How Long Would a Divorce Take in Tennessee?

By Matthew Derrringer

You’re thinking about filing for divorce, weighing the pros and cons. One big issue on the con side: How long is this divorce going to be hanging over my head? In Tennessee, the good news is that as long as you can work out your issues with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the whole process can be over in just a few months. The bad news, however, is that if you cannot reach agreement outside of court, you’re likely in for a long, complicated slog.

You’re thinking about filing for divorce, weighing the pros and cons. One big issue on the con side: How long is this divorce going to be hanging over my head? In Tennessee, the good news is that as long as you can work out your issues with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the whole process can be over in just a few months. The bad news, however, is that if you cannot reach agreement outside of court, you’re likely in for a long, complicated slog.

Uncontested Divorce

The best case scenario is an uncontested divorce. This means that you and your spouse have come to terms with the dissolution of your marriage and have agreed on all of the issues involved, which can include everything from child custody and support to alimony and property division. Even under these optimal circumstances, Tennessee has a waiting period after a divorce filing: 60 days for a couple with no minor children and 90 days for couples with minor children.

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Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is where things can get complicated. If you and your spouse can’t agree on anything, or have even a few issues in which a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the adversarial process is about to begin. For starters, after your spouse has been served with divorce papers, she then has 30 days to respond. And then you have to respond to her response. This back and forth is just the beginning of what is likely to be a lengthy process.

Mediation

In Tennessee, if a a divorce case is going to involve one or more contested issues, the court is likely to require the parties attend mediation. This gives them an opportunity to resolve their outstanding differences before a court battle is needed, in some cases a final opportunity. Mediation involves a neutral third party who attempts to help the spouses reach a satisfactory agreement on the issues in dispute. This process can be time consuming, especially if the issue of contention is child custody.

Discovery and Trial

As the divorce plays out and the parties' attorneys go back and forth in an attempt to reach a settlement, a process known as discovery begins. This is the time when the parties will seek exacting details from each other, usually focused on the financial assets of each spouse. Thus, discovery typically involves full financial disclosure. If the parties are unable to reach an out-of-court settlement, a trial will be necessary. But first, in Tennessee, a final trial management conference is conducted. This is another opportunity for the parties to reach an agreement before a trial is held. It is also intended to ensure that the trial, if necessary, will go smoothly. If negotiations fail at this point, a trial will occur. And by this point, six months – or even two years – has typically passed since the original divorce filing.

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What Happens at Divorce Mediation in California?

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Contested Divorce Procedures

The exact procedures of divorce vary between states, but divorce can be a fairly simple process if you have an uncontested divorce. For a divorce to be uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on the reason for the divorce and the terms of the settlement, such as property division, child custody and alimony. However, if you and your spouse contest, or dispute, the terms of your divorce -- or the reason for the divorce itself -- the process may be longer and more expensive.

What Happens in a Divorce Mediation in Miami, Florida?

Peace is to war what mediation is to litigation. When you or your spouse files for divorce in Miami, you have the option of fighting it out in court or working it out in a cooperative fashion. Working it out can save you money and lessen the emotional damage that often results from a contested divorce. Accordingly, the Miami-Dade County courts frequently order mediation before trial to give the parties a chance to come to an agreement they both find satisfactory. If you are required to mediate, or request mediation, the mediation division of the county court system will supply an in-house mediator, although you are free to ask for your own private mediator, pending approval by your spouse.

Divorce Without a Financial Settlement

Divorce laws in most states require the resolution of financial issues before a court enters a final divorce decree. You and your spouse must either sign a marital settlement agreement or a hearing or trial is conducted to resolve financial issues. Some states allow what is called a bifurcated process, a legal term meaning that the laws permit a termination of the marriage before resolving financial issues.

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