Deciding to seek a divorce may have been a quick or slow process for you and your spouse, but the process for obtaining a divorce in court varies depending on different factors. Disagreements between you and your spouse may delay the process because unresolved differences will need to be handled in court. Before this can happen, you need to make sure you meet the requirements to seek a divorce in Tennessee. Figuring out whether you need a lawyer is another important step. You can talk to a Tennessee family law lawyer if you have questions about this. 

Check Your Grounds for Divorce

The Tennessee  vary depending on whether you are seeking a contested or uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce usually only requires irreconcilable differences to count as a grounds for divorce. Irreconcilable differences can be personal conflicts or differences between two spouses that make staying married a reasonable burden. 

When it comes to contested divorces, the time that the divorce may take can be considerable. Contested divorces are divorces sought

when one spouse disagrees with a fundamental aspect of the divorce. Some examples of grounds for divorce in this category are:

  • Adultery
  • Substance abuse
  • Felony
  • Abandonment
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse of spouse or children
  • Impotence

These reasons for divorce are more severe than reasons for uncontested divorces, which is why only these are considered by the court when it comes to contested divorces. Family courts strive to protect the best interests of the child. This means courts will make decisions related to child custody or visitation rights based on these factors like abuse or drug use. 

To seek a divorce in Tennessee, there are also technical requirements you will both need to meet. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Tennessee for 6 months. To obtain benefits of divorce like child custody, visitation rights, or alimony, you and your spouse must be legally married. A legal marriage also comes with certain requirements. 

Steps Leading Up to the Divorce

One of the first things you should do before taking the first legal step in a  is to consult with an experienced lawyer. Figure out whether you need a lawyer sooner than later because family courts will expect you to know the Tennessee laws regarding divorce. A judge will expect you to defend your statements and reasons for why you want certain child custody or alimony orders. A lawyer can help you build strong reasons with evidence.

Uncontested divorce cases do not officially begin until you file for divorce and serve a summons for your spouse. The complaint tells the court what you want from the divorce like custody, spousal support, or property division. Significant disagreements between you and your spouse at this stage can lead to a divorce trial.