Divorce Attorneys Working for the Good of Your Family in Kingston
No matter the circumstances, divorce is a painful prospect for all involved. In addition to the personal burden which comes with the process, couples also need to deal with the physical and financial requirements which arise during an already emotionally challenging period.
Seeking the advice of qualified, experienced legal professionals is crucial during this time to ensure that the situation is dealt with civilly, rapidly, and with minimal unnecessary stress for all parties involved.
How Do I File For Divorce?
To begin divorce proceedings in Tennessee, one party will need to file a verified divorce complaint with the court. This document will request relief from the court with regards to:
- Dissolution of the marriage
- Order for custody and visitation
- Division of marital property
- Award for alimony
- Award for child support
- Other relief, outlined and specifically requested in the complaint
With the exception of child support, any relief not requested in a petition cannot be granted once the divorce is final. The complaint must be filed in the region where the spouses last lived together, and both the summons and the complaint must be served to the other spouse.
If the situation involves the custody of children, the division of property, or requests for financial support, the case must be decided in a court. Before filing a divorce petition, the party must have been a Tennessee resident for at least six months; the only exceptions made are for members of the armed forces, or if the case involves child abuse or domestic violence.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce?
The state of Tennessee allows spouses to file for divorce based on fault or no-fault, also known as uncontested grounds.
What Should I Know About A No-Fault Divorce?
A no-fault, or uncontested, divorce is required to include a completed settlement statement, determining the resolution of all contested issues. This is also known as divorcing due to irreconcilable differences, and it can be a less painful and stressful solution if both parties are in agreement and on civil terms. Couples with no children will be able to file on the grounds of legal separation, once they have lived apart for two years, including maintaining separate residences for the duration of this time.
What Are The Grounds For An ‘At-Fault’ Divorce?
If the parties involved are unable to agree on filing for an uncontested divorce, they will instead be required to file for an at-fault divorce. In order for this to be successful, there are thirteen grounds which can be used:
- Adultery – including both sustained affairs and one-off ‘flings.’
- Bigamy – if a married party enters into a second marriage, the second marriage and all subsequent marriages are void under Tennesee law
- Impotence – if either spouse is unable to have children at the time of the marriage, one party is permitted to file for divorce
- Abandonment – if a husband abandons his wife, removes her from the home, and refuses to provide support, these are grounds for divorce
- Refusal to move to Tennessee – if one spouse refuses to relocate to Tennessee with their partner for a period of two years or longer, this is considered a reasonable ground for divorce
- Desertion – a divorce may be granted in the event that a spouse is willingly, maliciously, or unreasonably away from their partner for over a year
- Infamous crime conviction – if one party is convicted of a crime such as incest, horse theft, forgery, or rape under Tennessee law, the other party will be permitted to file for divorce
- Felony conviction – if one spouse if convicted, sentenced, and incarcerated for a felony, the other spouse has grounds for divorce
- Substance addiction – if one spouse abuses drugs or alcohol, regardless of whether the other party was aware of this prior to the marriage, the other may file for divorce
- Wife pregnant by another man – if the wife was pregnant by another man at the time of the marriage, the husband has the right to a divorce
- Endangering the life of the spouse – including if one tries to kill the other. Proof of conviction is not required in this case
- Cruel and inhuman treatment – this may include verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, cruelty, or a willful and persistent hostile marriage environment that is created by one spouse.
How Long Does A Divorce Take?
Each divorce is unique, and the time it takes depends largely on whether the parties are able to agree. If this is the case, and all affairs are sorted amicably, a divorce can be granted in as soon as six months. In more complex cases, or situations with animosity, disagreement, or contested custody issues, the process can extend for well over eighteen months.
All couples will be legally required to wait for either sixty or ninety days to proceed, to allow an attempt at reconciliation. This is a ‘cooling-off’ period, during which the spouses can seek counselling, try to settle their differences, or call off the divorce. In the event of a no-fault case, the process is sixty days if there are no children, and this increases to ninety when children are involved, offering time to agree on division of marital property, custody orders, and support orders mutually, without the need of the courts to intervene.
How Can We Help?
Here at Davis Law Firm, we have a strong background in all areas of family law, and our team of attorneys are equipped to help you handle your divorce as smoothly as possible.
Contact us today at (865) 354-3333 and let us help you move forward quickly and painlessly, working towards the best outcome for all parties involved.