Separation for divorce in tennessee

How to File For Divorce in Tennessee

This can be decided on by the court in several aways. One of the most common ways that the judge decides which parent will have primary custody is by appointing a guardian ad litem , who is typically an attorney, social worker, or professional from the mental health field. Whoever is appointed to be the guardian ad litem conducts research, interviewing those closest to the children including the parents themselves, teachers, caregivers, and neighbors.

They then prepare a report for the court, recommending one of the parents as the primary guardian. In the state of Tennessee, alimony, or spousal support, is referred to as maintenance. When it comes to maintenance, the Court may choose from several different types, depending on the specifics of your marriage. These types of maintenance include rehabilitative, transitional, long-term, and lump sum.

There are many factors influencing the type of maintenance that the supporting spouse will have to pay, some of which include:. When filing for divorce in Tennessee, any marital property must be divided between the spouses; however, separate property,such as individual inheritances and property purchased before the marriage was initiated, is not required to be divided as a part of divorce proceedings.

Photo courtesy of Joe Perales via Unsplash.

The state of Tennessee is classified as an equitable distribution state , which requires all property that is classified as marital property to be equitably distributed between the spouses. The Court instead makes these decisions based upon a variety of factors including the length of the marriage, future earning potential of each spouse, availability of social security benefits for each party, the employability of each spouse, and the mental and physical state of each party. Under divorce law in Tennessee there are several ways to arrive at a Marital Dissolution Agreement , more commonly known as a divorce settlement.

In the case of an uncontested divorce, a negotiated settlement outside of court is typically considered the best option for both parties. This method allows each of the spouses to compromise and negotiate the specifics of their Marital Dissolution Agreement in a more thorough manner than if the details of the divorce were decided by the Court. The settlement process varies, depending on a variety of factors, however typically an attorney will create a proposed divorce settlement agreement, and in the case of children, a proposal for the Permanent Parenting Plan.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce in Tennessee

The other party can then propose changes to the settlement, request discovery, or suggest a mediation until both parties arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement. Although not always required by law, most couples going through the divorce process in the state of Tennessee are required by the ruling judge to participate in a mediation or alternative dispute resolution. The mediation process brings in a third-party to meet with the couple, in an attempt to help them come to a resolution of contested issues outside of the courtroom.

Divorce mediation in Tennessee works to help the couples reach an agreement on a wide range of issues including alimony, division of property, debt payment, and child custody. In addition to being quicker and less stressful than a divorce trial, mediation is also a much cheaper option as it does not involve the many costs associated with a trial such as court costs and attorney fees. Another alternative to a divorce litigated in the courtroom is a collaborative divorce. Similarly to a negotiated settlement or mediation, a collaborative divorce allows the parties to meet outside of Court to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce.

In addition to attorneys, this process involves a finance professional and a mental health professional. The finance professional is present to assist with the division of assets, alimony decisions, and other matters with significant financial implications, while the mental health professional is present to provide emotional support and ensure the process moves smoothly.


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Unlike a mediation or a trial, a collaborative divorce is a team process, where the divorcing couple sits down together in a supportive and emotionally healthy environment to reach mutually agreeable terms that work for both parties. When both parties cannot agree on the terms of their divorce through a negotiated settlement or divorce mediation, the next step is a divorce trial, which can be a drawn out and costly process in the state of Tennessee.

Before the trial, attorneys on both sides will prepare by conducting legal research, taking the depositions of various parties,. It is important to note that during divorce, reconciliation is often seen as condemnation.

The advantages of getting a legal separation vs. divorce

Condemnation is a conditional remission or forgiveness, by one of the married parties, of a matrimonial offense committed by the other, and which would constitute a cause of divorce; the condition being that the offense shall not be repeated. This is great if your reconciliation is successful.

However, if your reconciliation is not successful, you may inadvertently waive your grounds for divorce, which can put you at a disadvantage strategically. If you are not the at-fault spouse and are considering reconciling with your spouse, I strongly suggest that you enter into a reconciliation agreement with your spouse to preserve your grounds for divorce in the event that your reconciliation is not successful.

Also, please note that reconciliation after a divorce may also have tax consequences you need to explore with your tax professional. There are times when divorce or separation may seem like the only solution to problems in a marriage; however, it is often not. Sometimes it takes the start of a divorce to motivate people to make an effort to save a once cherished relationship.

However, this does not mean that you should threaten your spouse with a divorce in order to get them to comply with your wishes or win an argument. After all, you want your spouse to love and respect you because they love you, and not because they are in fear of you leaving. Don't be embarrassed to consider reconciliation. If there is any possibly that you and your spouse are able to reconcile, then I strongly suggest exploring the possibility.

