Filing for Divorce

Rice Divorce Team Offers Counsel in Memphis & Beyond

There are tactical advantages for the person who files first. The legal document that starts the proceeding is the Petition for Divorce, or the Complaint. It also covers certain technical matters and asks the court for anything you might want.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on something (e.g. support, visitation, property division, attorney’s fees, court costs, maiden name restored), then you must ask the court for it in the petition or the court cannot give it to you. If the list seems long or includes more than you think is appropriate, try to think of it as a wish list. If the wording seems strange, remember that it is a formal legal document and much of the wording is required by law. If your spouse has already filed, be sure that your lawyer has a copy of the petition as soon as possible.

The person who files first is the plaintiff or petitioner. The other person is the defendant or respondent, and that person must respond to your petition in a formal document known as an answer. The defendant may also want to complain that the plaintiff was at fault. To do so, the defendant files a Countercomplaint.

If possible, talk to your spouse about divorce before you file. It is hard to keep open lines of communication if your spouse has been surprised by the sheriff serving divorce papers on him or her at 4:00 A.M. (which is when the sheriff often serves papers).

If you are considering filing for divorce, speak with a Memphis family lawyer at Rice Divorce Team. Contact us at (901) 425-1274 today.

Reviews from People Who Have Been There

  • Larry, Erin, Susan & Linsey gained my trust quickly and my utmost respect.

    “Never thought I would be a divorcee, but I am truly thankful Larry Rice and his team represented me. The process was painful on a personal level, but the actual legal process was handled with great care and expertise. Larry, Erin, Susan & Linsey gained my trust quickly and my utmost respect --- a BIG shout out to y'all!!! I couldn't have had better representation! THANK YOU!!!”

    Susan T.

  • They were so helpful and supportive in processing my documents in timely manner. It was a great experience.

    “I would like to extend my appreciation to all the staff of Rice, Amundsen and Caperton, PLLC.”

    M.T.

  • If you want your divorce handled right go to Larry Rice first.

    “Larry’s knowledge and experience in Tennessee divorce law is unequaled.”

    Bob

  • He clearly intimidates opposition.

    “Keen instincts, in innate understanding of the human psyche, and his ever adaptive strategies give him an extraordinary edge.”

    Elizabeth H.

  • We walk into his office with a heavy heart and walk out knowing we have the best on our side!

    “I recommend his entire office and staff to anyone needing legal help.”

    Leanne