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Your Tennessee Divorce Laws 2017

Get Your Tennessee Divorce Laws and Save Your Time… ….by Discovering The “Know-How” of the Tennessee Divorce Process


Tennessee Residency Requirement
According to the Tennessee Divorce Laws and Tennessee Divorce Guidelines, to get divorced in Tennessee, the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident of Tennessee at the time when the grounds for divorce occured. If the grounds for divorce did not occur in Tennessee and the petitioner resided outside of Tennessee, one of the spouses must have been a resident for at least 6 months before filing for divorce.

Place of Divorce (Venue)
The case may be filed in:
(1) The county in which the spouses lived together before separating.
(2) The county where the respondent resides if he/she is a resident of Tennessee. If the respondent is a non-resident of Tennessee then the divorce should be filed in the county where the pertitioner resides.

Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures
If the divorce is based on irreconcilable differences, the spouses may enter into a notarized marital settlement agreement. The agreement must:
(1) make specific reference to a pending divorce by the name of the court and the docket number or
(2) state that the respondent is aware that a divorce will be filed for in the state of Tennessee and
(3) state that the respondent waives service of process and waives filing an answer. The waiver of service will be valid for 120 days after the respondent signs the agreement and will constitute a general appearance by the respondent and give the court personal jurisdiction over the respondent and will constitute a default judgment.
The petition for divorce must have been on file for over 60 days before a hearing will be held if the spouses have no minor children and 90 days if they have any minor children. The spouses must make adequate and sufficient provisions in their marital settlement agreement for the care and custody of any minor children and for an adequate settlement of their property. The spouses may also make provisions in their settlement for alimony. A final decree may be entered without any corroborating proof or testimony by the petitioner or respondent. If the respondent contests or denies that there are irreconcilable differences, a divorce may NOT be granted on those grounds, unless there is a valid marital settlement agreement. Some counties may require the respondent to sign any appearance and waiver form before the court clerk for it to be valid. In addition, in any petition for divorce, the wife's maiden name must be stated and the race and color of each spouse must be stated. Financial affidavits may also be required.

Tennessee Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for a No-Fault divorce:
(1) Irreconcilable differences
(2) living separate and apart without cohabitation for 2 years with no minor children

Grounds for a Fault based divorce:
(1) impotence
(2) adultery
(3) conviction of a felony and imprisonment
(4) alcoholism and/or drug addiction
(5) wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without husband's knowledge
(6) willful desertion for 1 year
(7) bigamy
(8) endangering the life of the spouse
(9) conviction of an infamous crime
(10) refusing to move to Tennessee with a spouse and willfully absenting oneself from a new residence for 2 years
(11) cruel and inhuman treatment or unsafe and improper marital conduct
(12) indignities that make the spouse's life intolerable
(13) abandonment, neglect, or banning the spouse from the home.


NOTE: Regardless of the reason of the breakdown of the marriage or the reason for filing for divorce in Tennessee, the Divorce Do It Yourself Service will do divorces on an "Agreed" basis or a “Default” basis.

  • An Agreed Divorce , as shown in the TN divorce guidelines, is where BOTH spouses agree on the divorce terms such as Tennessee property distribution, Tennessee child support, or Tennessee child custody. Our clients (75%) usually prefer the Agreed Divorce method and both spouses sign the completed divorce forms and are agreed to the divorce.

  • A Default Divorce , from the divorce guidelines and Tennessee divorce laws, is when the other spouse doesn’t sign the Tennessee Divorce forms at all. He/she doesn’t do anything with the divorce. They simply default on their side of the case and the spouse who filed the original Complaint for Divorce gets whatever they asked for. Perfect!


Tennessee Divorce Resources
Here are the important divorce resources for Tennessee:


The Divorce Process to File Your Divorce in Tennessee
There are only a couple basic steps to a divorce:

  • File Your Divorce Papers for Tennessee at your Local County Courthouse (Tennessee Divorce Forms)
  • Notify Spouse by Service of Process of your filing for divorce in Tennessee
  • Attend your Tennessee divorce court hearing. That is it!


How The Tennessee Divorce Service Works

Divorce Process in Tennessee

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Tennessee Divorce Laws for Property Distribution
In an "Agreed Divorce" or "Default Divorce" the marital property is to be divided so that spouses agree on how to divide it. The main focus here is to agree on the division of the property…so that it doesn’t create a big fight that one party will want to go to a Tennessee divorce lawyer to make the divorce into a “Contested Divorce.” Then YOU will have to incur the fees of a lawyer too. Which can be huge.

  • Debts Most couples going thru a divorce, set out who will pay what debts as part of their Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), and close all of their joint bank accounts.
  • Tennessee Alimony Laws (Tennessee Spousal Support Laws) In an Uncontested “Agreed or Default” Divorce, spousal support may be awarded to either spouse for their maintenance and support. Both parties must agree to it however…since most spouses are working, alimony (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past. In the Tennessee divorce laws for alimony, it is possible for alimony to be paid in one lump sum payment OR the use of a payment plan has become popular in the last 10 years as well. Alimony is not required for a person to get divorced in Tennessee.

Tennessee Child Custody Laws
Easy Definitions: (source: divorce process in Tennessee and TN divorce laws)

  • The Visitation Plan is the Plan the parents have on WHERE the children will live and WHEN the children will visit each spouse
  • Legal Custody is different than the Visitation Plan. It is the parent’s ability to make core decisions in the lives of the children…like, which church they will attend.
  • Physical Custody Is the parent’s choice of where the children will live. Also, which parent they live with and when they will exchange.

Tennessee Child Custody in a “Shared Custody” arrangement, is the normal method of our Tennessee divorce customers. If a “Sole Custody” arrangement is to be considered, then there typically must be a very good reason . Usually the job or financial status of a spouse is not to be considered for allocating any parental rights. Shared Custody or Sole Child Custody may be awarded to the Best Interests of the Child, of course.

Your Tennessee Child Support Laws
If the 2 spouses are unable to agree to a specific $amount of child support, there are Tennessee Child Support Guidelines that determine the amount for you. The guideline amount is supposed to arrive at a support amount that is in the child's best interest. However, most divorcing couples agree to a $number on their own, that will work just fine. Also NOTE, in most situations, -0- Child Support is OK if both spouses are working and can manage. This is also true for a Tennessee Legal Separation

Tennessee Child Support Calculator
You can calculate your child support in Tennessee right here.

The Missing Spouse Problem
If you don’t know where your spouse is currently located…in the USA or outside the USA… you may still get a divorce in Tennessee. It may involve the extra expense of running a newspaper ad or something similar, but it is doable and we help clients through the process everyday.

Wife’s Maiden Name Change
The Wife’s Maiden Name can be returned in the divorce process, if she wishes. We include the maiden name change in in our service as a FREE GIFT.

Your Local County Court Fees
When filing your divorce papers your local county court will charges fees that goes to the clerks and the judges. The usual range is between $75 and $200 to file a divorce. Every county does vary. So the best way to know is to call your county in the blue government section of your phone book. Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce service, using a Tennessee divorce kit, using a divorce attorney (or divorce lawyer), or doing a nearly free divorce in Tennessee, you will be paying your own filing fees.


Divorce Laws and Guidelines





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