are some necessary steps:
- Submit a Petition for Divorce in the county where you currently live
- Write all of your and your spouse’s personal information in the documents that are required for your case
- Provide your spouse with all of the forms, making three copies of each document
- Both you and your spouse file the documents with the court
- The Court stipulates the specific waiting period and then announces the Final Hearing where you get your Divorce Decree.
As we have mentioned before, the price for the court, the preparation of documents, the dates of the court hearings and other items should be considered in advance so you do not waste time and money.
DIY Divorce in Tennessee
“Do It Yourself” divorce is a process which allows you to deal with all the divorce issues yourself. You do not hire an attorney, and in addition, you represent yourself in court and prepare all the documents to give your spouse. You take on all of the responsibilities for your divorce case. On the one hand, it can be very convenient and cheap, but on the other hand, it can be risky, because if you do something wrong and the court does not approve your documents, you may have to start over, which can be very frustrating. Nowadays, the idea of DIY divorce is in vogue, so you may want to consider it – taking into account all the pros and cons. For assistance with preparation of the documents, you can use an online service for a fee, but we will discuss that later.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Tennessee?
The approximate cost of an Uncontested divorce in Tennessee is $1300. This includes all the additional payments for the filing fee, the price of attorney service, the preparation of the documents, the Sheriff fee, etc. The price of a highly qualified lawyer typically varies from $300 to $500 per hour, a fee that fluctuates not only from lawyer to lawyer but from case to case. If you want to pay less, you can use an online document preparer or you can complete a DIY divorce kit.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Tennessee?
An Uncontested divorce typically takes six to eight months. Contested divorces last much longer, ranging from 12 to 18 months or longer. If you want a final decree earlier, you must agree in advance on the issues with your spouse.
Giving documents to your spouse in Tennessee
You can serve your spouse all the documents yourself, by email or by traditional mail. Another option is to hire a Sheriff who will legally deliver all the papers to your spouse. The cost of a Sheriff is typically $75, depending on the spouse’s destination. If your spouse is in another county, the price will begin at $100.
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Papers and Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Tennessee
All papers listed here are required by the court, but you might not use all of them. The papers you use depends on the particulars of the case. Here are the most common documents to file in a divorce:
- Request for Divorce, Form 1
- Spouses’ Personal Information, Form 2
- Civil Case Cover Sheet
- Title IV-D Information Form, Form 10
- Request to Postpone Filing Fees and Order, Form 3
- Health Insurance Notice, Form 4
- Divorce Agreement, Form 5
- Parenting Plan Form and the Child Support Worksheet.
- Final Decree of Divorce, Form 6.
- Court Order for Divorcing Spouses, Form 7
- Divorce Certificate
- Notice of Hearing to Approve Irreconcilable Differences Divorce, Form 8
- Wage Assignment Order, Form 9
- Both Parties’ Personal Information, Form 2
- Request to Postpone Filing Fees and Order (Uniform Civil Affidavit of Indigency), Form 3
- Final Decree of Divorce (Marital Dissolution Agreement and Permanent Parenting Plan Order), Form 6
- Restraining Order for Divorcing Spouses (Statutory Injunction), Form 7
- Notice of Hearing to Approve Irreconcilable Differences Divorce, Form 8
- Order of Wage Assignment for Child Support, Form 9
- Title IV-D Child Support Information, Form 10
You must pay close attention and fill out these forms very carefully. There are numerous potential pitfalls. An online paper preparation service can help you get the right forms prepared correctly to help you get court approval.
Important note! Remember that you can’t always send documents to the court online! You often have to print them yourself.
Divorce in Tennessee by Online Preparation
Divorce documents online is useful and helps you complete divorce papers faster and cheaper. The price for online preparation of the documents on our website is $149. This is less than a third of what you’d pay for a lawyer. In Tennessee, online forms for a divorce is an established institution due to its convenience. It is recommended by many lawyers and grateful clients, so it’s up to you which service to choose.
Rules for child support in Tennessee
In Tennessee, child support laws are an integral part divorce proceedings with children. Parents should try to prevent the child from loneliness/ misunderstandings, etc. regarding the divorce. Initially, the Supreme Court considers the child’s interests, and then looks at the parents’ desires. The court considers factors such as:
- pension income
- unemployment insurance benefits
- disability insurance benefits
- social security
- value of the personal business
- whether the support sum is currently unmanageable for one of the spouses
- whether the spouses can reach an agreement
- whether one of the spouses has suddenly disappeared and is not paying his/her share
The court carefully considers these items. The child must be supported, even if one of the parents is having financial difficulties. With the help of the Child Support Worksheet, both spouses calculate a sum that can be given monthly to support the child’s needs and agree about the financial shares. The couple may also enlist the help of an attorney to develop the case and stipulate all of the child custody issues.
Rules for spousal support in Tennessee
Spousal support plays a significant role in the divorce process as well. The spouses have different incomes and abilities, so it can be a highly contentious issue to agree on. There are several aspects that the court will take into account during the divorce proceeding:
- marital behavior of both spouses
- income of both spouses
- age and physical abilities of both spouses
- length of the marriage
- living standards of both spouses
- level of education of both spouses
- debt rate of both spouses
- tax rate of both spouses
The spouses make their cases regarding these items, and they may hire attorneys to defend them. It’s only after detailed observation that the court can make any decision regarding spousal support unless the spouses agree.
