Knowing the Differences
Choosing to end your marriage via a divorce is a big decision, and along with that choice comes additional factors to consider. One such factor is how much of a fight to put up in relation to issues such as property division or child custody. How you and your spouse choose to handle these issues makes a difference in the type of divorce you are filing for as well as how long the overall process may take. Here are some things you should know.
What Makes a Divorce Contested or Uncontested
Issues like custody and child support can cause heated arguments and lengthy negotiation periods. If, however, you and your spouse are able to agree on these issues, then it is possible to file for what is known as an uncontested divorce in Tennessee. If not, then your divorce is considered contested.
When you file for the uncontested divorce, you will file based on irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse. Filing can also occur only if you and your spouse are able to agree on marital issues such as:
- How will money in bank accounts be divided?
- How will retirement accounts be divided?
- Who receives the car(s) and house?
- Will alimony or spousal support be paid, and how much will be paid?
- Will child support be paid, and how much will those payments be?
- What will the parenting schedule look like? Who has the child on weekends, holidays, etc.?
- Which parent will receive the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child? If both parents share this responsibility, what areas will each parent decide?
These issues must be agreed upon in order for your divorce to be considered uncontested. If there is any disagreement on any of these matters, then you must file for a contested divorce.
Tennessee residency requirements must be fulfilled before a divorce can be filed. This means that either spouse must have lived in Tennessee for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. This type of divorce must also be accompanied by a written agreement signed by both parties detailing information on personal property, debts, and how division and alimony have been agreed upon.
Do Uncontested Divorces Go To Court?
You will attend a final hearing before a judge in order to complete the divorce and dissolve the marriage. This is true whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Keep in mind that Tennessee does have mandatory waiting periods that must occur before a divorce can be finalized. For couples with children under 18, they must wait a period of 90 days, whereas couples who have no children must only wait 60 days from filing.
As mentioned above, disagreement on marital issues results in a divorce becoming a contested divorce. Know that the disagreements you have may result in a lengthier overall process, which may lead to a higher overall cost of your divorce.
Seek a Tennessee Attorney for Guidance
If you have questions about uncontested and contested divorces or are unsure of where to begin, it’s important to consult an attorney capable of guiding you throughout the divorce process and protecting your best interests. At Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC, we know that divorce is a big decision and understand the feelings that come with it. Our team is ready to assist you throughout the divorce process to get you ready for the next chapter of your life.
To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, call us at (901) 295-4635 or visit us online.