I believe it is important to exhaust all possibilities of saving a marriage before finally deciding to end it. If you are considering trying to reconcile, please schedule a divorce planning session with me so that we can talk about the effect that your reconciliation efforts will have on your divorce if reconciliation fails. During the divorce planning session, I will provide you with a game plan that you can implement to help give you peace of mind in knowing that you, your children, and your finances will be protected in the event that reconciliation is unsuccessful.

While trying to save your marriage, I recommend that you and your spouse give marriage and individual counseling a try. Although I take the emotional and psychological effects of divorce into consideration in my divorce practice, I am not a trained therapist; however, I will be happy to recommend a therapist if you need one. When contemplating divorce, it is important not to make a hasty decision. Choosing to divorce or separate from your spouse is an important life changing decision that should not be made in a moment of fury or anguish. This is typically the case if one spouse initiated the separation and the other spouse was not in agreement.

Please keep in mind that in Tennessee fault is a factor for the determination of alimony. Fault can also be taken into consideration when a court is determining child custody as the other spouse can argue that the best interests of your children are not the number one priority of the spouse at fault. Under Tennessee law, fault grounds are not considered in the division of marital property; however, it is important to note that the judges are human and every human has biases.

Thus, a judge may be more likely to distribute more marital assets to a spouse that is not at fault than to a spouse who is at fault. Tennessee Divorce Information Center. Throughout the divorce process, you will have to make many decisions that may have an immense effect on you, your finances, and your children. There are four core areas that you will have to make decisions regarding. They are child custody and visitation, child support, the division of marital property, and spousal support. When considering a divorce in Tennessee, it is important that you become informed about your legal rights and responsibilities so that you can plan properly for your divorce.

Our divorce planning sessions can be completed in our office, by phone, or by video conference. You may choose the method that is most convenient for you. You can expect your divorce planning session to last from 45 minutes to one hour. That is why when you schedule a divorce planning session, our divorce attorney will send you an email informing you how to prepare for your divorce planning session.

During your divorce planning session, our memphis divorce attorney will:. Review your questionnaire and other relevant documents to gain a thorough understanding of your particular situation;. Talk with you to learn more about your situation, your concerns, and your goals;.

Tennessee Divorce Laws

Share with you our thoughts regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your position;. Provide you with information relating to alimony, spousal support, distribution of marital assets, distribution of marital debt, child custody, visitation, and child support;. Collaborate with you to set realistic goals and develop a legal strategy tailored to your unique situation and goals;.

Provide you with an estimated cost of your divorce services; and. Discuss your payment options. There are many reasons why we might decide not to represent you, but if we make such a decision, it should never be taken personally. The payments for your attorney fees will be automatically drafted from the debit or credit card you provide in accordance with the payment plan you choose.

Please note that your divorce planning session is confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege, even if you do not retain our Memphis divorce attorney. An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which y ou and your spouse:. To get started, click here to schedule a divorce planning session with our Memphis divorce attorney. When you purchase one of our contested divorce packages, we will attempt to negotiate a fair and reasonable divorce settlement with your spouse prior to initiating divorce litigation.

When you purchase one of our flat fee contested divorce packages, you will be charged one flat fee for us to handle your divorce case from the beginning until the conclusion of mediation, as the majority of divorce cases are resolved during mediation. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement regarding all issues in regards to the marriage during mediation, we will require an additional fee for us to represent you during the litigation phase. Do the parties have minor or dependenat children together? Copies of the Final Decree of Divorce are furnished to the parties in pdf format.

Certificates of Completion of Parent Educational Seminar are filed.

Common Myths about Divorce in Tennessee What you Need to Know

Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are drafted. Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are reviewed. Motion for Default Judgment and Supporting Affidavits are signed. Petitioner attends Hearing for Motion for Default Judgment. Defendant has 30 days to provide answers to requests for discovery. Did the parties resolve all the issues during mediation? The Marital Dissolution.

Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan, and Final. Decree of Divorce are drafted. Decree of Divorce are reviewed. Decree of Divorce are signed. Agreement is filed with the court. Attorney and Client will discuss additional attorney fees for future services. In Tennessee, you must go through a legal proceeding in order to obtain a divorce.

The goal of the legal proceeding is to end the marriage and decide child sutody, child visitation, child support, alimony sometimes called spousal support , division of assets, and division of debts. Divorcing spouses can obtain a divorce by agreement or a divorce trial.

The simpliest and often most cost efficient manner is by agreement. If you and your spouse have already reached an agreement regarding all the terms of your divorce, then your divorce is considered to be uncontested.