Divorce Lawyers in Murfreesboro TN
Let Us Guide You Through This Emotional Time
If separating is the only thing left on which you and your spouse can agree, it might be time to file for divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is an undoubtedly difficult and stressful process. That said, it can be made easier with the help of a skilled attorney.
Mitchell E. Shannon, Attorney at Law offers comprehensive guidance and personalized representation throughout the divorce process. Our firm can help you finalize your divorce quickly and favorably, with as little stress as possible. We are committed to serving our clients with compassion in their time of need.
Do You Really Need A Lawyer For A Divorce?
Going through a divorce procedure is rarely easy. Stress runs high, and couples typically make bad decisions in the heat of the moment. Working with a divorce attorney can help you by reviewing your proposed divorce settlement prior to signing.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
In Tennessee, you may file for uncontested or no-fault divorce – wherein you and your partner are splitting up due to irreconcilable differences but are willing to cooperate to come to an agreement on most matters – or contested divorce. To file contested, you must provide grounds for the divorce.
Common grounds for divorce include:
- Domestic violence
- Conviction of a felony
- Inappropriate marital conduct
- One spouse is incapable of procreation (and the other spouse did not know at the time of the marriage)
Generally speaking, an uncontested divorce is a simpler and more cost-effective approach. Resolving your divorce through mediation – by compromising and negotiating effectively – can significantly improve the final outcome and give you more control over each decision. Of course, if agreement is simply not possible, our attorney is completely comfortable in the courtroom. Our team is equipped and ready to represent you before a judge and to fight for a favorable resolution.
What to Expect during Divorce
If you have never filed for divorce before, you might be unsure how to proceed. To start, one spouse must serve the other with divorce papers. Keep in mind that Tennessee has a residency requirement for divorce – you must have lived in the state for at least six months before you can file for divorce here (barring emergency situations, such as domestic abuse).
Throughout the process, you will have to make decisions and resolve disputes regarding:
Every step of the way, our attorney can be there by your side, helping you overcome each step. Divorce can be a long and cumbersome process – but we can help you make it better.
Divorce Process in Tennessee
Here is a brief summary of what the divorce process looks like in Tennessee.
- Complaint or Petition for Divorce – Filing this will start the divorce process. The person filing is called the plaintiff.
- Complaint and Summons – The court will issue a Summons, and then both documents will be served to the other spouse. There is a specific process that must be followed – contact our firm to learn more.
- Answer and Counter-Complaint – This will be the document that the other spouse will submit, which allows him or her to make a case that might be different than the original petition.
- Discovery – This will be a period of time where extensive data gathering occurs regarding marital assets, property, income, etc.
- Parenting Class – A divorcing couple with children will be required to take a four-hour parenting-through-divorce class.
- Negotiated Settlement – If possible, the divorcing couple will come to a negotiated settlement regarding the matters pertaining to their divorce, which is preferable to a contested trial.
- Divorce Trial – If the couple was unable to settle their divorce through negotiations, then the case will need to be litigated in court. Oftentimes, the couple will be required to attend mediation before setting a trial date.
- Final Decree of Divorce – While there are still many details to attend to post-divorce, the divorce will be finalized when the judge signs this final decree.
Is TN A 50/50 Divorce State?
No, Tennessee is not a 50/50 state for the division of marital property in a divorce. However, Tennessee is an equitable distribution state for property division in divorce, but courts must consider a list of aspects in determining which spouse obtains what assets.
Be sure to contact our firm to help you through every step of the divorce process.
Is there a residency requirement to file for divorce in Tennessee?
Like most other states, Tennessee requires that a spouse is a state resident for at least six months before filing for divorce in Tennessee. If the situation includes abuse or another emergency, then this residency requirement might be waived.
Is there a waiting period for divorce?
If it is an uncomplicated divorce, then the process might only take between 2-6 months. Complex divorces can take much longer. There is a mandatory “cooling off” waiting period of 60 days after the divorce is filed. This period is extended to 90 days if there are children involved.
Does Tennessee have legal separation?
Tennessee does recognize legal separation, which allows a couple to separate and handle the matters of divorce but still remain legally married.
Does Tennessee allow for annulments?
Tennessee does allow for a marriage to be annulled, which legally states that the marriage never took place. It is rare as there are specific requirements to get an annulment, which include:
- Denial of marital rights
Contact our firm to learn more about divorce in Tennessee and to discuss your situation with us.