Across the United States, married individuals who understand that their relationship is not going to work out have recourse to contested and uncontested divorce. Contested divorce often involves a longer, more drawn-out, more expensive legal battle. An uncontested divorce instead has the two exes negotiate to agree on the different matters that need to be settled before the divorce is finalized. Many contested divorces begin as uncontested divorces, until the spouses realize they won’t be able to agree mutually. In Tennessee, you may also file for an agreed divorce. Keep reading to learn more about divorce, divorce types, and particularly, agreed divorce. If you are feeling weighed down by your marriage, a Shelby County uncontested divorce lawyer can help you properly analyze your options.
Divorce in Tennessee: What Is an Agreed Uncontested Divorce?
An agreed divorce is a streamlined version of uncontested divorce available in Tennessee if
- The exes are not pregnant.
- The exes do not have children younger than 18, children in high school, or disabled children.
- The exes do not co-own real estate or a business.
- The exes do not have retirement benefits.
- The exes do want to end their marriage.
- The exes do agree on whether alimony will be paid, by whom, and for how much.
- The exes do agree on property division.
- Either of the exes has lived in Tennessee for a minimum of six months; or, both exes lived in Tennessee at the time they resolved to divorce.
- The exes will submit a signed, written agreement, which delineates personal property and debt, agreement on property and debt division, and alimony.
Both parties agree that, in signing the written agreement, they are not obligated to serve each other divorce papers. The necessary packet of forms is available on Tennessee State’s court website. These will need to be filed either in the county court where your ex now lives or where both exes lived at the time of separation. There is a filing fee, though it is possible to petition for a postponement on paying the filing fees if you can’t afford them at present.
When You Don’t Qualify for an Agreed Divorce: Irreconcilable Differences
If the former couple has minor children or property like real estate, they won’t be eligible for a Tennessee agreed divorce. They can, however, still file for an uncontested divorce, justified by “irreconcilable differences.”
Tennessee recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces. Fault divorces, which argue that one party engaged in wrongdoing, are more likely to be contested divorces. On the other hand, no-fault divorces indicating irreconcilable differences may be uncontested divorces if the exes write up a settlement agreement detailing child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
All of these processes can be fairly complex, not to mention that even in the best of all agreed divorces, there may be hurt feelings further complicating matters. Having a lawyer to assist you with your separation will ensure you receive specific and up-to-date legal advice, as well as have someone on your side to help conduct negotiations in a calm, reasonable manner.