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Divorce Laws in Tennessee | Nashville Tennessee |

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Divorce Laws in Tennessee:
The Basics


Whether an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce, the purpose of divorce laws in Tennessee are to aid divorcing couples in coming to a resolution on all major issues and to ultimately dissolve your marriage. Typically, these issues revolve around marital property and marital debt division, alimony (aka spousal support), child custody, parenting plans and visitationchild support and attorney’s fees and costs. To initiate a divorce in Tennessee, the following basics must be considered:

  • Residency: What are the Residency requirements for a divorce in Tennessee?

Basically, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Tennessee for at least six (6) months prior to filing for a divorce in Tennessee. You may, however, be eligible for an exception to this residency requirement if there has been domestic violence or abuse in your relationship.

  • Venue: Where do you file for a divorce in Tennessee?

Typically, you will file for a Tennessee divorce in the county where you and your spouse last lived together. If both of you moved away from where you lived together and both of you still live in Tennessee, then you can file for divorce in the county your spouse resides. If your spouse no longer lives in Tennessee, then you can file for divorce in the county where you reside.

  • Service: What does Service of Process mean in Tennessee?

Once you have filed for a divorce in Tennessee, you must then have certain documents delivered to your spouse before the Court can help you. The Court will accept several different methods of delivery, all of which provide the Court with a confirmation your spouse has received the necessary documents (for example delivery by sheriff, USPS, Secretary of State, Waiver, etc.).

  • Grounds: What are the Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee?

For some unknown reason, the Court must establish whether your divorce is based on either No-Fault grounds or Fault grounds, which seems to be an overly intrusive inquiry into your personal affairs and to be totally irrelevant in deciding how to assist a couple in moving on with their lives.

That being said, a divorce based on No-Fault grounds is commonly referred to as an Uncontested Divorce and the No-Fault grounds are:

  1. Irreconcilable differences between the parties, which means the issues between you and your spouse are so great and beyond resolution as to make the marriage unworkable.

  2. Living in separate residences for a continuous period of two (2) years, while not having cohabited for such period and without having minor children in common.

You and your spouse must come to an agreement on all issues for the Court to grant a No-Fault divorce. If you are unable to come to an agreement on all issues, then your divorce will proceed as a Contested Divorce and at least one of the following Fault based grounds must be established:

  1. Adultery.

  2. Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Abuse.

  3. Inappropriate Marital Conduct.

  4. Indignities.

  5. Abandonment.

  6. Refusal to Remove to Tennessee.

  7. Desertion.

  8. Undisclosed Pregnancy.

  9. Felony Crime Conviction.

  10. Infamous Crime Conviction.

  11. Bigamy.

  12. Impotency.

  13. Attempt to Kill One's Spouse.

  • Waiting Period: How long does it take to get a Tennessee Divorce?

A divorce in Tennessee can be completed in as little as sixty (60) days from the date of filing if there are no minor children or ninety (90) days if there are minor children. You and your spouse, however, can enter into binding agreements prior to your date of filing and waiting period.

For more information concerning the basics of divorce laws in Tennessee, contact us and schedule a consultation. We are here to help navigate you through the Tennessee divorce process.

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