Do You Have to Go to Court When Divorce Is Final in Tennessee?

by Beverly Bird
If you do have to go to court, it should be a brief affair.

If you do have to go to court, it should be a brief affair.

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If your divorce is contested, you can count on appearing in court, maybe even more than once, for both temporary hearings and a trial. Uncontested divorces are a different matter. If you and your spouse have a signed marital settlement agreement, or if your spouse doesn't involve himself in the divorce at all, your matter is uncontested. If anyone has to go to court, it would be you if you began the proceedings by filing the complaint. However, in some Tennessee counties, your appearance may not be necessary to finalize your case.

Divorce by Agreement

If you and your spouse reach a marital settlement agreement, you usually appear in court for the final hearing so you can give the agreement to the judge for his approval and signature. You can call the court after your agreement is signed and ask the clerk to schedule a date. Ask if you must go to court because not all Tennessee counties require this if you notify your spouse in writing that your agreement will be submitted on a certain date.

Divorce by Default

When you filed your complaint for divorce and served it on your spouse, he had 30 days within which to file a response with the court. If he didn't do so, you can request a divorce by default. This may require two court appearances, depending on your county -- once to get an order allowing the default and again for the default hearing itself. Your spouse can appear at the default hearing to defend himself, even if he never filed an answer to your complaint.