What Should I Keep in Mind During My Same-Sex Divorce Process?

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If you are thinking about ending your marriage to your same-sex spouse, you may have a less stressful time of it depending on whether you and your ex can agree on major topics like property division and child visitation. Although no divorce is stress-free, you will be ahead of the game if both of you cooperate in an uncontested divorce. On the other hand, if you and your spouse cannot agree, you may be getting ready for the comparatively more complicated procedures associated with a contested divorce.

In either case, you don’t want to face those trials and tribulations alone. Read this article to learn about the process of divorce in a same-sex marriage, and contact an experienced Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer today. We’ve worked with many marriages and we know how to proceed in a divorce while keeping everything calm and professional.

What Will I Have to Do To Get a Same-Sex Divorce in Tennessee?

Fortunately, the divorce process is the same for both same- and opposite-sex marriages in Tennessee. Both are subject to laws as stated in the Tennessee Code, Chapter 36.

To begin, either you or your spouse must have lived in Tennessee for at least six months and fully intend to remain within Tennessee for the foreseeable future. If this is true, you are good to start filing for divorce in a county where either you or your soon-to-be former spouse reside.

Either you or your ex will need to file several documents. Which forms you send out vary by circumstances, but being a same-sex couple should not be a factor that affects the question of forms.

Factors like whether you and your spouse have children together, however, may make a difference. If you do not have children, your forms will include a request for divorce, a personal information form, and a civil case cover sheet. If you do have children, then in addition to the previous, you will need to submit a parenting plan and a child support worksheet.

As stated, which documents are required varies by your circumstances. Be sure to talk to a Tennessee divorce lawyer about which documents you must submit.

Valid Grounds for Same-Sex Divorce in Tennessee

When you or your ex submit the request for divorce, the form will have to include why you both are divorcing, as per Tennessee Code § 36-4-101. You may choose to say that the marriage has ended due to irreconcilable differences. Alternatively, if some negative action by your ex caused you to seek divorce and prompted a contested divorce, you may point to fault grounds for divorce such as adultery, cruelty, separation for two years without children, willful abandonment for one year, and attempted murder against you.