Division of property in Tennessee
According to Tennessee legislation, there are two types of family property: marital and separate. Generally, marital property is shared between the spouses, but separate property is not shared because it was bought/taken/obtained by one of the spouses before marriage. The spouses must show the Supreme Court their receipts and paperwork, as well as details about the process of buying various items. The spouses must also arrange documents for all the separate property, to prove that the property is separate. The court’s difficult task is to review every tiny detail, and divide the marital property as fairly as possible.
Divorce Mediation in Tennessee
Mediation helps spouses reach agreement on contentious items. The third party, usually an attorney or a mediator, arranges several meetings for negotiations and assists in all of them. Mediation is an integral part of a Contested Divorce to assist the spouses to agree. When a consensus is reached, the Mediator assures the court that the mediation process is complete.
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How to divorce a missing spouse in Tennessee
In Tennessee, divorcing a spouse who is missing falls under the same jurisdiction as the regular divorce process, but you must try to find the missing spouse and inform him/her about the divorce. You can ask his/her parents or relatives about his/her location. You may also try to find the missing spouse through the police or local newspapers. If you cannot find him/her, you must inform the court so that the judge will allow the divorce without your missing spouse.
The Default Divorce in Tennessee
If the other spouse ignores the divorce proceedings and does not want to answer the Petitioner, the divorce is called a Default Divorce. Under Tennessee law, a Default divorce is a slightly more difficult process. It begins by filing a Motion for Default Judgment and providing an Order Granting Default Judgment. The court provides a hearing date, and stipulates to a mediation process, child custody, spousal support, etc. Default divorces are slightly more expensive than the No-Fault variety but varies on a case-by-case basis due to expenses, duration and price.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce in Tennessee
Needless to say, a No-Fault divorce is the much easier, less expensive and most convenient path to divorce. If the divorce is No-Fault, and you have minor children, the waiting period is 90 days. If you do not have children, it could take under ten days. With a Default divorce, you may have a longer waiting period or a larger fee, but, as just pointed out, each case is distinct, and you will have to resolve your particular issues and disputes.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in Tennessee?
To get a Default divorce hearing in the state of Tennessee, you must prove that you have notified your spouse about the divorce proceedings. In general, you should notify your spouse about the hearing at least 10 days in advance. Your spouse can claim that he/she didn’t receive any forms and documents from you, so it may be in your best interest to hire a Sheriff who will give the documents to your spouse and will provide a Notice of the delivery. If your spouse proves that he/she failed to get the documents, the judge can postpone the hearing and schedule a new hearing for later. It is important to serve your spouse all of the divorce papers.
Annulment of the marriage in Tennessee
The process of annulment is popular in Tennessee, because annulment means that the marriage wasn’t legal in the first place, and all liabilities of marriage would not apply. There are many grounds for the annulment of a marriage in Tennessee, which are:
- one of the spouses wasn’t able to understand when the marriage was registered, what a legal marriage is and what responsibilities it entails
- one of the spouses was underage at the marriage registration
- the spouses are blood relatives
- one of the spouses has another legal family
- one of the spouses married someone else by fraudulent actions
- one of the spouses refuses to engage in spousal activity and does not want to fulfill marriage duties
The court will examine all the details of the pending annulment of the marriage and will select a court hearing date for a final determination.
Legal Separation in Tennessee
Legal Separation means that the legal marriage is not terminated; however, the spouses live separately. Tennessee law allows the spouses to have the separation, but it is still strictly prohibited to marry another person until your current marriage is ended. The spouses can be legal separated for approximately one year, after which they should officially divorce or reconcile.
Same-Sex Divorce in Tennessee
With the case of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriages and divorces were made legal in the USA. Same-sex couples receive the same rights to divorce as any other couple. In Tennessee, it is easy for same-sex spouses to get a divorce, but there are some additional factors to consider:
- Child custody can be confusing due to the fact that both parents are likely not blood relatives of the child
- If both spouses are official parents, child support is similar to the regular divorce rules
- Assets and the marital property must be divided in accordance with Tennessee law
Same-sex divorces are completely equal to heterosexual divorces, but, as usual, they may include several distinct issues.
Military Divorce in Tennessee
To get a divorce from a military spouse, you have to provide him/her with all the documents for the divorce in advance. You may send the divorce documents to your military spouse by email, the post, in person, or have them delivered by a Sheriff. The military spouse may be far away from the county you currently live in, so you may have to ask the court for permission to have a hearing without him/her in the courtroom. The Divorce rules for marriages with a military spouse are the same.
How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Tennessee
A spouse who is in jail has the same rights in a divorce proceeding as any other person. He/she is given all the papers to file with the court, after which you receive either the signed documents or the documents that were rejected by the jailed spouse. If needed, you can enlist the help of the sheriff to send the documents.
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Divorce filing fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost varies by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
Can a fee be waived?
In Tennessee, you must provide evidence that you cannot pay the filing fees for a divorce. This can be showing your annual/monthly profit, health conditions or something else. In order to have the fee waived, you need to sign an Affidavit for the court.
How we can help
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