Your marriage is at an end and you have no idea where to go next. You need answers to questions like, how do we divide property, who gets primary custody of our child, and what if I need to go back to school to support myself?
The Chattanooga divorce attorney at Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr. can provide the answers to these questions and help guide you through all aspects of your upcoming divorce or separation in Tennessee.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer near you by calling Attorney Drew Clements from Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr. at (423) 690-7712.
What Elements Are Involved in a Tennessee Divorce?
A divorce is much more involved than signing a couple of papers and parting ways with your spouse. Every aspect of your life together will need to be evaluated and divided fairly. That includes parenting time, money, and pensions, just to name a few. If you are going through a divorce in Tennessee, the following elements must be determined, either by you and your spouse or by a family court judge:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support/alimony
- Property division (house, car, finances, retirement benefits, etc)
There is a lot at stake when going through a divorce and it can be difficult to make changes to a divorce order after it has been finalized, so it's critical that you hire an experienced divorce attorney in Chattanooga who can competently and professionally fight for your best interests and the best interests of your family.
Do I Need Grounds to Get Divorced in Tennessee?
The State of Tennessee lists 15 different grounds that may be used when petitioning for a divorce. If you cannot prove at least one of these grounds, then your divorce may not be granted by the court:
- Felony conviction
- Commitment of an infamous crime
- Attempted murder
- Refusal to move
- Wife was pregnant by another man without husband's knowledge
- Habitual drunkenness or substance abuse
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Suffering indignities
- Abandonment or neglect
- Irreconcilable differences
- Physical separation of at least two years (with no minor children)
How to File for Divorce
To get a divorce in Tennessee, you must first meet the state's residency requirements. Residency requirements are met if the spouse who files first lived in the state when the events that constituted the grounds for divorce took place or if you or your spouse lived in Tennessee for 6 months before filing the divorce complaint.
Once you have met the requirements, you will need to determine if your divorce is contested or uncontested then file the divorce papers with the court clerk in your county.
What is the Difference Between Contested & Uncontested Divorce?
When petitioning for a divorce in Tennessee you can file as either a contested or uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both you and your spouse are in agreement about the elements of your divorce, like child custody and property division. Since you must cite grounds for a divorce in Tennessee, most couples seeking an uncontested divorce list “irreconcilable differences.” An uncontested divorce is often easier to obtain, costs less, and gives you more control over the outcome of your divorce since you will not be subject to the decisions of a judge.
A contested divorce means that either you or your spouse have received a petition of divorce and are contesting the grounds cited or the demands. A contested divorce will not necessarily result in a courtroom battle. You can work with a third party, like a mediator, to come to an agreement after the divorce was filed. However, if you and your spouse cannot come to a decision about your divorce, then a family court judge will end up making the final decision.
Contact Our Chattanooga Divorce Lawyers
Our Chattanooga divorce attorneys will be there with you every step of the way. The Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr is dedicated to helping each client navigate every step of the divorce process. We have the experience you need to protect your best interests in the event of any family law matter.