Middle Tennessee Family Law | Tiffany Johns Law Office

Divorce FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Tennessee

Answers from an experienced Nashville divorce attorney

The decision to divorce is almost always difficult; it is certainly not a legal process that anybody enjoys, even when eager to end a marriage. However, it is essential that anybody who enters the process of divorcing their spouse makes informed decisions at every important juncture, and not be guided by family pressures, financial issues, or conflicting feelings of guilt or depression.

Because the divorce process is one that most of us seek to avoid, the elements of a Tennessee divorce procedure are usually unfamiliar to those who find themselves confronted with the end of their marriage. At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our experienced Franklin divorce attorney is dedicated to providing compassionate representation for Nashville-area residents seeking to obtain a Tennessee divorce, and below, we answer some of the questions that our clients often ask.

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How long does it take to get a divorce in Tennessee?

It depends entirely on the circumstances of the marriage and the divorce. A couple with no minor children filing for an uncontested divorce in Tennessee may be granted a divorce sixty days after the initial filing and service; if there are minor children, ninety days. In both instances, the divorcing couple must create a written Marital Dissolution Agreement, which expresses in writing how the couple wishes to divide their property and debts, and couples with children must create a Permanent Parenting Plan, portions of which must meet Tennessee guidelines.

Contested divorces take longer, as couples unable to settle their differences often must do so in court, before a judge. Extended litigation of this nature can take anywhere from six months to two years—or even longer.

 

If both spouses agree on a settlement and wish to file for an uncontested divorce, may they both hire the same attorney?

No. In Tennessee, all attorneys have an ethical duty to represent the best interests and to seek the most favorable result for their clients. Because both spouses, even when in complete agreement, are adverse parties in a divorce action, a favorable result for one spouse is likely to be detrimental to the other spouse. Because of this conflict of interest, representing both spouses in a divorce action is fundamentally unethical.

 

How much does a divorce cost?

Again, the answer to this question depends entirely on the circumstances of the marriage and the divorce. As one might expect, contested divorces tend to generate more court costs and legal fees than uncontested divorces, and these costs also tend to reflect the complexity of the martial assets and the scope of the issues in dispute.

 

What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?

In an uncontested divorce, spouses are entitled to cite irreconcilable differences as the ground for the divorce; no other proof or information is necessary. In a contested divorce, however, a spouse must both allege valid grounds for the divorce and prove the allegation.

Recognized grounds for divorce in Tennessee include adultery, bigamy, impotence, abandonment, and “inappropriate marital conduct”, which may include anything ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to cruel and inhuman treatment.

 

Can I receive alimony?

Alimony is a form of financial support in which the spouse in the more advantageous position is ordered to pay a particular amount of support to the spouse in the less advantageous position. Unlike child support, the amount of which is determined using a formula mandated by strict Tennessee statutory guidelines, the court has the discretion to award alimony based on a variety of considerations, including:

  • The earning capacity of each party, as well as the assets, debts and resources available to both
  • The length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, and the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage
  • The relative fault of each party in the divorce, as well as any applicable parenting plan.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony actually has a need for it, and that the other spouse actually has the ability to pay it.

Every divorce is different, and based entirely upon a determination of facts such as set forth above. At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our knowledgeable Franklin divorce attorney answers these and many other questions from our clients every day. Regardless of how much property you own, or how many children you have, or the extent of the dispute between you and your spouse, we are ready to guide you through the divorce process, and help your family to receive the equitable result to which it is entitled. For a free initial consultation, please contact us online or call our downtown Nashville offices at (615) 620-5846 to find out more.

 

 

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