Tennessee Divorce Steps

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Marital union of two people is established when they enter in the bond of commitment and love with mutual consent. But, when there are irretrievable conflicts between a couple, they either opt for a separation or divorce. But, the separation laws keep the marriage intact and thus, partners are not allowed to marry again. So, a divorce is the option that is often chosen by the spouses to end the marriage permanently.

Though, in most of the cases, the partners agree on the decision of divorce, they might not agree on the terms of divorce. Thus, a divorce case is converted into a contested type. If the partners agree on the arrangement of the marital issues, the divorce can be taken mutually. In any case, the applicants have to fulfill the residency requirements. The residency compulsions for the state of Tennessee are limited to the period of six months. For military members, the period has been extended to one year by the law.

Initial Tennessee Divorce Steps

After completion of the prior requirements for divorce. The applicant is allowed to file a case for divorce. This is often known as filing a divorce complaint. If a divorce is mutual one, a joint petition can be filed. Otherwise, a person is permitted to file a complaint in the county where he or she resides. Also, a county in which the other spouse stays can be chosen for filing a petition. A petition is to be filed by submitting the concerned divorce forms in the court. These forms can be obtained in the clerk's office or they can be downloaded from the websites.

While filling the Complaint for Divorce, the following information is required.

  • Below mentioned points regarding husband, wife and children:
    • Full names
    • Addresses
    • Birth-dates
    • Social Security Numbers
      • Employer's information regarding the divorcing couple
      • Date of wedding and separation
      • Grounds of divorce

The Petitioner must sign such a completed Complaint in the presence of a Notary Public. If the grounds are mentioned as "irreconcilable differences", the divorce is categorized as uncontested. Otherwise, it is contested:

  • The divorcing couple must draft the "Marital Dissolution Agreement"
  • If the divorcing couple has children, then, the couple must draft the "Permanent Parenting Plan"
  • Both the above mentioned documents require discussions on various divorce issues like child custody, child support, etc.
  • During this divorce step of discussion, there is a need of maximum collaboration between the divorcing parties and their lawyers
  • After the final drafts of these two documents are made, both the divorcing partners must sign these documents in front of a Notary Public
  • If the divorcing couple has children, the court orders that the couple should remain present at the Parenting Classes. This is necessary for the finalization of the divorce

Tennessee Divorce Steps regarding waiting period

The next divorce step is of the waiting period. In case of Shelby County, the following waiting periods have been specified:

  • Sixty days from the date of filing if the divorce case does not involve children
  • Ninety days from the date of filing, if the divorce case involves children

After the completion of the waiting period, the next divorce step is planning out the final hearing. There are two options in this case:

  • If the filing was done in a Chancery Court, the hearing is placed on a 10-day rule docket in person. The court schedules the date of the hearing. Then, the lawyer or the court contacts the Petitioner to intimate the date
  • If the filing was done in a Circuit Court, the hearing date is planned by the telephonic communication
  • While attending the final hearing, the Petitioner must have a draft of the Final Decree of Divorce. This document must comprise of the major points of the divorce and should reflect the justifiable distribution of marital assets
  • The Petitioner must remain present in court at the scheduled date and time. This person must answer the questions asked by the judge
  • Eventually, the judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce
  • Now, the partners are divorced. However, the divorce becomes officially final after thirty days have passed since the judge passed the order. Thus, the partners cannot remarry during these thirty days

This is the general picture of Tennessee divorce steps. The steps for divorce will completely depend on the procedure of that type of divorce and mutual communication between partners. Also, the time and expenses for a divorce procedure vary according to this two factors.

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