Examples of tennessee divorce documents

This packet has the court forms you will need to get an agreed divorce. It also explains: .. For example, some spouses decide that alimony.
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You must be a resident of Tennessee for six months to file for divorce here. You may file in the county where you or your spouse live.


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If you have moved from another state recently, discuss your options with your attorney. You may have to file in Tennessee.

Filing For Divorce Without A Lawyer

This is an important decision. That makes your case more complicated. An attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of filing in Tennessee or in the state where your spouse lives. If the court in Tennessee does not have jurisdiction, you may be wasting your time and money if you file here. First, you need to "serve" divorce papers on your spouse out of state. A sheriff or a process server in your spouse's home state may serve process.

You may also send copies by certified mail to your spouse's residence or, if you don't know where your spouse is, publish a legal notice in a newspaper selected by the court.


  1. Divorce Records | Tennessee Secretary of State.
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  3. Grounds for divorce (United States) - Wikipedia!
  4. Court-Approved Divorce Forms | Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.
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  8. Publishing a legal notice can be more expensive, however. Technically, no.

    But as a practical matter, it might be a good idea. An experienced family lawyer will still need to draft your agreement to make sure everything is done correctly. A divorce is a lawsuit.

    Tennessee Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in TN

    Remember, there is no such thing as a standard divorce. There are so many issues to be considered that it makes sense to have a lawyer with an ethical duty to explain things and represent only your best interests. Very few lawyers will represent both parties because of the potential for a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest happens when an attorney's duty to his or her client is compromised.

    An attorney who represents both spouses in a divorce might face such a conflict if a benefit to one spouse would be a detriment to the other. If one lawyer represents both spouses, the lawyer cannot advise either of them in negotiating for better settlement terms. Tennessee law allows divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds. The no-fault grounds for divorce are:. A mutual-consent, no-fault divorce takes about two to six months.

    There is a mandatory 60 day "cooling -off" period after the complaint is filed, if there are no children. If the couple has children, it takes a minimum of 90 days. A contested divorce can last years, with the average case lasting a year or more. Finally, if the spouses agree to divide a pension, it might take an additional 60 to days after the divorce is granted to complete the division. Annulments may be available if the marriage was illegal for example, incestuous or based on fraud or duress.

    An annulment can also be had if one party was under age. The rules and applications can be complex. The effect of annulment will not render the couple's children illegitimate. No alimony is available when a marriage is annulled. Property rights will be restored as if no marriage had taken place.

    Tennessee Divorce FAQ's

    In effect, a legal separation allows for the support and maintenance of a spouse without an actual divorce. The parties can sue for divorce later. Separation often doesn't make sense because it can be as expensive as a divorce.

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    In addition, if the parties work out their differences after a divorce, the parties can always remarry. When a Complaint is filed, if a party alleges fault grounds usually inappropriate marital conduct , a temporary injunction can be issued automatically without independent judicial approval.

    The Automatic Injunction is effective against both parties at the same time.

    The Judge Signed Your Divorce Decree—Now What?

    Make sure you understand the terms of the Automatic Injunction if one has been issued in your case. If this Automatic Injunction is violated, the person violating the order can be sent to jail for contempt of court. Discovery commonly begins with the filing of Interrogatories written questions that must be answered under oath , and a Request for Production of Documents requiring the other party to provide certain documents. The answers and documents must be produced within 30 days. Other forms of discovery include depositions, subpoenas, and Requests for Admissions.

    The discovery process can be short and inexpensive or lengthy and very expensive. The extent of discovery usually depends on the size and make-up of the marital estate. Performing a business valuation can be one of the most expensive aspects of any divorce. In some divorces, the parties agree to exchange discovery informally, without using the formal legal system.

    This can reduce costs significantly. One reason a lawyer may advise against proceeding with discovery informally, even though it saves money, is that the documents produced by an opposing party will not be produced under oath. Further, if one spouse lies or omits assets under oath during the discovery process, the other spouse can use that lie or omission to allege circumstances sufficient to undo the divorce because he or she relied on the misstatements or incomplete production of documents.

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    Depositions are another common form of discovery. At a deposition, a lawyer can ask a follow-up question right away. One important disadvantage to the deposition process is that it can be very expensive. For Tennessee couples with children, divorce creates a new set of parenting challenges. Some aspects of the parent-child relationship will change, hopefully for the better. In Tennessee, divorcing parents must attend a four-hour parenting-through-divorce class before a divorce is granted. The GAL will often be a lawyer but can also be a mental health professional or a social worker.

    Usually, the GAL will write a report with recommendations to the judge. Most judges will not read the report until the trial begins. In high-conflict cases, the GAL may also be deposed by one or both attorneys. If no agreement is reached and the court must resolve the dispute, the judge will read the report and will likely be influenced by it. Usually, the GAL also testifies at the trial. Instead of, or in addition to, a Guardian Ad Litem, a court can order an independent child custody evaluation by an experienced and independent court-appointed forensic psychologist.

    Normally, the evaluation will include mental health evaluations of the parties. Custody evaluations by psychologists are expensive and will normally be ordered by the court only upon allegations of mental illness, drug use, or emotional abuse. The American Psychological Association has issued guidelines for its members who conduct these evaluations, which can be helpful to read if your case involves a custody evaluation.

    Usually, the independent court-appointed forensic psychologist will conduct psychological testing on the parents and possibly the children , interview the children, and also write and issue a written report to the judge. The psychologist usually also testifies at trial. For more information, see Miles Mason, Sr. A party may also hire a forensic psychologist as an expert witness to support his or her position. Most often this occurs if one party says the other has some form of mental illness. The accused parent can consult with a psychologist to have that psychologist form an expert opinion to refute the allegations against and defend his or her ability to act as primary residential parent.

    Almost all psychologists and judges advise against calling a child as a witness in a divorce case for any reason. There are few experiences more traumatic for a child than to be asked a question where the answer will hurt one or both parents. Many lawyers agree and will refuse to call a child as a witness unless the matter involves severe physical or emotional abuse.

    Many divorcing parents mistakenly believe that at some age a child has the right to decide with which parent to live with. That is false. No judge will allow the preference of a child alone to determine who gets custody case. The judge must always consider the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, one of the most common abuses of the divorce process is using the children as pawns — raising custody and visitation issues to gain an advantage in financial matters.


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    These tactics unnecessarily increase the tension in the family, which inevitably hurts the children and makes settlement much more difficult. If the judge interprets these tactics as an attempt at vengeance, the consequences can be devastating. Most judges believe that violating these common-sense parenting rules demonstrates that the parent was either unwilling or unable to exercise good judgment.

    Related Link: Visitation and Residential Time. The next phase of the divorce — often the final phase — is the negotiated settlement. Most lawyers and judges agree that a settlement will almost always be more favorable than the outcome of a contested trial. For example, a mother who expects to be awarded primary residential parent status can negotiate that the father will pay certain college expenses for the children.