How to Write a Divorce Complaint in Tennessee

By Heather Frances J.D.

The process of filing for divorce in Tennessee begins when you file a divorce complaint, also known as a petition for divorce. Like all states, Tennessee provides for no-fault divorce, meaning that neither party has to show the other was at fault to obtain a divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce, you can file for an uncontested, no-fault divorce. Your local court can provide all the divorce forms you'll need. You can also use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file all of your divorce paperwork.

The process of filing for divorce in Tennessee begins when you file a divorce complaint, also known as a petition for divorce. Like all states, Tennessee provides for no-fault divorce, meaning that neither party has to show the other was at fault to obtain a divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce, you can file for an uncontested, no-fault divorce. Your local court can provide all the divorce forms you'll need. You can also use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file all of your divorce paperwork.

Residency

A Tennessee court cannot grant your divorce unless you or your spouse has lived in Tennessee for at least six months before you file your complaint. Once you file, you don’t have to remain a resident of Tennessee; the court may still grant your divorce if you subsequently move out of Tennessee. Additionally, if you or your spouse live in another state, either of you may file for divorce in your state of residence as soon as you meet that state’s residency requirements.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Grounds

The state of Tennessee offers two no-fault grounds for divorce: separation for at least two years or irreconcilable differences. It also provides fault-based grounds including adultery, habitual drunkenness, desertion and conviction of a felony. If you are filing for divorce based on anything other than irreconcilable differences, you must provide details in your divorce complaint.

Complaint

If you file the complaint for divorce, you must list yourself as the plaintiff and your spouse as the defendant in the divorce lawsuit. In addition to listing your grounds for divorce, your complaint must include information about both you and your spouse, including your full names, mailing addresses, birth dates, date and place of your marriage, number of previous marriages, location of all property either of you own and the names and addresses of your employers. Along with your complaint, you must file a separate document containing certain personal information, such as your full names, social security numbers, mailing addresses and your dates of birth -- as well as the dates of birth of any children you have together. After you file this paperwork with the court, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint along with a summons to notify your spouse of the divorce petition and first court deadlines.

Waiting Period

Once you file, Tennessee requires you to wait at least 60 days before the court will grant your divorce if you have no minor children -- and 90 days if you have minor children. The state also requires spouses who have minor children together to attend parenting classes. During the waiting period, you and your spouse can try to reach an agreement concerning the division of your marital property, as well as create a parenting plan for the judge to approve. If needed, you can attend mediation to help you reach an agreement. If you come to an agreement regarding all the terms of your divorce, only one of you has to go to court for the final divorce hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to File for Divorce Through the State of Utah

References

Related articles

Ohio's Steps for a No-Fault Divorce

Ohio offers two ways to end a marriage: dissolution and divorce. Both processes are similar, but dissolution is often faster and cheaper because the spouses file jointly and agree on all terms. The dissolution method requires that both spouses agree their marriage should be terminated and reach mutual agreement on the details of their separation, including child custody and property division. Spouses can file on no-fault grounds whether they choose divorce or dissolution.

How to Get Divorced in Ohio

If you are considering divorce, you may be facing a struggle for custody of your children or perhaps considering how you can make sure you receive enough money from your spouse. Divorce can be a difficult process to navigate on your own, but Ohio law also provides an option called dissolution that may make your process simpler if you and your spouse agree on your divorce terms.

Forms for No Fault Divorce Without Children in Texas

Regardless of where spouses marry, they can typically divorce in the state where they live, according to that state’s laws. If you live in Texas, you can file your own paperwork with the clerk of the district court in your county, or you can use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file all your divorce paperwork.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Vermont Divorce Laws When Married in Virginia

In today’s mobile society, it’s not uncommon for spouses to marry in one state then move to another during ...

Requirements for a Tennessee Divorce

It may seem unfair that you have to toe the line in certain respects to effectuate a personal decision such as a ...

Alabama Divorce Via Default

Whether you cannot track down your spouse or he is completely unresponsive to your divorce complaint, you may still ask ...

Divorce Laws in Tennessee Regarding Willful Desertion

If your motivation for seeking a divorce in Tennessee is because your husband or wife deserts you, the state’s ...

Browse by category