How to File Your Own Divorce Papers in Tennessee

By Tom Streissguth

In order to file for divorce in Tennessee, you must draw up the necessary papers, file them with a court clerk, have them served on your spouse and attend a public hearing on the matter. A marital settlement agreement is the key document that sets out the terms of the divorce and is incorporated into the court's final decree.

Step 1

Draw up a Petition for Divorce. Blank forms can be obtained from an online legal document provider. On the petition, you must state your grounds for divorce. In Tennessee, this may include bigamy, addiction, criminal activity, adultery, domestic violence, impotency or desertion. State law also provides for "no-fault" divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. In order to file a Petition for Divorce, you must be a Tennessee resident for at least six months.

Step 2

Draw up an agreement with your spouse that includes agreed-upon terms for dividing your property and debts. Be sure to include all real estate and financial accounts. If you have minor children, you also must create a parenting plan, including a custody and visitation agreement. Also negotiate a child support agreement; make sure it is in compliance with state guidelines.

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

Step 3

Bring the Petition for Divorce and agreements to the county court in the county where you live. File the petition with the clerk of court and pay the filing fee. The clerk will date-stamp the petition, enter it into the public record and return a certified copy to you.

Step 4

Serve the Petition for Divorce on your spouse by hiring a private process server or submitting it to the sheriff's department in the county where your spouse lives. You must have his current work or residential address to successfully complete this step. You have 30 days from the filing date to complete service; if you are unable to meet the deadline, you may request an extension of time for service. File the proof of service, provided by the process server, with the court clerk. Your spouse has 30 days after receipt of service to file an answer, which is his response to the issues raised in your petition.

Step 5

Attend the hearing or mediation scheduled by the clerk of court. Tennessee law sets a minimum waiting period of 60 days from the filing of the answer if no children are involved; 90 days if children are involved. If your spouse does not file an answer to your petition, you may ask the court to enter a default judgment -- basically granting the terms of the divorce as requested in your initial filing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Fast Do it Yourself Uncontested Divorce Papers


Related articles

Do it Yourself Georgia Divorce

Filing for a divorce in Georgia can be expensive if you hire an attorney to assist you. Depending on the complexity of your case, however, you may be able to do it yourself. In Georgia, the superior court in each county has jurisdiction over divorce matters. Before you can begin the divorce process, you need to familiarize yourself with the court procedures of your county and the fundamental concepts of Georgia divorce law.

How to Do Your Own Divorce in Ohio

Either spouse may legally file for divorce in the state of Ohio. If your divorce is uncontested or no-fault, you can likely do it yourself without the assistance of an attorney. If your spouse contests the divorce or you anticipate a complex process, you should consider consulting a family attorney for advice. Ohio law allows you to end a marriage in one of two ways, either by divorce or dissolution of marriage. The dissolution of marriage procedure is cheaper and less bureaucratic, but requires each spouse to agree on all essential issues.

Steps to Filing for Divorce in Pierce County, Washington

The state of Washington permits you to obtain a divorce if you or your spouse is a resident of the state. State law governs divorce cases, although each county court has its own rules regarding legal filings and fee schedule. In Pierce County, as in other Washington counties, the process begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both ...

How to Obtain a Divorce in North Carolina

If you wish to obtain a divorce in North Carolina, you can hire an attorney to handle the process for you or you can ...

Do You Have to Wait 30 Days for a Decree of Divorce in Arkansas?

Even if divorcing spouses agree on all marital issues, such as custody and property division, Arkansas imposes a 30-day ...

How to Get Divorced in Tennessee

A divorce ends a valid marriage in Tennessee. Provided you can meet the state eligibility requirements, the process ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED