Whether you're contemplating filing for divorce or have been served with notice of a petition for divorce, we can help.
We can guide you through every step of the process to help reduce the stress that often goes hand in hand with ending a marriage.
Tennessee law mandates a waiting period after a petition is filed before a final hearing on the divorce can be set. For couples without children, the waiting period is 60 days, and for those couples with children, it's 90 days. This doesn't mean a divorce can necessarily happen that quickly, as there are other factors that may lengthen the time period.
Once a petition for divorce is filed, the other spouse has 30 days to file an answer. This is an important step, and one you should address as soon as possible to preserve your rights.
Often, when couples can agree on how to separate their property (including a home, assets and debts), the process can be relatively straightforward and handled in a timely manner. If you have children, and can agree on custody and visitation, in addition to how to separate your property, the process can also move forward fairly easily.
When couples can't agree on either their property or custody/visitation, mediation is typically the next step. Mediation is where a neutral third party works with the spouses to try to reach an agreement. If one spouse simply does not respond to the complaint for divorce, a default divorce can be requested.
There are other steps in the process, such as taking a parenting class if you have children and possibly depositions and requests for discovery to identify the extent of marital assets and debts. An experienced family law attorney can explain all the steps to you and help guide you through the process.